KO partners with KRG and KTC in application for more satellite bandwidth

On Friday, June 30, the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network consortium submitted their business case requesting two additional transponders to Industry Canada's National Satellite Initiative. The business case proposes to build a second redundant hub in Montreal, construct local loops in all the partner Aboriginal communities and purchase 2 additional transponders from Telesat Canada to support broadband applications and bandwidth demands over the next ten years. Telesat Canada is partnering with the consortium to make this project possible.

Keewaytinook Okimakanak is also working with Industry Canada FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to raise the funds necessary to complete the work proposed. This includes local community networks in those unserved communities and the purchase of the bandwidth necessary to deliver these services.

From the business case Executive Summary ...

The project submission is a result of a partnership established between the Kativik Regional Government (KRG), the Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC) and Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO). Each organization serves as an operating partner in the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network (NICSN). Kativik Regional Government will be the lead agency for the project.

NICSN represents 8 underserved and 35 unserved communities in the northern regions of Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario with a combined population of 46,000 people. In order to deliver an ”equivalent to terrestrial” service, NICSN has been able to raise $8 million of the $31 million dollars as their contribution to the overall project.

We are requesting $22,138,670 from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund in order to deliver the required equivalent to terrestrial services and applications in these communities.

The project being proposed will enable the purchase of two additional transponders to augment existing capacity, and will deploy a second hub to eliminate the single point of failure which exists now. This redundant hub will support the increased demand for critical applications on the satellite network. Broadband applications such as telehealth, distance education, justice discovery and remand hearings, as well as access to government and business products and services, have exceeded existing capacity for effective delivery. The satellite network, presently operating at full capacity, cannot support any further expansion of existing applications or introduction of new ones without scaling up.

As the additional transponders are allocated, the network staff at K-Net Services in consensus with the operators will assign transponder capacity to the network operators in support of the various application demands of their clients and communities. Traffic assignments will be done from the hub site in Sioux Lookout as it does not require travel or site visits. The second hub will be located in Montreal.

The augmented bandwidth will allow for the current and requested demand for multi-site videoconferencing and will have the capacity to support multiple, simultaneous videoconferences. Benefits will accrue from reducing travel costs by shifting them to service provision, thus increasing the quality of life for citizens living in remote areas. Access to services will be improved using Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) currently in place to a fuller extent. Additionally, this will ensure the remote communities will be able to participate fully and equitably with those in the rest of Canada and become healthier places to live, work and play as a consequence of this investment.