Nova Scotia Is on the Fast Lane of the Information Highway

[HSO]You don't have to be in the Media Centre or a special high technology exhibit to encounter the Internet in Nova Scotia --- just walk into the Second Cup on Spring Garden Road, and the Internet is available with your coffee.

[HSO]Nova Scotia is leading the country in terms of interest in, and use of, the Internet. A 1994 study by Gallup Inc. for Andersen Consulting found that awareness of the Information Highway was highest in Atlantic Canada ( 60.8 per cent of those surveyed) and that Atlantic Canadians were the most willing (65.6 per cent compared to 54.9 per cent for the rest of Canada) to pay a fee for an information highway connection to their home.

[HSO]According to May, 1995 figures available from CA-Net (Canada's Internet backbone), residents of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are the first and second heaviest Internet users, per capita, in Canada. Also, out-going traffic from Nova Scotia is the highest in the country - in other words, Nova Scotia is the largest supplier of information on the Internet. Observers attribute the pervasiveness of the Internet to the high number of academics and researchers located at the province's many universities and research institutions, as well as the broad geographical coverage available to the province's population, through NSTN Incorporated. Based in Dartmouth, NSTN Incorporated is Canada's largest Internet service provider. The company provides services in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario, and is growing by 15 per cent a month.

[HSO]Metro Halifax residents are also served by other commercial services, as well as the Chebucto Community Net, which has made Halifax Summit information available on its system. The Chebucto system uses Chebucto Suite, a hypertext-based software package designed in Halifax and now used by a number of freenets around the world. Chebucto is also growing at 15 per cent per month.

[HSO]Finally, Nova Scotia is home to NovaKnowledge, a non-profit organization which is working to establish a knowledge-based economy in Nova Scotia. NovaKnowledge projects include Technology Recycling, which collects and refurbishes computers and software which is no longer needed, and distributes it to schools. So far, the Nova Scotia Technology Recycling project, initiated in January 1994, has provided 800 computers to the province's schools. The program began as an Industry Canada-sponsored pilot project in Nova Scotia, and was later expanded to a national program - Computers for Schools.

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