K-Net Staff Complete C-Band Satellite Conversion

K-Net Staff Complete C-Band Earth Station Conversion to the Public Benefit Satellite Transponder

Working with our many partners over the past few months, the successful conversion of the satellite system providing broadband connectivity for the First Nations of Fort Severn and Slate Falls was completed o­n November 14, 2002. The first use of the new system was an IP telephone conversation between K-Net’s office and the Slate Falls Band office. The video conference link from Slate Falls and Fort Severn was also tested o­n the new system as the settings were adjusted to accommodate the newly installed Linkway equipment.

Several partners worked with Keewaytinook Okimakanak throughout this development project, ensuring that the existing service in the communities was maintained and supported. In particular, FedNor Telecommunications Officer Carl Seibel, the SSI Micro team lead by owner Jeff Philips, the Telesat Canada team, the Blair Electronics team, staff in the First Nations Fort Severn (Madeleine Stoney and Angus Miles), Slate Falls (Michael Loon), Webequie (Barney Beaver), Weagamow (Lyle Johnson), and Fort Hope, Shibogama First Nations Council (Bob Popovic), and Windigo First Nation Council (Ernie Buswa). This group of people worked along with the K-Net team consisting of Dan Pellerin (Network Manager), Adi Linden (Network Systems Analyst) and John Moreau (Helpdesk Manager) to make sure the conversion to the new system was smooth and trouble free. Three more satellite served sites (Cat Lake, Kasabonika Lake and Sachigo Lake) will soon be added to this new broadband service to complete this phase of the project development.

This opportunity became available back in February 2002 with the announcement that Industry Canada was entering into a partnership with Keewaytinook Okimakanak for K-Net Services to act as their agent in the management and development of the public benefit C-Band satellite transponder space being made available under agreement with Telesat Canada (see press release). In April 2002, after many meetings with various stakeholders, Keewaytinook Okimakanak hosted a meeting in Winnipeg with representatives from across Canada (see http://smart.knet.ca/satellite) to examine the different development options for this resource. Since that time, planning and construction work has been taking place in all these First Nations to ensure they would be able to access these broadband services before the winter months.

Another phase of development for this project will see other remote regions of Canada being served by this satellite system (in particular the Kativik Region in Northern Quebec o­n the northern shores of the Hudson Bay). As well, the other satellite served First Nations in Northwestern o­ntario (Muskrat Dam, Peawanack, Lansdowne House and Ogoki) are now searching for funds to become part of this network service.

Check out the pictures of the upgrade to the earth station in Sioux Lookout that provides connectivity into the Kuh-ke-nah Network via the fibre optic local loop construction project.