2018-11-07

MODL hosting “connectivity chats” to inform residents of Internet project progress



The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) is hosting a series of "connectivity chats" to talk about approved and proposed Internet projects within the municipality.

Each connectivity chat will run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and residents are encouraged to stop by anytime during those hours to chat with staff or council members to learn more about the Internet projects.

"These meetings are an opportunity for residents to better understand how the municipality is working to improve Internet access for residents," Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson said in a release.

"I hope residents will stop in at one of the meetings and enjoy a slice or pizza or sandwich on us, and ask any questions they might have about Internet in their community."

In July, MODL, MODC and Queens began collaborating on an Internet speed mapping project, with I-Valley, a not-for-profit movement aiming to create so-called smart regions and communities in Nova Scotia.

"The information gathered from the Internet Performance Test will assist the Municipality in selecting where to make investments in Internet to serve those most in need," Sarah Kucharski, MODL's communications officer, explained in an e-mail to LighthouseNOW at the time.

"It will give us real time, up-to-date, accurate information that's not available from the ISPs (internet service providers) as their service data is proprietary and they don't make that information publicly available."

The test is meant to map the digital divide for rural communities, and help municipalities prioritize those areas with poorer service.

Developed by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the test offers a way to collect highly detailed information about the quality of internet service.

It measures some 100 different Internet connection factors beyond the speed of the network, to give planners information on how much delay is in a connection and the ability of your computer to connect with the latest Internet Protocols.

In September, as part of the federal government's's recently announced Connect to Innovate Project, MODL said it plans to erect nine, 40-metre towers to help bring "uncapped" fixed wireless Internet to the northern areas of the municipality.

In partnership with TNC Wireless and the federal government, MODL will add towers in the communities of Newcombville, Chelsea, Elmwood, Union Square, Walden, Nineveh, North River, Parkdale and Butler Lake.

The project is expected to take three years to complete, with between two and six towers being operational by the end of 2019.

Of the $2.15 million total program cost, the municipality is contributing up to $193,000, with the federal government and TNC Wireless Ltd. providing the rest of the investment.

In release, MODL said: "The municipality recognizes that we have many challenges ahead of us with both terrain and foliage, and not everyone in the communities served by the new towers may be connected by this project. We are committed to finding solutions to improve service for our residents."

The connectivity chats are scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, November 14

2 Papa's New Germany

3 – 7 p.m.

Wednesday, November 21

LCLC

3 – 7 p.m.

Thursday, November 29

Rose Bay General Store

3 – 7 p.m.

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