Alderville First Nation Celebrates New High-speed Connections

ALDERVILLE FIRST NATION, ON, Nov. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - The First Nation community of Alderville today celebrated a new high speed fibre optic connection to the Internet made possible through the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN), Ontario's largest rural broadband network project.

"Access to modern, high-speed Internet is essential for First Nation communities and businesses to grow and participate in the digital economy," said Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament for Northumberland—Quinte West, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "Our government is proud to have supported this new opportunity for Alderville First Nation. This broadband network will help the community to connect with family and friends in other parts of Canada and the world."

"Improving broadband access across rural Ontario and First Nations strengthens the economy and makes the digital world available to everyone - small and medium-sized businesses, band councils, municipal governments and citizens," said the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "The Alderville network is fast enough to allow users to complete online education, video conference with family anywhere in the world and download a movie in minutes.  It's a story of progress."

"This new high-speed connection will improve the quality of services that we can provide to our community members - linking them to better health care services as well as new educational and economic opportunities," said Chief James Marsden of Alderville First Nation.

About 30 kilometres north of Cobourg, Alderville First Nation is located within Northumberland County, intersected by County Road 45, and on the south side of Rice Lake, Ontario. The First Nation community has about 300 members living in Alderville and more than 650 members who live elsewhere.

High-speed Internet connections are now available at Alderville's community centre and health services, student services and administrative offices. With download speeds of up to 10 Mbps, this will greatly enhance the services that are available at these important community hubs, such as video conference capability and enhanced health services, learning and economic opportunities.

EORN was created by the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus (EOWC) and is the province's largest rural broadband project. The $170-million initiative is supported through substantial investment from federal, provincial and local governments, along with private sector contributions.

"Today's celebration demonstrates the success that can come from working collaboratively with First Nations to achieve our shared goals of improved high-speed access," said Mel Campbell, Chair of the EOWC.

"We are excited to be launching improved high-speed connections at these important community hubs," said David Burton, Chair of EORN.

The Alderville access points connect to portions of new fibre-optic cable that was laid by Bell Aliant and Bell through the Alderville First Nation's traditional lands and treaty area. K-Net, a First Nations' information technology firm, provided additional technical support to connect the community to the fibre backbone.  In addition to these fibre connections, the Alderville First Nation will benefit from improved high-speed wireless Internet access that is being built in Northumberland County through the EORN's local access networks.

"Bell and Bell Aliant are very pleased to partner with the Alderville First Nation and EORN to provide consumers in the Alderville area with high-speed Internet access," said Jean-Clément Drolet, Vice-President, Wireline Network for Bell. "As Canada's leaders in network investments, we're proud to be playing a leading role in bringing Canada's best broadband networks to underserved areas."

Funding from the Government of Canada comes from the Building Canada Fund - Major Infrastructure Component, which targets larger, strategic projects of national or regional significance.

For additional information about Canada's investments in infrastructure and to stay up-to-date with Web feeds, visit infrastructure.gc.ca.

For more information on how Ontario is revitalizing its infrastructure, visit ontario.ca/infrastructure.

Disponible en français

SOURCE: Eastern Ontario Regional Network

For further information:

Geneviève Sicard
Press Secretary Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
613-991-0700

Mark Cripps
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
416-326-3069

Lisa Severson
Eastern Ontario Regional Network
613-213-8520

Dave Simpson
Alderville First Nation
905-352-2662

Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251 or toll-free 1-877-250-7154