The Importance of Information and Connectivity by vbf10787

VIEWS: 477 PAGES: 126

									                        Manitoba Smart Connections 

                            Connectivity And An 

                        Assessment of Public Internet 


                                             In Manitoba 

                                (Part II of Connectivity in Manitoba)

This report has been prepared by the Cathedral Group on a best-effort basis and reflects the
conditions prevailing at the time of our analysis that was completed in July of 2003. We do not
warrant that the projections contained in this report will be realized since the assumptions or
opinions upon which they are based are subject to variation, depending upon evolving events. This
report may not be referred to or quoted in any public communication or release. In the permitted
uses, this report may be presented only in its entirety; and partial presentation and/or reproduction
without the express written permission of the authors by any means are strictly prohibited. The
report assumes non-technical readers and presents the contents accordingly.
                                       Cathedral Group

Table of Contents
        Connectivity Map ................................................................10
The Future ..........................................................................................11
The Present .........................................................................................12
  The Importance of Access...............................................................12
       Social Access...........................................................................12
         Infrastructure is Social as Well as Technological ...............13
  The Importance of Information and Connectivity ..........................14
       Concerns Specific To Manitoba..............................................14
         Connectivity ........................................................................14
         Information - Content and Content Presentation Challenges

         Solutions For Manitoba.......................................................17
       What is Broadband? ................................................................20
         Cable Modem Service .........................................................22
         Broadband DSL Service......................................................23
         Broadband Wireless Service ...............................................24
       Advantages of Broadband .......................................................25
  Today’s Challenge...........................................................................29
    Common Manitoba Myths ..........................................................31
         The New Myth, Broadband Versus High-speed .................31
    Manitoba Projects........................................................................35
         Typical Rural Manitoba Community ..................................38
       Manitoba Case Studies ............................................................44
         Federally Assisted (funded) Projects ..................................46
         Provincial Assisted (funded) Projects .................................46
         Self-Financed (non-assisted) Projects .................................47
         Success Stories ....................................................................49
    Canadian Projects ........................................................................51
         Connectivity Map ................................................................54
  Availability of Connectivity in Manitoba .......................................56
    Capability of Service Providers in Manitoba ..............................56
       Manitoba Specific Connectivity Suppliers .............................56
       List of Resources .....................................................................60
       Review and Analysis of Resources .........................................65
    Connectivity Solutions ................................................................67
         Wireless Technology...........................................................67
         Satellite Solution .................................................................68

                                        Smart Partners                                                 2
                                  Cathedral Group

    What Can Organizers Do To Gain Community Interest.........70
    Technical - Architecture Requirements for Wireless..............75
      Simple Satellite Configuration ............................................75
      Simple Wireless Configuration ...........................................77
      Existing Services and Service Gaps ....................................79
      Filling the Gaps ...................................................................82
Summary .........................................................................................88
  Appendix A .................................................................................89
      Connectivity Table ..............................................................89
  Appendix B..................................................................................93
      MTS Community Rollout Plan ...........................................93
  Appendix C..................................................................................94
      A Role for Manitoba Hydro ................................................94
      Upgrading Hydro’s Communications Systems...................95
  Appendix D .................................................................................97
      Manitoba Hydro Fibre Build Map ......................................97
  Appendix E..................................................................................98
      Article: Access to Phone Providers Opens Up: CRTC .......98
  Appendix F ............................................................................... 100

      High-Speed Internet in Churchill ..................................... 100

  Appendix G .............................................................................. 102

      Public Internet Sites in Manitoba ..................................... 102

  Appendix H .............................................................................. 105

      Manitoba CAP Sites for Persons with Disabilities .......... 105

  Appendix I ................................................................................ 106

      Broadband Glossary ......................................................... 106

  Appendix J................................................................................ 109

      Provincial Data Network.................................................. 109

  Appendix K .............................................................................. 115

      Potential Funding Resources............................................ 115

      Public Access Points ....................................................... 115

      Information Resources ..................................................... 115

  Appendix L............................................................................... 116

      PCensus Report ................................................................ 116

  Appendix M.............................................................................. 118

      Merlin ............................................................................... 118

  Appendix N .............................................................................. 120

      CTRC Ruling.................................................................... 120

  Appendix O .............................................................................. 122

  Appendix P ............................................................................... 124

                                   Smart Partners                                               3
                              Cathedral Group

    Nunavut Satellite Service Enhancement .......................... 124

Appendix Q .............................................................................. 126

    Content Development....................................................... 126

                               Smart Partners                                              4
                                      Cathedral Group

If one listens to the voices of the proponents of the Internet one could
almost believe that the Internet is expected to do no less than transform
society. For close to a decade our federal government has had many
discussions centered on technology and much of that conversation has
focused on getting all citizens online.

