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Broadband internet coming to Iron Bridge through Television White Space

WIFI and new Television White Space (TVWS) technology will bring 50/10 Mbps broadband internet access service to the community
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NEWS RELEASE
MUNICIPALITY OF HURON SHORES
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CENGN is announcing the launch of an innovative project that will bring high-performance broadband access to Iron Bridge, while providing a model for low-cost expansion to other communities across the province. This project is part of CENGN’s Northern Ontario Residential Broadband program.

To address the needs of the Huron Shores community of Iron Bridge, Leepfrog Telecom will implement a solution that uses a combination of WIFI and new Television White Space (TVWS) technology, bringing 50/10 Mbps broadband internet access service to residences of the community.

This project promises several benefits, including:

  • 25 per cent cost savings from tower design and solar-powered equipment shed
  • 30 per cent expanded community coverage from improved wireless performance through dense tree cover
  • Access to high-availability, low cost internet access, voice-over-IP, and television services with 10x the performance and 25% lower monthly charges
  • A cost-effective model to replicate in other nearby communities

“Having reliable and high-performance internet access is a question of equality of opportunity and a key determinant of prosperity. CENGN is happy to work with innovative Canadian technology and service providers to solve the barriers to broadband access in underserved communities,” said Jean-Charles Fahmy, President and CEO of CENGN. “This project will address connectivity challenges in Iron Bridge that are also faced by other communities. By the end of the project, Ontario will have a blueprint solution to enable broadband access in communities with the same barriers.”

“Access to reliable broadband internet is essential for all Ontarians, no matter where they live. Businesses, families, schools and hospitals in rural and Northern communities need fast connections just as much as in cities,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. “Our government is committed to supporting projects like this one to ensure that communities across the province have the broadband and cellular connectivity they need and deserve.”

“Now more than ever we see the importance of broadband in underserved and unserved communities like Iron Bridge,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure.  “The digital divide is real and magnified during this COVID 19 global pandemic.  I understand this full well coming from a rural community. This investment continues to build on Ontario’s commitment to connect people reducing that digital divide.  We are moving as fast as we can to get people the services that they need.”

“Huron Shores is extremely grateful for Iron Bridge to have been chosen by CENGN for this project and we are excited to bring internet broadband performance improvements to our community.  We wish Leepfrog Telecom a very successful launch” said Mayor Georges Bilodeau.

“Leepfrog Telecom is extremely proud to provide this technology solution offering a highly cost-effective, highly resilient, fixed wireless network to make high-capacity internet access a reality for Iron Bridge residents along with very affordable telephone and TV services” said George Chriss, General Manager of Leepfrog Telecom.

This project is part of the Next Generation Network Program (NGNP), an Ontario government program powered by CENGN in partnership with the Ontario Centres of Excellence, which helps Ontario companies develop and demonstrate new wired and wireless technology, products and services. Other projects in the program are focused on smart miningsmart agriculture and autonomous vehicles.

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario has committed $63.3 million over five years to the NGNP, which is being delivered through a partnership between CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, and the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

  • This initiative aligns with Up To Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan, delivered by the Ministry of Infrastructure.

  • This project is part of the Northern Ontario Residential Broadband program, under the NGNP. CENGN is currently evaluating new project proposals and communities for upcoming rounds of the program.

  • Over the coming months, the government will be consulting on ways to encourage investment into rural and undercapitalized areas of the province with the goal of restoring Ontario’s competitiveness and allowing the private sector to create jobs and growth.

  • Broadband is a federally regulated sector and telecommunications companies provide the services.  Ontario is working with funding partners like the Federal government, municipalities and other investors to deliver broadband to our underserved and unserved communities.

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