The Role Model for Sustainable Rural Broadband

The Province of Nova Scotia pioneers a business model for rural high-speed internet

In 2006, a majority of Nova Scotians enjoyed high-speed Internet service, but broadband connectivity was still unavailable for thousands of citizens living in rural areas. The government of Nova Scotia recognized the lack of high-speed Internet access to be a key social and economic issue for the more rural areas of the province. Although 78 percent of the province’s roughly one million residents had broadband connectivity, these were mostly located in Halifax, Sydney and other urban areas. About 200,000 citizens, 93,500 dwellings, 5,600 businesses and hundreds of schools and medical facilities remained unserved because they lived outside the reach of traditional wired broadband technologies.


The provincial government created the sweeping Broadband for Rural Nova Scotia initiative. In creating the rural broadband initiative, Nova Scotia recognized that broadband access was as much an integral part of life as electricity or running water. The project was announced in December, 2007, and the government set an aggressive goal of 100 percent broadband connectivity. After much research and planning, the province and its service provider partners determined that fixed wireless technology was the optimum solution for providing high quality rural service quickly, reliably and cost-effectively. Leveraging proven Motorola fixed wireless point-to-point (PTP) and point-to-multipoint (PMP) broadband technologies, over the next three years the team set out to perform the ambitious task of bringing broadband connectivity—and all its enormous social and economic benefits—to residents living in the most beautiful, yet most rugged parts of the province.

Read the case study from Nova Scotia's Nova Communications in PDF format: The Role Model for Sustainable Rural Broadband.

Victoria Krisman
Victoria Krisman is Interactive Media Specialist and Communications Manager for the Intelligent Community Forum.

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