In the early days nonprofit organizations1 led the efforts to connect,
educate, inform and train communities on the social and economic
benefits promised by the World Wide Web (WWW), while municipal,
provincial and federal agencies fostered the development of projects like
Connecting Canadians and Community Connections which aided
many to be able to visualize those promises.

Now we hear claims of achieving success in providing Internet access to
85%2 of the population and for Government the focus has shifted from
simply getting citizens online to Broadband connectivity. Currently our
policymakers, regulatory agencies and telecommunication companies are
in the midst of the decision making processes regarding the parameters
that will ultimately determine if the adaptation of broadband is a basic tool
or a luxury. However, few Canadians will be a part of the discussions that
define, project and in the end implement a strategy regarding broadband,
as these discussions will not have included public input. Hence, those
that may be most impacted by any decisions made have not been part of
the broadband discussion. It is encouraging that 85% of the population of
Manitoba has Internet access, there remains:
    ƒ That 15% or more do not have Internet, and many of these are in
       remote portions of Manitoba where a business case supporting
       services may never occur. Equitable access is still a major concern
       for Manitobans.
    ƒ The quality of service to many is wholly inadequate for anything but
       the simplest Information Communications Technologies (ICT)

Even the most basic Information Communication Technologies (ICT) must
now include telephone service, personal computing, and computer
networking. Although these technologies are becoming everyday
conveniences for many Canadians, there are those being left out.
Disparities still exist in levels of access between rural communities,
suburban residents and even some inner-city residents.

  Community Network Movement from the mid nineties
  MTS claims they have supplied Internet access 85% of the population of Manitoba and the
CRTC states 85% of Canadians are online
  56K dial-in service (in some cases less) is still the only feasible option for connectivity in much
of rural Manitoba

                                       Smart Partners                                                   5
                                      Cathedral Group

The goal of this paper is to disseminate information and offer guidance
regarding public access, broadband and high-speed access from the
many scattered but none-the-less important sources. The information will
be focused on and benefit individuals who reside in Manitoba. Further, it
is intended to encourage discussion and broaden dialogue with regard to
the impact of access and access to true broadband.

The Digital Divide
The digital divide may be described as the difference between those
having access to knowledge and those not having access to that same
knowledge. This is due to a variety of issues, the main one being
equitable access. Home computer ownership and multiple access points
for Canadians are already well recognized by many jurisdictions as the
main tools in combating the digital divide. However, even when
information is accessible to everyone, the relative amount of knowledge
gained between the haves and have-nots can widen. For instance, if the
media covers topics of personal relevance to the "have-nots," then they
are motivated to actively consume this information. In this instance,
access narrows the knowledge gap. However, if the media covers topics
that are remote to the have-nots,” then they only passively consume the
information and the gap widens.4 Early planners assumed that content
would be king, and they were right but not in the way they visualized
content at the time.

The Internet has provided a way for individuals and groups of people to let
one another know about who they are and what they do. Consequently,
the Internet has largely been organized around special interest groups and
topics. Therefore, even if the Internet is accessible to all segments of
society, the knowledge gap may continue to exist when dealing in
specialized topic areas. It has been stated that Internet communities
break down status, time and geographical barriers so that discussions of
special interest topics are no longer limited to one's immediate geographic
surroundings. But even so, if no one perceives a value in the knowledge
presented or it is presented poorly, interest will not be present and visitors
will not absorb the information.

    See to explore further

                                        Smart Partners                             6
                                      Cathedral Group

Connectivity in Manitoba
Connectivity in Manitoba and the Role of Municipalities5 was first
presented in the fall of 2001. It offered Manitobans an overview of a
concept the authors then termed Municipal Fibre. Here is how the authors
opened the discussion in 2001.

One of the more commonly accepted connectivity strategies is the
establishment of a municipal-owned fibre optic network. There are many
benefits to a community in ownership of a municipal fibre network. The
two primary benefits can be summarized as being:
   1. 	 Additional Economic Growth Opportunities: Municipally owned fibre
        networks offer local businesses opportunities to participate in a
        wider area of commerce. Carriers and content providers are more
        apt to bring services to a community if they do not have to supply
        the infrastructure within that community.
   2. 	 Reduced Telecommunication Costs: A community can undertake to
        decrease its telecommunication costs by owning the local
        distribution infrastructure for telephone as well as data
        communications. With a municipal fibre network there can now be
        one point of connection to the service supplier instead of one for
        every resident, organization and business.

