Annapolis County Approves Multi Million Internet Investment

October 17, 2019

 Annapolis County Approves Multi Million Internet Investment

 (ANNAPOLIS COUNTY, NS) The Municipality of the County of Annapolis has approved a new contract with Eagle Telecom Ltd to design and build a fibre-optic internet network.

On April 28, 2017, the Municipality of the County of Annapolis Council approved a Temporary Borrowing Resolution (TBR) that puts forward the formal request to the Province of Nova Scotia the County’s intent to Borrow $13,000,000 to build back bone fibre optic cable in key areas within the County boundaries. 

The Annapolis County contribution is part of a funding formula that includes federal, provincial, and municipal contributions totaling almost $18,000,000.

"The voice of Annapolis County residents has been very clear on this issue: Internet connectivity is an essential service, and its lack is an impediment to our quality of life and capacity for progress.  They asked their Councillors and their Municipality to take decisive action to solve this problem," said Annapolis County Warden Timothy Habinski.

"This is our response."

“Our citizens can expect fibre optic internet speeds to equal or exceed the highest internet speeds anywhere in Canada, with service to homes in the range of 1 gigabit down and 1 gigabit up," (1 gigabit is equivalent to 1000 megabits).  Final financing approval of our borrowing request is under review by the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs and we will know the outcome in the near future. The $13,000,000 dollars borrowed for backbone fibre will be paid back by residential and commercial users.

Annapolis County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) John Ferguson said he was pleased to see contract negotiations move smoothly to a completed and signed contract.

Eagle Telecom Ltd has an office based in Fredericton, NB with branch offices in Woodstock, NB and Dartmouth, NS

The Municipality had entered into a contract in writing with Mainland Telecom Inc., (“MTI”), to build internet infrastructure for $13,000,000. The Municipality intended to finance this cost.

The Municipality was forced to terminate for convenience the contract with MTI due to cost overruns and ongoing delays. The Nova Scotia Power Inc. (“NSPI”) make-ready costs (tree clearing and necessary pole replacement) forecast by MTI were significantly understated making the potential cost overrun a huge financial risk to taxpayers. Finally, MTI’s loss of its key contact person and system designer put the whole internet infrastructure project in serious jeopardy.

The Municipality has now finalized a new contract with Eagle Telecom Ltd., (“Eagle”), that will be approximately $3,000,000 less expensive than the MTI contract on the per kilometer cost for fibre build and engineering. The Municipality’s consulting engineers, Hatch Ltd., have met with NSPI and negotiated with Eagle Telecom Ltd and have advised the Municipality a realistic estimate to build the entire internet infrastructure project is less than $18,000,000.

The Fibre-optic Internet project is now back within budget.

Work has already started on the pole surveys.  Eagle Telecom Ltd has built over 250,000 kilometers of fibre optic cable.  Construction will begin this fall.

Further information will be released shortly.

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For Additional Information contact:               John Ferguson

                                                                                    Chief Administrative Officer

                                                                                    Municipality of the County of Annapolis

                                                                                    902-532-3130

                                                                                    jferguson@annapoliscounty.ca

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