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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

The Future Fix: Connecting your community to broadband

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Spacing and Evergreen proudly present The Future Fix: Solutions for Communities Across Canada, a special podcast series.

THIS EPISODE: Connecting your community to broadband

Reliable access to the internet is an essential service in any community. But there are barriers to bridging the “digital divide,” especially in northern and Indigenous communities. Beyond the technical challenges, every community must choose what sort of broadband service model will serve people the best.

Joe Hickey is the CEO, President and founder of Rock Networks, and he has experience setting up fast internet networks in a variety of communities and explains the various ownership models:

“When we talk about community broadband networks, it’s really our approach to engage with local communities and basically the ownership is the outcome of investment in the network from different parties.”

Listen to the podcast for more on broadband ownership and operations.

Sally Braun is the General Manager of the Western James Bay Telecom Network in Ontario and is overseeing the roll out of a “Fibre to Home” service to Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, and Fort Albany. She tells us about the challenges to bringing broadband to northern Indigenous communities, including climate change:

“We’re seeing temperatures that I have never seen in the north… Really scary weather, tornadoes, high winds. You name it, we’ve had it thrown at us in the last ten years. You have to be ready for that.”

Listen to the podcast for more about northern broadband and climate change.

The Future Fix is a partnership between Spacing and Evergreen for the Community Solutions Network: a program of Future Cities Canada. As the program lead, Evergreen is working with Open North and partners to help communities of all sizes across Canada navigate the smart cities landscape. The Community Solutions Network is supported with funding provided by Infrastructure Canada.