Many communities in Canada and the world have recognized the
importance of establishing municipal networks as a way to increase
operational efficiencies, regain control over their community’s future,
encourage partnerships, develop new economic opportunities and retain
their residents.

Although still an attractive truism the issues of municipal connectivity
have, in some cases, changed dramatically in the past two years. Several
communities did undertake to establish municipal networks and the
lessons learned provide valuable information and insight to the causes,
effects and costs of bringing telecommunications infrastructure to a
community. Most notable is St. Pierre-Jolys6 located in Southeastern
Manitoba. St. Pierre-Jolys is presented as the Model Community in this

The Driving Forces
The main driving forces for those seeking improved telecommunications
infrastructure have not changed to any great degree but we have added
two new (points 5 and 6) forces that have emerged and are strong and

    See for the entire paper
    The Connectivity in Manitoba paper was instrumental in the St. Pierre-Jolys achievement

                                       Smart Partners                                         7
                                     Cathedral Group

1) 	     De-regulation is still an issue of concern and Canadians are about
         to embark on a new era as the CRTC7 announced that there is a
         definite need for a more competitive process in delivering
         telecommunications services and that deregulation will continue.
         So it is still imperative that municipalities, building owners and
         public officials have a telecommunications strategy that puts
         policies in place that clearly address the issues of rights of way and
         ownership that new, emerging and realigning carriers will test.

2) 	     The Province of Manitoba has wisely utilized their unique
         advantage, the ownership of the Manitoba Hydro electric utility.
         This compelling advantage makes the most of the ability of
         Manitoba Hydro to provide dark fibre as an extension of the
         services they already offer to the municipalities of the Province of

3) 	     Municipal authorities are being asked to respond to changing
         environments that will require them to decide on accepting or
         acquiring new technologies that will improve the core competencies
         of its administrators to achieve or maintain equitable civic
         operations. Additionally, municipal authorities are expected to
         encourage economic development within their own jurisdictions and

4) 	     In Manitoba the Provincial Government required an increased
         communications capacity. In 2001 they released an RFP for the
         continuance and upgrade of the Provincial Data Network (PDN).9
         Three proposals were received including one from Manitoba Hydro.
         After nearly a year of deliberation the contract was awarded to
         Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS), the incumbent supplier of the

         Some optimists believe that if there were enough municipally
         developed networks it would lead MTS to supply an improved
         infrastructure backbone; the link would be some form of
         participation in the upgrade process to the PDN to justify this.

         The concept of a true province wide network is still under
         discussion but according to “insiders” the reality of the associated
         costs of the infrastructure upgrades, particularly if true broadband is
         a consideration, has kept the concept from proceeding far past the
         “talk” level.

  Winnipeg Free Press article July 2, 2003, see Appendix N for complete article
  Manitoba Hydro is revisited and their potential participation is updated in the Appendix C of this
  See Appendix J for more details on the PDN, RFP and the resultant contract award

                                      Smart Partners                                               8
                                     Cathedral Group

5) 	    A community’s self-willed and sincere desire to improve and be
        competitive in a more global setting. This also suggests that the
        inconsistency in the ability of Manitoba’s main telecommunications
        carrier MTS to provide equitable levels of service for all
        communities is perceived as a competitive advantage to those that
        have greater access capability. In short communities are taking
        matters (and their destiny) into their own hands.

6) 	    The continued availability of Federal Government connectivity
        programs and the associated funding assistance. This has
        emerged as perhaps one of the most powerful forces in play.
        Community leaders and politicians are accustomed to and reactive
        to offers of Federal support, particularly in long-term infrastructure
        related projects. The requests for support from Industry Canada’s
        Broadband Rural And Northern Development (BRAND)10 program
        has been nothing short of amazing. More than 90 communities
        may receive financial assistance to plan their own broadband
        networks in cooperation or away from their local
        telecommunications carrier. This also demonstrates that there are
        still very many communities in Canada that are not served by high-
        speed services, not to mention true broadband.

        The issue of understanding the difference between high-speed and
        broadband will be discussed at length in the contents of this paper
        but it must be stated here that there is still much confusion as to the
        accurate definition and assessment of broadband.11        The
        differences are worth noting because the limitations of a decreased
        capability may challenge the long-term goals a community may

  See “What is Broadband?” transfer tables located in the Appendix I for the definition of

                                      Smart Partners                                         9
                          Cathedral Group

Connectivity Map
Note: Values and areas indicated are approximate. Consult the service
supplier for exact service areas.

