When will the project be complete?
Phase 1 – Construction of Long Haul Network Routes, which include the Matawa First Nation Remote Communities, are roughly 68% complete. The remaining sections for Phase 1 are targeted for a completion date of September 2024.
Phase 2 – Construction for the Long Haul Network Routes, which include Ginoogaming, Long Lake #58, and Constance Lake are targeted for a completion date of September 2025.
How fast will the internet be?
Residential service plans will be offered at the minimum speed of 50 Megabits bi-directional per second (Mbps). This is sufficient for streaming 4K video and web browsing on at least two devices per household. Higher speed plans will be offered overtime.
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 the future, when facilities are available, we plan to have a second geographically diverse route in Northwestern Ontario. An network outage could still occur if there are two simultaneous sources of failure occurring on the network at the same time.
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, this will definitely improve transfer rates for documents, videos, and other media content versus satellite services.
Is every household going to get hooked up with internet service?
Every household will be offered the ability to be connected to the Rapid Lynx internet service at affordable rates. Matawa First Nations Management and the Matawa First Nations communities are committed to ensuring that every home will have access to the Rapid Lynx service.
Will the internet service include cable TV and landlines?
Rapid Lynx will offer high-speed Internet that can be used to download channels available to cable TV users. Streaming allows Rapid Lynx subscribers options for alternatives to cable TV 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 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 have opportunities to pursue various positions such as: 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 support, fusion splicers, service installation, field maintenance support, fiber installation, facilities management, customer support, order management, network monitoring and security monitoring.
Why is the construction going to take so long for this project?
The backbone network is over 1,000 kms long, with roughly 70% being constructed underground and in very challenging terrain. Some of the terrain includes boulder fields and bedrock. The construction season is only an estimated 8 months due to weather and terrain. Initially, the COVID-19 pandemic had forced community closures, long delays, and negatively impacted the supply chain in terms of availability and pricing. Other factors that contribute to construction delays especially for the winter road access areas, include winter road availability. If all the stars do not align within the narrow window of winter road availability, material availability, all the various logistics coordination required to get materials and equipment to the winter road meet point to make the journey, construction in certain sections could be delayed by up to a year. Lastly, community cooperation and support for the project is also very important and critical to avoid delays in construction.
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 which will be wholly owned by Matawa First Nations Management.
How much is it going to cost me to get internet service?
The rate schedule for services has not yet been published.
When is our community going to get fast internet service?
Barring unforeseen circumstances, all 9 Matawa First Nation Communities should have access to the Rapid Lynx Network by September 2025. Access to the network by some communities will begin in late 2024. Periodic status updates will be posted on the Rapid Lynx Website.
Who is going to own and operate the internet services for my community?
Matawa First Nations Management (MFNM) will own and operate the Rapid Lynx fiber-optic network in the communities.
Were community members consulted in 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. As we proceed, Community Consultations will continue.
Is my community going to be notified if there are any delays on the project?
Matawa First Nations Management (MFNM) will be providing regular Rapid Lynx Progress Status Reports, at minimum on a quarterly basis, on the Rapid Lynx Website.
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, video calling, mobile wi-fi calling, and 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.
Are the cable lines going to be protected from forest fires?
Whether the cable is underground or in lakes, the armored cable is designed to provide protection from forest fires. Some limited aerial sections will be susceptible to forest fires.
Are the cable lines going to be placed underground or on poles in the community?
The Rapid Lynx Network has been designed to have both aerial and buried sections. Approximately 70% is buried.
Was there an environmental assessment done for this project?
Yes, assessments were performed as part of the project design and permitting phase by the Province of Ontario.
Who will be monitoring the environmental aspects of this project?
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.