Bell Aliant announced this week it will spend $55 million in order to bring a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network to approximately 160,000 homes and businesses in the Halifax Regional Municipality by the middle of this year.

FTTH connectivity is notable because it allows telecommunications providers to offer numerous services such as high definition television along with very fast internet speeds.

This is the second FTTH announcement by Aliant in Nova Scotia. Last spring, the company announced a $15 investment to bring FTTH to 30,000 homes in Sydney. The Government of Nova Scotia contributed $2 million to the project.

Branded as FibreOP, the service will be available to customers in Halifax, Dartmouth, Eastern Passage, Cole Harbour, Sackville, Hammonds Plains, Waverley, Timberlea, Spryfield, Bedford, St. Margaret’s Bay and Lake Echo starting in mid-2011. Customers in Sydney and Sydney River currently have FibreOP service, to be followed by Glace Bay, North Sydney, Sydney Mines and New Waterford later this year.

Once the FTTH network becomes available, Bell says customers will be able to sign up for premium Internet service with download speeds of up to 170 Mbps and upload speeds of 30 Mbps.

Bell Aliant says that it expects to have FTTH service available to over 600,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2012.

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