Major Rural Broadband Network in Cumberland and Colchester

One of the largest optic fibre-based high speed internet networks in rural Canada is being built in the Municipalities of Colchester and Cumberland. An Agreement between the Municipalities and Xplornet Communications Inc. was signed on August 21st following unanimous approval of both Councils.

“This considerable investment paves the way for a bright future for our region” said Cumberland Warden Al Gillis at the online signing event. Colchester Mayor Christine Blair pointed to the value of municipal collaboration: “Our work together on broadband and the new Geopark should be celebrated.” The Cumberland-Colchester project was selected for funding by Develop Nova Scotia in its first round of approvals under the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative. A Joint Internet Improvement Committee made up of Councillors and staff is overseeing the municipal component of the project.

Xplornet will invest $34 million toward the $61.1 million project. The Province will contribute $21.1 million from the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust. The two Municipalities will pay a combined $6 million over the next three to five years. Cumberland’s share will be $3,327,600 and Colchester’s $2,672,400, reflecting the amount of fibre in each jurisdiction. The network infrastructure will be Open Access for other internet service providers to rent wholesale capacity.

The network will consist of 19 fixed-wireless towers and approximately 670 kilometres of optic fibre, including over 500 km. of new fibre. It will have capacity to serve 100% of civic addresses in the combined Counties, including 24,400 addresses currently not covered. Wireless services require line-of-sight. Xplornet will offer up to 100 Mbps service to 22,500 of these currently underserved addresses and up to 50 Mbps satellite service for the remaining 1,900 addresses. As many as 3,500 civic addresses will have access to fibre-to-the-home service. Unlimited data packages priced at $99 will be available.

A unique aspect of the project is acquisition by the Municipalities of Cumberland and Colchester of use of two pairs of ‘dark fibres’ (optic fibres for exclusive use) on the entire new network. This will position the Municipalities to partner on innovative ventures in coming years. “At Xplornet, we have been proud to take the lead in expanding high-speed Internet to rural homes and businesses in Nova Scotia,” said Jeff Burlock, Executive Vice-President and Co-Founder of Xplornet, “ Colchester and Cumberland believe in a bright future for rural communities, and we’re excited to be working with them.”

The project is well underway, with new wireless service offered in many areas. Network completion is expected within three years.


Media contact:
Mark Austin, Economic Developer
Municipality of Colchester
902 956 2711

Parrsboro Wastewater System Treatment Plant Overview

A overview of the Parrsboro Wastewater System & Treatment Plant project has been published here: 

The information provided in the overview is intended to give the residents of the community of Parrsboro a summary of the wastewater collection and treatment plant project, from conception to present day.

Springhill Water Utility Customers - Water Conservation Advisory

The prolonged hot, dry weather has resulted in low water levels in Leamington Brook, which supplies the Springhill Water Utility.

In order to conserve water, the Springhill Water Utility is instituting mandatory water conservation restrictions for all residents and businesses supplied by the Springhill Water Utility, until further notice.

The water conservation measures include:

  • No lawn, garden, plant watering or other outside water usage
  • No car/RV or other vehicle washing at home.
  • Commercial car washes remain available for the time being. 

Other measures residents can do to help conserve water include:

  • Repair leaking plumbing fixtures
  • Take shorter showers
  • Install low flow shower heads and appliances
  • Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Turn off the water while brushing teeth 

These water restrictions are being implemented to maintain essential water service for all customers and protect the Leamington Brook watershed. Conserving water will help avoid a potentially serious situation involving boil water orders or future water outages.

Dry Wells and Water Shortage

The Cumberland Region, along with many parts of Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, has experienced very little rainfall over the past two months. This has resulted in low water for many residents who get their water from wells.

In an effort to determine the scope and areas hardest hit, residents are asked to fill out the information in this document.  This will help us understand the extent of water shortage and determine available options.

Click READ MORE for information on public water faucets across the Cumberland Region where residents are able to fill drinkable water containers. Information on large water deliver service is also noted.

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Public Hearings September 9, 2020

The Municipality of Cumberland will be holding Public Hearings on the following topics:

  • Public Sewer By-Law
  • Local Improvement By-Law

Date of Public Hearings: Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Public Hearings are open to the public and ensure residents have an opportunity to provide Council their comments and concerns regarding the by-laws. During the COVID-19 pandemic Council is holding virtual meetings.

For methods on how to particpate please read more

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Natal Day Hours 2020

In recognition of Natal Day, Service Centres be observing holiday time on Monday, August 3, 2020. 

Service Centres will reopen, Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at current business operating hours.

For emergencies with public sewer, water or bylaw enforcement, during this time please call (902) 667-2358

Special Council Meeting

It was the consensus of Council to have the Shinimicas Department attend a Council Meeting in August 19, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. to make a presentation to Council on the requirements for the proposed new fire hall and equipment

Municipality of Cumberland to go blue this weekend!!

The Municipality of Cumberland is participating in Operation Bluenose this weekend with light-ups planned around the municipality. Operation Bluenose, a three-night vigil, is planned for this weekend to recognize the strength of Nova Scotians and honour those we have lost this year.

Municipal locations which will be illuminated in blue include:

• E.D. Fullerton Building, Upper Nappan

• Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre, Springhill

• Parrsboro Bandstand

• Wentworth Firehall

You can also take part by lighting up your own homes or businesses in blue. Images shared on social media can be included by using the hashtag #OperationBluenose.

We remind those going to check out or photograph the illuminated structures to please follow all Nova Scotia Government COVID-19 public health measures, guidelines, and restrictions.

For more information on Operation Bluenose, please visit: