Grants available Tuesday to install high-speed satellite internet in remote areas

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A SpaceX craft launches a cluster of 60 Starlink satellites in 2020. The company has put hundreds of satellites into orbit.  (SpaceX, Twitter - image credit)
A SpaceX craft launches a cluster of 60 Starlink satellites in 2020. The company has put hundreds of satellites into orbit. (SpaceX, Twitter - image credit)

Starting Tuesday, Nova Scotians who live in hard-to-connect parts of Nova Scotia will be able to hook up to the Starlink satellite network and have their hardware and installation costs covered by the province.

The Satellite Internet Service Rebate program will be available to about 3,700 homes and businesses and provide up to $1,000 per home or business owner. StarLink says it costs $759 to buy the hardware and $140 a month to access the service.

Nova Scotians who get the grant for installation and hardware will pay the monthly fee themselves.

Susan Corkum-Greek, the minister for economic development, says Starlink, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, is currently the only company providing upload and download speeds that the province considers fast speed enough to qualify.

"I am very encouraged by some investments that I understand will be made by other entities. New Brunswick-based Explore Net is looking at some additional satellite capacity," said Corkum-Greek. "You know, I will be very glad when there are certainly additional choices for the consumer, as I believe that is always a good thing."

Nova Scotians can check their eligibility for the program, starting Tuesday, by visiting Develop Nova Scotia's rebate page and inputting their address.

The province has set aside $3.7 million for this rebate program.

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