Canada's New Government provides $20.65M for wider broadband access to 43 northern communities



    KUUJJUAQ, QC, Aug. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Residents of 43 northern communities
in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba can soon expect wider access to broadband
service and its benefits thanks to a commitment from Canada's New Government
to provide up to $20.65 million to purchase new satellite infrastructure.
    The announcement was made today by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Ms. Maggie Emudluk,
Chairperson of the Kativik Regional Government, representing the Northern
Indigenous Community Satellite Network (NICSN). The NICSN involves a
partnership among three Organizations: the Kativik Regional Government (KRG)
in Quebec; the Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC) in Manitoba; and the Keewaytinook
Okimakanak Tribal Council (KOTC) in Ontario.
    "Broadband is a key piece of infrastructure for 21st Century communities
to help support their economic growth and prosperity," said Minister Cannon.
"Canada's New Government is pleased to partner with the Kativik Regional
Government and the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network on this
initiative that will provide residents with improved access to a wide range of
services and will help stimulate economic development and enhance people's
quality of life. E-health and tele-eduation are just two services this
investment will open up."
    "With the ever increasing use of technology in a very short period of
time, we have witnessed an increased consumption of broadband use to the point
that important services such as tele-health and tele-education could not
benefit from this technology. Therefore, this announcement will allow us to
provide these important services to the region," said Ms. Emudluk.
    Canada's New Government is contributing up to $20.65 million, or 75 per
cent of the $27.5 million cost, for the procurement of two satellite
transponders and the required earth station and local access network upgrades.
The funding is made available through the Government of Canada's National
Satellite Initiative (NSI). The remaining 25 per cent ($6.88 million) will
come from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund ($1.8 million), the Government of
Québec's Villages branchés program ($2.2 million) and Telesat Canada
($2.88 million).
    This project complements an initiative of the first round of the NSI,
which allocated one Public Benefit Transponder (PBT) to NICSN to provide
service to public institutions in the 43 communities. The funding announced
today will enable the provision of broadband services to all members of the
community.
    Financial support for this project is conditional on meeting applicable
federal requirements, including the successful completion of environmental
assessments required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the
successful negotiation of a contribution agreement.
    This is the first NSI project to be announced in Quebec. Two other NSI
projects have received funding to date: one in Nunavut, and the other in the
Northwest Territories.
    Through its unprecedented $33-billion "Building Canada" plan, Canada's
New Government will help meet infrastructure needs across Canada through
long-term, stable and predictable funding. "Building Canada" will support a
stronger, safer and better country, through infrastructure projects that
support cleaner air and water, a stronger economy, and a better quality of
life for our communities.

    
                                 ------------
                                 BACKGROUNDER
                                 ------------


         CANADA'S NEW GOVERNMENT PROVIDES $20.65M FOR WIDER BROADBAND
                      ACCESS TO 43 NORTHERN COMMUNITIES


    Project Description
    -------------------

    Canada's New Government is contributing up to $20.65 million, up to 75 per
cent of the $27.5 million cost, for this multi-jurisdictional project that
will provide additional bandwidth to 43 communities in the northern regions of
Québec, Manitoba and Ontario, serving over 46,000 people.
    These communities currently have access to limited bandwidth that can not
meet current or future community needs. The project announced today involves
the provision of two satellite transponders that will provide bandwidth not
only to public institutions, but to the entire communities they serve. To
support this bandwidth, the project will also upgrade the satellite earth
stations and local access networks within the communities where required.
    This additional bandwidth will enable enhanced delivery of government
services through e-governance; improved delivery of justice, education and
healthcare services with the use of videoconferencing; and improved economic
development and e-commerce for communities.
    Canada's New Government will provide this funding to the Kativik Regional
Government (KRG) on behalf of the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite
Network (NICSN). The NICSN involves a partnership among three organizations:
the Kativik Regional Government (KRG) in Quebec; the Keewatin Tribal Council
(KTC) in Manitoba; and the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council (KOTC) in
Ontario.
    NICSN currently operates a satellite network that provides the
43 communities with broadband capacity for public institutions. Each of these
communities is equipped with a state of the art satellite earth station. A
master earth station located in Sioux Lookout, Ontario serves as the Internet
gateway and network management center.
    The remaining 25 per cent of the funding for this project ($6.88 million)
will come from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund ($1.8 million), the
Government of Québec's Villages branchés program ($2.2 million) and Telesat
Canada ($2.88 million).

