The Eeyou Communications Network (ECN), an innovative non-for-profit that was co-created by Cree Nation Government and that provides internet access to communities in the Eeyou Istchee and James Bay area of Northern Quebec, has announced a partnership with Distributel Communications.
As part of the partnership, residents in the communities serviced by the ECN will have access to Distributel’s high speed internet, home phone and television services. The new services are expected to launch sometime in the spring, according to Distributel. Once they’re available, the company says its ECN-related packages will cost about as much as the telecommunications services it offers in Montreal and Quebec City.
The 4,000 homes in the region, which are spread across the Wemindji, Eastmain, Waskaganish, Waswanipi, Ouje-Bougoumou, Nemaska, Mistissini and Radisson communities, won’t have to depend on satellite options for their internet service following the rollout.
“Distributel is proud to be working with ECN to help close the broadband gap in northern Quebec,” said Matt Stein, CEO of Distributel, in a January 17th press release. “Improving access to broadband and other services is essential for improving the quality of life, enhancing economic prospects, and encouraging connected and engaged communities. Bridging the digital divide is a critical issue for Canada and we are pleased to lend our expertise and experience to the challenge, as a pioneer of the independent service provider industry in Canada.”
In a letter addressed to ISED Minister Navdeep Bains, former CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais pointed to the ECN as an example of an initiative that was successfully bridging the digital divide in a rural Canadian community. The ECN started its fibre build out in 2009.
Source: Distributel Communications