                                                       MTS MTS – Provincial
                                                       Backbone ----------
                                                       (carries the PDN)

                                                       Sprint – Primary
                                                       operations in Winnipeg,
                                                       a long distance service

                                                       Telus – Primary
                                                       operations in Winnipeg,
                                                       a long distance service

                                                       Shaw Cable Shaw
                                                       Cable – Cable and
                                                       Internet, Winnipeg,
                                                       Selkirk, Steinbach

                                                       Manitoba Hydro
                                                       Manitoba Hydro –
                                                       Fibre Backbone

                                                       I-NetLink – Wireless in
                                                       Brandon area linked to
                                                       the Westman Fibre

                                                       Group Telecom –
                                                       Some fibre
                                                       infrastructure in
                                                       Winnipeg, primarily
                                                       commercial application

                                                       Communications –
                                                       Brandon and area,
                                                       cable and Internet

                                                       Rat River Co-op
                                                       Rat River Co-
                                                       operative – St. Pierre
                                                       and area

                                                       Rainy Day Software
                                                       Rainy Day Software –
                                                       Niverville and area

                                                       Churchill – serving

                                                       See Southern details
                                                       next page

                           Smart Partners                                     10
                             Cathedral Group

The Future
Why put the Future before the Present? Because the situations, facts and
people evolve so rapidly that any assessment made is for the moment
only. Communities that are considering changes to their connectivity
status must be diligent in keeping current with technology and information
service delivery; and most importantly, look to the future.

The Future
Seldom, if ever, has technology taken a more rapid path into the largely
unknown. Given this, governments and corporations would have us
believe that the directions are chosen and the path is clear. But in reality
we are very much still walking in the dark. Every so often we are blinded
by a brightness (technology event) to which we turn, only to find the light
has dimmed or even gone out. We are left to wander again, in the dark.
The further we go down our chosen paths the more light there will be but
we will still suffer many bruises and breaks until we can clearly see, and
even then our best vision may well be hindsight!

The North American market for broadband is expected to exceed 160
million subscribers by 2007; who will pay out an estimated $88 billion for
broadband access. Precedence dictates the centres that have this
broadband access will experience a marked increase in their economic
activities; those that don’t will remain where they probably are today, on
the wrong side of the digital divide.

The Leading Reasons for Broadband Today:
   ¾ E-commerce
   ¾ Faster Internet access
   ¾ Efficient and larger data transfers
   ¾ Video-conferencing
   ¾ Communications, including voice over IP (VOIP)
   ¾ Remote access capability
   ¾ Entertainment
   ¾ Education & training
   ¾ Healthcare service delivery

Now, Add the Key Reasons for Broadband Tomorrow:
  ¾ Embedded Technologies 

          ƒ Security

          ƒ Access 

          ƒ ID 

  ¾ Distance and continuing education (CME, etc.; nationally and

  ¾ Professional Certification Training 

  ¾ Diagnostics for human and non-human science 

                              Smart Partners                                 11
                            Cathedral Group

   ¾ On-line monitoring of remote industrial service and equipment

   ¾ On-line monitoring of security installations 

   ¾ Healthcare treatment delivery (remote laser surgeries) 

The effects of broadband technology on the Canadians of tomorrow are
obviously far reaching and thought provoking. At first glance they allow for
increased interactive communications, higher security, improved
education, superior healthcare and enhanced economic opportunities.
But, again, let us not forget, only if you are connected.

Due to the geographic make-up of Manitoba there is a decidedly rural
                       focus to this paper.

The Present

The Importance of Access

Social Access
An important new term may have been recently coined, Social Access.
Social Access refers to the mix of professional knowledge, economic
resources, and technical skills required to utilize technology in ways that
enhance professional practices, industrial practices and social life. Social
Access implies that organizations and people from any community actually
use technology services. The widespread, non-regionalized ability to use
technology is critical if we are to move from the classrooms, laboratories
and pilot projects into extensive technology use that will aid in stabilizing
our communities and revitalizing the economy.

