Published: January 18, 2021 and original media release can be found here: https://www.cengn.ca/cengn-announces-northern-ontario-broadband-project-in-ahmic-harbour/
MULTI-TOWER WIRELESS ACCESS APPROACH WILL BRING HIGH-PERFORMANCE INTERNET TO AHMIC HARBOUR AND AHMIC LAKE AREA
CENGN is announcing the launch of an innovative project that will bring high-performance broadband access to the village of Ahmic Harbour and the Ahmic Lake Area within the Municipality of Magnetawan. This project is part of CENGN’s Northern Ontario Residential Broadband program and will serve as a model for high-performance service expansion across large lakes for other communities across the province.
SPECTRUM TELECOM SELECTED TO PROVIDE BROADBAND SOLUTION IN AHMIC HARBOUR AND LAKE AREA
Internet Service Provider, Spectrum Telecom, was selected to address the needs of the Ahmic Harbour and Ahmic Lake area. Supported by program funding, the service provider will build 3 new self-supporting towers and use both licensed and unlicensed fixed wireless access (FWA) technologies to bring a range of broadband internet access services to the residents of Ahmic Lake. The FWA technologies will include 5GHz WIFI and 3.65GHz LTE, allowing for services up to 50 Mbps Down/10 Mbps Up.
This project promises several benefits, including:
- Multi-tower placement on both sides of the lake to ensure wider coverage for residents, and superior signal strength for higher speed internet access.
- Self-supporting tower designs with small area requirements, allowing towers to be built on narrow unused road allowances.
- 50% cost savings over alternative deployment options.
- Fast network deployment timeframe, becoming operational by end of 2021.
“CENGN is pleased to work with our partners to bring reliable, high-speed broadband internet access to the under-served area of Ahmic Lake,” said Jean-Charles Fahmy, President and CEO of CENGN. “This project identifies key innovation approaches to offering significantly improved broadband coverage across large lakes. By supporting and documenting Spectrum Telecom’s implementation of broadband internet services at Ahmic Lake, we will gain a strong blueprint to help address the business and technological challenges of similar communities in Northern Ontario and across the province.”
“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 urban areas,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. “This innovative new project will mean secure and reliable internet connectivity for the Ahmic Lake Area, bringing long-overdue cost-effective and high-speed solutions for those who live and work in the region.”
“Now more than ever, we see the importance of broadband in underserved and unserved communities like Ahmic Harbour,” 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 connecting people and reducing that digital divide. We are moving as fast as we can to get people the services that they need.”
“The Municipality of Magnetawan is very excited to have been selected to participate in a CENGN program that encourages the development of broadband infrastructure in our municipality” stated Sam Dunnett, Mayor of the Municipality of Magnetawan. “The strategic location of these 3 new towers in the Ahmic Lake Area, and the upgrade of the existing tower in Magnetawan, is a leap forward in getting us good coverage throughout the Municipality. Promoting the development of good community-wide broadband infrastructure that enables our residents to have better access to services such as e-health, online learning, e-commerce, as well as the ability to work efficiently from home, has always been a priority for our Council and Administration. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly brought that goal into sharper focus. Funding and assistance provided by CENGN is a catalyst that enables these kinds of projects to proceed quickly where there wouldn’t otherwise be a business case. This initiative will certainly help foster economic growth and retention of our population base, two issues we see as being very important.”
“Spectrum Telecom is thrilled to be selected to participate in this important initiative to develop broadband infrastructure within the Municipality of Magnetawan,” said Geoffrey Hatton, President and CEO of Spectrum Telecom Group. “Being based in the region, Spectrum Telecom has developed significant expertise in the deployment of leading-edge wireless technology and broadband infrastructure throughout the many rural and remote regions of Northern Ontario, and we are up to the challenges this presents. Through the deployment of innovative technology, our organization has provided a variety of essential telecommunication services in the area for many years, and our NETSPECTRUM division is excited and eager to further expand its role in providing high-speed Internet services in this progressive community. We are looking forward to working with CENGN and the Municipality on this very worthwhile project.”
THE NEXT GENERATION NETWORK PROGRAM (NGNP)
This project is part of the Next Generation Network Program (NGNP), an Ontario government program powered by CENGN in partnership with the Ontario Centre of Innovation, which helps Ontario companies develop and demonstrate new wired and wireless technology, products and services. Other projects in the program are focused on smart mining, smart agriculture and autonomous vehicles.
- 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 Centre of Innovation.
- 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 Rural Ontario Residential Broadband program, under the NGNP. CENGN is currently evaluating new project proposals and communities for upcoming rounds of the program.
- 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.