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Oct 27, 2022
WINNIPEG, MB -Manitoba’s largest Indigenous network, Broadband Communications North (BCN), announced a pilot project that will bring high-speed internet to the Manto Sipi Cree Nation at the Indigenous Connectivity Summit this week. In partnership with ROCK Networks, a leading provider of wireless, broadband, and satellite solutions, and OneWeb, the global communications network powered from space, the pilot is the first step in connecting 24 First Nations communities in Northern Manitoba in the next five years.
“With high-speed internet, members of the Manto Sipi Cree Nation will finally have access to vital services that those in urban areas take for granted,” said Jason Neepin, Executive Director of BCN. “The project will have a monumental impact on the community. Residents will be able to access telemedicine, distance learning, and remote work. Internet access can also improve justice, governance, and economic outcomes in the areas we serve.”
With no access road, it is critical that equipment is transported to the community during the ice road season in January and February. If this timeline is met, the service will be up and running by the spring.
The network will be powered by OneWeb’s constellation of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites. This cutting-edge technology delivers faster speeds and lower latency than traditional satellite internet. ROCK Networks will integrate the system into BCN’s existing network. Additionally, ROCK Networks will monitor the connection and provide ongoing support to BCN.
“CRTC data shows that only 4% of Indigenous communities in Manitoba have access to speeds that meet the CRTC’s minimum of 50/10 Mbps,” said Joe Hickey, President and CEO of ROCK Networks. “To us, that number is unacceptable. As a valued OneWeb Canadian distribution partner, we can leverage innovative new connectivity solutions to significantly increase the availability of high-speed internet access in Canada’s rural, remote, and Indigenous communities.”
“This new installation marks a significant milestone in the realization of OneWeb, BCN and ROCK Networks’ shared commitment to bridging the digital divide across Canada,” said Howard Stanley, Vice President, Americas of OneWeb. “Reliable, high-performance internet service has never been more important or necessary, particularly for the Indigenous and rural communities that still face enormous connectivity gaps. With the innovative power of our LEO satellites and the on-the-ground dedication of our friends at BCN and ROCK Networks, we can help ensure that members of the Manto Sipi Cree Nation and other First Nations communities in North Manitoba – as well people all across the globe – can access the vital services they need, from distance learning to business services to telehealth to telework.”
BCN, ROCK Networks, and OneWeb are working with governmental partners to ensure project deadlines are met in order to deliver equipment to BCN-supported communities during the 2023 ice road season.
About ROCK Networks
ROCK Networks is an end-to-end communications systems integrator with a variety of wireless and broadband solutions. We have served a wide range of corporate and government customers within the public safety, energy, transportation, construction, and manufacturing sectors for nearly 40 years. Our customers trust us to provide industry-leading devices and services, nimble solutions, seamless integration, and best-in-class technical support.
Our eight areas of communications expertise are Two-Way Radios & Rugged Devices; Next Generation 9-1-1; Broadband, Wireless, and Rural Broadband Networks; Wi-Fi solutions; IoT; Predictive Analytics and Disaster Recovery; Satellite access and Antennas, and Mobility Products and Services. We have national capabilities with locations in Ottawa, Ontario; St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; Dartmouth and Sydney, Nova Scotia; Moncton, New Brunswick; and Alberta. Find out more at www.rocknetworks.com.
For further information: Nadine Mansour, Vice President of Marketing & Business Operations, ROCK Networks, [email protected], 613-297-1715, www.rocknetworks.com
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