The Municipality of the County of Annapolis has appealed to businesses interested in purchasing its rural Internet system which is under construction.
Annapolis County has invested $ 13 million in 480 kilometers of high-speed cable that will run through approximately 9,500 homes and businesses.
The total cost is $ 17 million, with additional funds from the provincial and federal governments.
The network is built by Eagle. It should be finished next March.
The system will be operated and maintained by Seaside Communications, which has a contract until 2025.
According to the call for proposals, the municipality launched the project in 2017 “due to a lack of commercial interest in providing high-speed Internet services to underserved communities”.
Quality must be maintained
But the municipality’s prefect said the councilors had changed their minds.
“The board felt that it should not be running a business like this,” said Alan Parish. “There are a lot of internet providers in the area.”
If Annapolis County decides to sell the system, there will be conditions including a fixed cost for residential customers for a period of five years.
“The system we are putting in place is very fast and the [request for proposals] demands that whoever buys the system maintain that quality, ”Parish said.
The municipality is seeking to recover all of its costs. Companies have until October 25 to submit bids.
Annapolis County reserved the right to reject all proposals.
If the sale takes place, the municipality wants to put in place a new agreement by the end of the year so that the new owners can take over once construction is complete.
It would also leave Pictou County as the only municipality in the province to have an Internet system.