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WESTERN JAMES BAY TELECOM NETWORK

“We’re pleased that Mushkegowuk Council, the Chiefs and Councils of the First Nations communities, Five Nations Energy Inc., Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, FedNor, Health Canada have all worked together and supported this important project to make today possible,” said WJBTN President. Fixed wireless internet service is provided by Xittel using WJBTN fibre transport.

The $8 million fibre optic network was launched through $1.5 million in funding from Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, $500,000 from FedNor, $165,000 from Health Canada, $100,000 from Mushkegowuk Council and more than $150,000 from Attawapiskat, Kashechewan and Fort Albany.

“Mushkegowuk Council’s vision for the First Nations to own and operate an advanced fibre optic telecommunication network is now a reality thanks to the commitment, perseverance and dedication of the many First Nations, Five Nations Energy Inc. and community leaders who started this project in 2001 and, despite the challenges of securing the funding over the years, remained committed to the idea that our residents need advanced telecom services to live, learn, work and contribute in today’s society,” said the late Mushkegowuk Council Grand Chief Stan Louttit.

In addition to medical and education services, the new fibre optic and wireless network will provide businesses, industry and the public sector with improved services in a cost effective manner as well as providing benefits from economic development opportunities in the Far North.

Western James Bay Telecom Network leases the fibre optic cable from Five Nations Energy Inc., which installed the fibre optic cable during construction of the new transmission line to the De Beers Victor diamond mine 90 kilometres west of Attawapiskat.

The local fibre distribution networks were constructed in each community in 2009 with the assistance of the local power corporations.

Wireless high speed Internet services were first introduced in Kashechewan and Fort Albany in Dec. 2009

The remainder of the network was officially launched in February 2010.