When will the project be complete?
Phase 1 of the project includes the following components and estimated completion dates:
- Construction and Final Inspection of the longhaul backbone network from Aroland to Nibinamik: 12/15/2022
- Placement of prefabricated equipment shelters: In process
- Awaiting responses from Nibinamik, Webequie and Eabametoong regarding site preparation costs and approved location for shelters.
- Responses needed by 10/15
- Electronics installation and testing; 1/15/2023
- Community distribution networks in Nibinamik, Webequie, Neskantaga, Eabametoong, and Marten Falls: 2/15/2023
- Internet Gateway Installation and testing: 3/15/2023
- Testing and Acceptance of Rapid Lynx System: 3/31/2023
How fast will the internet be?
Residential and Business service plans will be offered at the minimum speed of 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload, which is sufficient for streaming 4K video and web browsing on at least two devices per household. Higher speed plans will be offered up to 1 Gigabit per second download and upload.
Will the internet service be reliable?
For the Phase 1 network, internet service will be reliable unless there is a cut to the fibre-optic cable. In that case, service would go down for locations beyond the cut in the direction to the west of Aroland until the damage can be repaired. Fibre cuts can be remotely detected within seconds using state-of-the-are software being purchased. Fibre and spare equipment items are being purchased to allow restoration to proceed as quickly as repair crews can come on site. In a future phase, a second route will be constructed from Nibinamik to Wunnumin Lake to allow for a second, geographically diverse route to the interconnection point with the global Internet at Toronto. When this route is complete, expected network uptime will be 99.99%. An internet outage could still occur if there are two fiber cuts in two locations on the network at the same time, however the likelihood of that happening is very small.
How secure will the internet service be?
We will ensure that industry network surveillance monitoring tools are in place to prevent unauthorized intrusion into the network. It is not uncommon even for small internet service providers to detect and successfully prevent hundreds of thousands of unauthorized intrusion attempts each day using commonly available industry tools ; however, all Internet users should be aware of internet safety procedures to prevent hacking of their devices and phishing attempts to convince users to provide personal information, including bank account and credit card numbers, that would allow unauthorized use of their accounts.
Will it be faster to download documents, videos, and other media related content?
Yes. Compared to current satellite-based internet service, documents, videos, audio and other content can be streamed in real-time with no delay, or downloaded in only seconds or minutes for 4K resolution video. Download and upload speed over the Rapid Lynx network will range from 50 megabits/second (mbps 0 download and 10 mbps upload to 1 gigabit/second download and upload). Megabit/second means transfer of 50 million bits of information in one second. A gigabit/second means transfer of 1 billion bits of information/second.
Is every household going to get hooked up with internet service?
Every household will be offered the ability to connect with Rapid Lynx internet service at affordable rates. Matawa First Nations Management and the Matawa First Nations communities are committed to ensuring that every home can access to Rapid Lynx service.
Will the internet service include cable TV and landlines?
Rapid Lynx will offer high-speed Internet that can be used to stream or download channels available to cable TV users. Streaming allows Rapid Lynx subscribers to ‘unbundle’ cable packages and choose what they want to watch, including televisions channels, news, sports, movies, documentaries, games, music and other types of online content and applications of interest to them. Rapid Lynx users will be able to use the internet to place free video calls using internet applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. These applications allow online callers to share images and documents during the call.
Will mobility service be included with the internet?
Rapid Lynx will not offer cellular service at inception, but plans to develop partnerships with mobile carriers to bring reliable cellular coverage to remote northern Ontario, Rapid Lynx will support Wi-Fi calling, which will allow subscribers to use a smartphone to make calls over the internet instead of routing the calls over a cellular network.
What type of workers will be hired throughout the project?
Community members will be hired for various positions such as: environmental monitor, medic, safety personnel, fusion splicers, clearing crews, machine operators and other types of jobs. Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment & Training Services (KKETS) is developing education and training programs to provide pathways to employment by Rapid Lynx when it is operational. Typical broadband system positions include engineering, customer support, order management, service installation and field support, fiber installation and splicing, facilities management, network monitoring and security monitoring.
Why is the construction going to take so long for this project?