    Project Benefits
    ----------------

    This project will enable the provision of broadband services to all
members of the 43 communities. Through this project, increased access to
broadband will help to improve quality of life and social development. It will
also increase the potential for innovation and economic development in
Canada's communities by connecting Canadians and improving the electronic
delivery of public services such as health, education and government services.

    Government of Canada Funding Sources
    ------------------------------------

    Funding for this broadband project falls under the National Satellite
Initiative (NSI), which was launched by Industry Canada in partnership with
Infrastructure Canada, and the Canadian Space Agency. NSI was created to make
available affordable satellite capacity for the deployment of broadband
services (such as tele-health, tele-education, e-commerce, etc.) to
communities in the far to mid-north, and in isolated and remote areas of
Canada, where satellite technology is the only practical solution.
    ROUND 1: The Industry Canada Component (C-Band Credit), which is now
completed, consisted of providing satellite capacity from Telesat Canada's
Public Benefit Transponder (PBT), valued at $20 million over 15 years, to
deploy public and community-based services to remote communities.
    Under Round 1, one PBT was allocated to NICSN to provide service to public
institutions in the 43 communities. The PBT provides NICSN with 36 MHz of
satellite capacity supporting 31 Mbps of usable bandwidth.
    ROUND 2: The Government of Canada's Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund
allocated $85 million to the NSI to fund the acquisition of satellite capacity
and common ground infrastructure for satellite-based broadband projects in
isolated and remote communities across Canada.
    Under Round 2, up to $20.65 million is being provided to fund two
satellite transponders and to upgrade the satellite earth stations and local
access networks for 43 communities in the northern regions of Québec, Manitoba
and Ontario.
    Two other projects have been announced under the NSI to date from Round 2:

    - Nunavut - $7.83M to provide broadband service via satellite to all
      25 communities in Nunavut
    - Northwest Territories - $7.0M to provide broadband service via
      satellite to 31 communities in the Northwest Territories


     Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network Communities

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manitoba                  Ontario                       Quebec
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Barren Lands FN           Attawapiskat First Nation     Aupaluk
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Garden Hill FN            Cat Lake First Nation         Akulivik
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manto Sipi Cree Nation    Fort Severn                   Inukjuak
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    God's Lake FN             Fort Hope                     Kangiqsujuaq
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Northlands Dene FN        Kasabonika Lake               Kangiqsualujjuaq
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bunibonibee Cree FN       Lansdowne House               Kangirsuk
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Poplar River FN           Martin Falls                  Kuujjuaq
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mathias Colomb
     Cree Nation              Muskrat Dam                   Kuujjuarapik
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shamattawa
     First Nation             Peawanuck                     Ivujivik
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sayisi Dene FN            Sachigo Lake                  Puvirnituk
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ste Theresa Point FN      Slate Falls                   Quaqtaq
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Red Sucker Lake FN        Weagamow Lake                 Salluit
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wasagamack                Webequie                      Tasiujaq
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Berens                                                  Umiujaq
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mosakahikan Cree Nation
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bloodvein FN
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary to the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, (613) 991-0700; Infrastructure Canada,
Communications and Promotion, (613) 948-1148; Jean-Francois Dumoulin,
Assistant-Director Administration Department, IT section, Kativik Regional
Government, Montreal: (514) 745-8880 ext. 246, Kuujjuaq: (819) 964-2961 ext.
2343


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