SKYE GLEN: A very welcome piece of infrastructure will bear the name of a very special family in the community of Skye Glen.

“We are pleased to be part of a project that will bring improved Internet access to the Skye Glen area,” said Keith MacDonald, president and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership. “Upgrading Internet service is essential to helping our businesses grow and succeed, and to attracting new people to our rural communities.”

Last Friday, a special event was held at the Skye Glen and Centreville Community Hall relating to a newly-completed digital Internet tower in the area.

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The tower, owned and maintained by Seaside Wireless Communications, increases Internet bandwidth from 1.5 Megabytes per second (Mbps) to 10 Mbps for the communities of Centreville, Nevada Valley, Brook Village, East Skye Glen, Skye Glen, and Stewartdale.

An estimated 400 residents will benefit from the upgrade, as will nine farms and the community hall.

MacDonald was speaking at the event, where the name of the tower was made official. It was christened MacInnis Tower.

“The MacInnis family was one of the first to move to this area,” MacDonald said. “There’s a lot of connectivity between this project and the family.”

Photo by Grant McDaniel
Seen here after the new digital Internet tower was officially named are (from the left): John MacLennan, Councillor for District 4; Betty Ann MacQuarrie, Warden for Inverness County; Merryl Bustin, who submitted the MacInnis family name to the Name the Tower competition; David Horton, Chief Operating Officer of Seaside Wireless Communications; and Keith MacDonald, president and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership.

The naming of the tower arose from a competition launched earlier this year by the Partnership through the Cape Breton Regional Enterprise Network (CBREN). The “Name the Tower” contest began after provincial funding was secured to install the tower. That funding was part of the Liberal government’s decision to invest $1.44 million into the Municipal and Community Rural High-Speed Internet Funding Program.

A press release from the Cape Breton Partnership said the reasons to name the tower after the MacInnis family were very convincing. Members of the MacInnis family are some of the longest-standing residents in the area, and the site of the new tower is on land previously owned by Spurgeon MacInnis.

Merryl Bustin was one of the locals who nominated the MacInnis name.

“The first settlers that came from Scotland and farmed in the area, at least on that side of the river, were MacInnis, and their descendants are still here with us,” he said, adding that he’s very happy to have improved internet service. “The technology is great. It brought us into the 20th century.”

Bustin was presented a plaque that indicates the tower is now bearing the MacInnis name. One of the folks who presented it to him was David Horton, Chief Operating Officer of Seaside Wireless Communications.

Horton said his business is very happy to be brining quicker Internet service to the area.

“We’re very happy to partner with the Cape Breton Partnership and the REN on this particular project,” he said. “I think, as any of the municipal politicians will tell you, rural broadband is in great demand these days, and I think there are more opportunities moving forward to partner with municipalities and RENS on projects similar to this.”

Commemorative signage will be installed on the site of the tower in the coming weeks.

Photo by Grant McDaniel
(From the left): Donald, Jackie, and Blair MacInnis are seen here with Keith MacDonald, the President and CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership.