Bridging the Digital Divide: Distributel and Eeyou Communications Partner to Deliver Residential Broadband to Quebec Cree of Eeyou Istchee and Municipalities in the James Bay Region
MONTREAL, Jan. 17, 2018 /CNW/ - Distributel Communications Limited and Eeyou Communications Network (ECN) are bridging Canada's digital divide with a groundbreaking new partnership.
Beginning this spring, the Distributel/ECN alliance will deliver a triple play bundle of residential High Speed Internet, home phone and television services to the Cree communities of Eeyou Istchee and to the municipalities of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region in northern Quebec, using the new ECN Fibre to the Home network.
The partnership addresses the crucial challenge of bringing advanced telecommunications services to remote and underserved communities, particularly in northern Canada. In late 2016, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) declared that broadband Internet was a basic telecommunications service for all Canadians, highlighting barriers to access in many remote and Indigenous communities such as inadequate infrastructure. In a report to the federal government Innovations Agenda, the CRTC cited ECN for its unique approach to building connected communities.
Set to launch this spring, Distributel will provide its leading High Speed Internet, TV and home phone services to more than 4,000 homes in the region and offer a significantly improved customer experience versus the costly and unreliable satellite-delivered TV and slow speed DSL Internet currently available.
"Distributel is proud to be working with ECN to help close the broadband gap in northern Quebec," said Matt Stein, CEO of Distributel. "Improving access to broadband and other services is essential for improving the quality of life, enhancing economic prospects, and encouraging connected and engaged communities. Bridging the digital divide is a critical issue for Canada and we are pleased to lend our expertise and experience to the challenge, as a pioneer of the independent service provider industry in Canada."
Alfred Loon, President of Eeyou Communications Network, stated that: "Delivering High Speed Internet, television and residential phone services over our fibre network in the north is an important first for Canada and a significant milestone for ECN. In selecting Distributel as our triple play partner, we are joining forces with a national provider that clearly understands the Quebec residential market and that can serve the unique needs of our communities in Eeyou Istchee James Bay. Distributel brings substantial experience in customer management systems and a commitment to customer service. Triple play telecom services are in high demand in our area and we look forward to the rollout and to an ongoing collaboration with Distributel."
Industry Leading High Speed Internet, Phone and TV Service Coming to 8 Communities in Region
In the spring of 2018, Distributel will launch a triple play service bundle featuring High Speed Internet with speeds up to 1 Gbps, home phone with 12 features and long distance included, and a TV offer of more than 100 channels from Canada, the U.S. and around the world. As part of the Distributel partnership with ECN, services will be available to more than 4,000 homes in Wemindji, Eastmain, Waskaganish, Waswanipi, Ouje-Bougoumou, Nemaska, Mistissini and Radisson. Retail pricing will be comparable to similar residential services in Montreal and Québec City.
Distributel Committed to Identifying Additional Opportunities to Deliver Broadband to Remote and Underserved Communities
The Distributel/ECN partnership offers an important opportunity to eliminate Canada's digital divide through identifying solutions that address the service gaps in northern and remote communities identified by the CRTC. Based on solutions from the ECN partnership, Distributel is committed to looking for similar opportunities to collaborate with other broadband carriers to bring residential services to other remote regions and municipalities.
"We look forward to working closely with ECN, its partners and the community to examine new ways to meet the challenge of the digital divide by bridging the broadband gap and transform the lives of people in remote and underserved communities," said Distributel CEO Matt Stein.
About Distributel Communications Limited
Established in 1988, Distributel is a leading national, independent telecommunications provider offering a wide range of business and residential communications services. 100% Canadian-owned, with offices across the country and a National network, Distributel continues to forge new partnerships and bring innovative solutions to market directly and through a thriving Wholesale division. ThinkTel, the Business Services Division of Distributel, is a provider of advanced voice and data services for the SMB and Enterprise markets throughout Canada. As a top Microsoft Solutions Partner and a Cisco PMP, the Business Services division is focused on driving industry innovation. For more information, visit: www.distributel.ca.
About Eeyou Communications Network (ECN)
A not-for-profit corporation founded in 2004, the Eeyou Communications Network is the result of an initiative of the Cree Nation Government, the Administration régionale Baie James, the Comission Scolaire de la Baie James and the Cree School Board. ECN was established to provide modern telecommunications services and to develop the social economy within the 14 communities of Eeyou Istchee and James Bay for the benefit of the population, institutions and local businesses, including hospitals, schools and municipal administrations. For more information, visit: www.eeyou.ca.
SOURCE Distributel Communications Limited
For further information: Katie Skinner, Broad Reach Communications, T: 647-525-6148, E: kskinner@BRPR.ca