The History of Telecommunications in the First Nation Communities of Northwestern Ontario

With more and more happening online these days, communities need a reliable, high-speed connection for school, work, fun stuff, like gaming, and just about everything. But living in the remote north of Ontario comes with its set of challenges. Some of them being connection, communication and the infrastructure associated.

Below is a brief history, in terms of telecommunications and infrastructure projects that have happened in the remote North of ON since 2002.

  • 2002/05 – Bell Microwave Towers and NICSN C-Band Satellite Network
  • 2002-2015 – Local Community Networks Built using either Co-axial Cable or Wireless Technologies
  • 2011-15 – NAN BELL Alliant NWOBEI Fibre
  • 2015-2017 Communities moved from C-Band Satellite to the new Bell Fibre
  • 2015 – Communities upgrade their main connections to 300mbps
  • 2017 – Bell Canada confirms that they cannot offer any more bandwidth on their fibre optic network due to limitations of their electronics
  • 2019- KNET submits multiple proposals to upgrade the Community Networks and Bell Fibre equipment
  • 2021 – ISED and Ontario ICON announce conditional approval
  • 2022 Feb and Nov – Signed CA with ISED and Ontario ICON

KNET is committed to partnering with communities to build First Nations capacity for connection and telecommunications expansion in the north.

Want to learn more about the Bell Fibre Ring and the history of Telecommunications in Remote First Nations of Treaty 3, 5 & 9? Comment below with your questions.