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Telesat brings broadband communications to 30 aboriginal communities

Telesat, Industry Canada and Aboriginal partners from Ontario, Qubec and Manitoba have launched the Northern Indi...


January 20, 2005  


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Telesat, Industry Canada and Aboriginal partners from Ontario, Qubec and Manitoba have launched the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network (NICSN.

The network will bring telehealth, distance education, video conferencing and other critical services to 30 remote communities.

Telesat provided two C-band satellite channels for the federal government to use to serve public institutions in remote areas of Canada. The NICSN will use this valuable capacity to provide high-quality video, audio and data communications to participating communities.

In 1999, the company began working with Keewaytinook Okimakanak in Northern Ontario to explore ways of delivering broadband services to the satellite-served community of Fort Severn.

This relationship expanded over the ensuing years as KO took on the challenge of managing Industry Canada’s Aboriginal SMART Communities Demonstration Project.

The introduction of the federal government’s National Satellite Initiative in 2003 contributed further to the development of NICSN by providing the additional transponder space that allowed Northern Manitoba and Nunavik to join the network.

Telesat’s contribution of capacity represents an investment in NICSN of $20 million. This has been complemented by a government investment, through FedNor, of more than $12 millon for community/satellite infrastructure.