by the IT Team at AA Munro

One of AA Munro Insurance’s key differentiators among many other insurance companies and businesses in general is that we are “community-based.” We work where we live and supporting the local economy in rural Nova Scotia is very important to us. This provides us with greater insight into the local community’s culture, their needs and struggles, and allows us to engage with our customers on that level. We would also like to think that it gives our customers a sense of confidence and security, knowing that we are just “down the street” and can be reached very easily.

But our desire to remain in some of these rural communities often comes at a cost. To operate our business effectively requires high-speed and reliable internet access, and in some of our rural communities we either don’t have that access, or have to pay higher fees for more expensive leased lines. Our Whycocomagh office, for instance, pays almost double the cost for internet access of our Lower Sackville office—and is 30 times slower!

This puts a hardship on the business as well as the community. Slow and unreliable internet circuits often result in delays in responding to our customers, longer office visits and overall frustration for both broker and customer.

Studies have found that broadband access leads to more new businesses in rural areas, and that high levels of broadband adoption are associated with increased median household incomes and lower unemployment levels for rural residents.

Rural communities of Nova Scotia are a great place to both work and live, but the challenges of proper connectivity to the rest of the world has to be addressed in order for these communities to grow and thrive with their urban counterparts.