The backbone network is over 810 kms long and constructed underground. Some of the challenging terrain includes boulder fields and bedrock. Permitting is required to change the route. The construction season is only approximately 8 months due to climate and terrain. Materials and equipment must be delivered and staged during the winter. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced community closures and long delays. Other factors include winter road availability affecting delivery of material, equipment and supplies. Lastly, community cooperaion and support for the project is critical to avoid delays
Are the cable lines going to be protected from forest fires?
The underground cables are designed to provide protection from forest fires.
Will there be monthly fees for the service?
Yes, there will be a monthly fee depending on service.
Who will I be paying my monthly bill to?
Service fees will be paid to Rapid Lynx.
How much is it going to cost me to get internet service?
The rate schedule for services has not yet been published yet; however 50/10 mbps internet service is expected to cost $80/month. Subscribers will be able to make free video calls using a smartphone (Apple or Android), computer or tablet. Subscribers can access video, music, games and other online content of their choice – much of which is free. CBC and over-the-air news channels are free. Streaming services offer access to hundreds of video choices, as well as audio and games, for a low monthly fee. For example, Amazon Prime costs $119 per year. A basic streaming service from Netflix is $8.99 month. AppleTV is $4.99/month. Curiosity Stream, an all-documentary channel, is $4.99 month. Some streaming services are free with commercial advertising or fee-based with no commercials. Most streaming services do not require contracts and can be cancelled at the end of each billing period. This allows consumers to try many different streaming services and select the one they like the best. Many streaming services offer free service to first-time users during a trial period ranging from 7 days to 1 month. Cancellation is free.
When is our community going to get fast internet service?
All five remote communities will have fast internet service by 3/31/2023 (barring any further delays).
Who is going to own and operate the internet services for my community?
Rapid Lynx will own and operate the fiber-optic network in the communities.
How is my community going to benefit from the project?
The project will offer fast, reliable internet service. In addition to high-speed Internet browsing, free video calling, mobile wi-fi calling, and free or low-cost streaming and downloaded entertainment options, Rapid Lynx will provide access to critical services such as telemedicine, education, training and certification, online marketplaces to buy and sell products, remote jobs, and special interest sites – all from home. The Internet offers access for small businesses to over 4 billion online consumers.
The digital economy – which is conducted entirely online – is outperforming the Canadian economy as a whole, creating four times more jobs and creating high-paying jobs with wage that can be as much as twice the annual wage of the average worker.
Is my community going to be notified if there are any delays on the project?
Rapid Lynx provides progress reports to representatives from the remote communities and Aroland on a monthly basis.
Were community members consulted with this project?
Representatives of each community were asked to join a Broadband Working Group (“BWG”) convened in 2012 by Matawa First Nations Management. The BWG members have been an integral part of the Rapid Lynx project from the earliest stages of market assessment, network planning and business planning, completed in 2016; the fundraising phase completed in 2017; procurement and contracting completed in 2019; and construction still in progress. The BWG provides guidance to the Rapid Lynx project on behalf of the MFN communities.
Are community members going to be hired throughout the project?
The project will hire local community members through Working Warriors. Please contact your community’s workforce education center, or Wayne Slipperjack of Matawa First Nations Management to see available positions and submit applications for employment through Working Warriors.
Are the cable lines going to be placed underground or on poles in the community?
The long-haul network cable is armoured with steel rods and buried underground The local community network is designed to be an aerial network on poles.
Will the project be harmful to the environment?
Assessments that were performed in designing the project have shown that the project will have a low impact on the environment. More importantly, the digital economy generates wealth without polluting the environment. Remote work eliminates commuting and flights. The internet takes up no land in the communities other than the land under the 10×12 equipment shelter where electronics are housed. There are no harmful waste products. The only indirect impact on the environment is the use of electricity, which requires use of a generator or a connection to the community’s electric system.
Was there an environmental assessment done for this project?
Yes, assessments were performed as part of the project design and permitting phase.
Who will be monitoring the environmental aspects of this project?
The environmental monitor from each community, MFNM’s Four Rivers Environmental Services Group, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ontario Parks Supervisor, and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Is the fibre-optic line suitable for the climate in my area?
Yes, the fibre cable is suitable for the Northern Ontario environment.