High Speed Internet Announcement Made Today In Kahnawake

Written by on July 21, 2021

A major announcement in Kahnawake this morning concerning Internet and accessibility for First Nations. At the news conference, held at the Kahnawake Sports Complex, a $94 million dollar added financial investment – split between the provincial and federal governments – will further add an extra 18,200 homes connected to high-speed internet service. Indigenous Services Minister Mark Miller:

“This is  a resilient community, it’s an amazing community, it’s great to be in it. Sadly, as I’ve mentioned earlier, we’ve been a part for far too long during this pandemic so it’s great to be back here with this great announcement. Even though it’s only about getting Internet into communities, we’ve forced people to stay home, education has had to be at home and having improper Internet has impeded kids ability to get properly educated and that’s something that’s so important particularly in some of these difficult days.”

First Nations Wireless, Now First Nations Fiber, Director of Operations Kameron Lahache on local hiring expected through the investment:

“There’s still a large portion of the surveys that need to be done, right now we’re about 25% complete. Our timeline of having the entire community surveyed and our permits submitted to Bell and Hydro is by December of this year. However, we are doing this in a phased approached. We’ve divided the community into 5 sectors, so right now we’re working on sectors 1 and 2 and as a sector is completed and as we receive permits for those sectors, construction will begin in those areas.”

Quebec Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lafreniere on accessibility to high-speed connectivity especially in a community like Kahnawà:ke where many children faced difficulties with online schooling because of poor internet connections:

“In today’s world and you have a business and you’re not reachable with high speed Internet, let’s say that you don’t have the same chances than the other communities, so that’s why it’s so important. And it’s not over, today is one announcement, it’s not over, we have 2 pockets here and there that were not reached. You know the goal that we have by September 2022, every family in Quebec will be connected, this is the same goal that we have but that we need to still have a lot of work to do.”

Collaboration with telecommunications organizations and companies, the addition of a deadline with penalties to new contracts and the coverage of all households located in the region where the projects are deployed are elements will ensure the effective deployment of high-speed internet service.

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