Construction on a $9.2 million fibre internet project is expected to begin as soon as Six Nations of the Grand River elected council signs an MOU with Rogers Communications.
SNGR is expected to sign the MOU this week, kicking off the installation of fiber optic Internet throughout the whole reserve.
Coun. Audrey Powless-Bomberry said the community has been waiting for high-speed for years.
“It’s what the reserve needs,” she said during a general council meeting last week. “It’s what the community’s been wanting. It’s what the community’s been asking for, for years.”
Rogers has agreed to fund the project, council heard. The communications giant will hook up fiber internet to every home on the reserve, at no cost to the homeowner, said Kim Barrington, Rogers’ director of operations, enterprise division.
“We’re progressing really well,” she told council, saying all homes should have fiber internet by next summer.
The result will be faster internet for over 2,000 homes on the reserve, with fiber optic cables spanning over 130 km of land on the reserve.
The project will also bring employment and training opportunities. Once the MOU is signed, Rogers will put out requests for proposals for vendors to complete the project.
“This opportunity can be the start of a great relationship between Rogers and Six Nations,” said Barrington.
Fiber lines will be installed along the majority of roads on the reserve but some areas can’t have fiber lines because the geography of those areas would be better served by towers, said Barrington.
“We’re really excited to get this work done, said Barrington. “We hope that this will allow the community to proceed quicker with the connectivity they need for better businesses and better schooling at home and all the good things that come from improved technology and connectivity.”
Barrington said there’s no reason Six Nations shouldn’t have the same quality Internet that’s available off-reserve.
It’s the latest technology, she said.
“This is all you’ll need. It’s the best that there is.”
Rogers is still working on pricing models for Six Nations customers, with talk of providing an introductory or monthly rate customized for Six Nations, said Barrington.
“We’re toying around with different ideas right now.”