Meeting the challenge of deploying and using broadband in computing by
improving our network infrastructure would ease the issue of access and
increase usability for the average Manitoban. One reason that residents
with poor access use the Internet less is because of various externalities
such as the need for technical support and contact with another
community of online users. Unlike television and video games, e-mail is
seen as beneficial primarily if friends or family also have access. Several
studies have already concluded that the Internet has become a social
medium for many. Email use is often considered the most popular feature
of the Internet and the one single feature that drives its continued use and
development. The reason is that Email sustains ongoing dialogues and

                             Smart Partners                               12
                                    Cathedral Group

     The Internet is a social and emotional technology, and it sustains
                               social networks.

Many users are not just using computers to assist with their social lives,
they have begun to treat computers as social objects, like telephones.
This has happened quickly and quietly because many of the same rules
can be applied; if you need to check your voice mail, it doesn't matter to
you what phone you use; any phone with an outside line will do. In a
similar way any computer with a line to the Internet can be utilized for
checking email. This is possible even if someone else owns the
computer. For many a computer has become merely a way to get access
to their “stuff” (email, online research, files) rather than being a place to
store their “stuff.” This leads us to conclude that any computer connected
to the Internet is as good as any other computer connected to the Internet,
and any computer not connected to the Internet is no good at all. The
impact on students is probably the most dramatic12 because any computer
appears to become their computer when their hands are on the keyboard.

Infrastructure is Social as Well as Technological
For most, PCs are complicated to configure and install. Networked PCs
require complex configurations that can change frequently with different
networks and service providers. Less appreciated is how the
infrastructure for creating and maintaining workable computer systems
includes diverse resources that are social in character. The most obvious
of these are skilled technical installers, trainers and consultants.
However, networked systems, such as those used in medical clinics,
schools and research laboratories, also depend upon technical managers
to orchestrate system maintenance, configurations for new users, and
security procedures as well as upon people to document local
configurations. These person resources are, or will soon become,
advanced professionals. So it is that infrastructure creates a socio­
technical system. It doesn’t stop here as social capabilities are further
enabled by the “simpler” supporting technologies like word processing for
creating technical documents, local ISP services and training.

  See for an in-depth discussion on the impact of
the Internet on students

                                     Smart Partners                                              13
                             Cathedral Group

The Importance of Information and Connectivity
Information & Connectivity
Information has become a leading tool for industry and business.
Information is knowledge and knowledge is often a key to increasing
efficiencies for all sectors. Connectivity allows for the efficient exchange
of information, and so, the rapid dissemination of knowledge.
Connectivity, however, is not always equitably available and many
municipalities around the world have solved their equitable connectivity
problem by adopting a municipal connectivity strategy. This allows their
municipality to communicate, participate and compete on a global level.

Connectivity brings people together quickly and it effectively makes the
world smaller by removing geography and distance as barriers. As a
result, answers to problems are more quickly achieved and resolutions to
concerns are more easily found.

Concerns Specific To Manitoba

In many areas of Manitoba the best connection possible for Internet
access is a 56k dial-up modem. This means a transfer speed of
approximately 2½ minutes for every 1 MB of data. MTS’s ADSL and cable
are considered high-speed access, which allows for a transfer speed of
approximately 1.5 Mbps or 5.2 seconds for 1 MB of data. There is little
cable or ADSL high-speed access in many areas of Manitoba so most
businesses and residents must suffer through long download times on
even small transfers of data.

Note: Although telephone companies consider broadband to begin at 2
Mb/s, slightly higher than the high-speed rates achieved by ADSL or
Cable, telecommunication companies know that true broadband begins at
155 Mb/s (OC-3/T1). Upgrades to telecommunications networks should
not target less than true broadband if they desire to serve the community’s
businesses and residents with reliable high-speed access.

Connectivity concerns that are specific to Manitobans include:
  ¾ Manitoba’s population is south heavy and many of the central and
     northern communities are:
         ƒ Small in population
         ƒ Rural
         ƒ First Nation, mostly remote
         ƒ Remote, industry specific localities (mining, forestry)

                              Smart Partners                                   14
                                     Cathedral Group

     ¾	 Telecommunications systems and infrastructure outside of the large
        centres of Winnipeg, Thompson and Brandon are old and limited.
        Broadband access is unworkable on most of this infrastructure.
     ¾	 Manitoba Telecom Services is a for-profit company and for the
        most part enjoys a monopoly in Manitoba.
     ¾	 Primarily the Federal Government drives initiatives and provincial
        input is limited. In most cases, federal funding is achieved only if
        Provincial buy-in to the concept has been acknowledged.
     ¾	 E-commerce options are limited as poor infrastructure is a threat to
        their viability or their ability to deliver the product and/or service.
     ¾	 Dissatisfaction with the quality of a service often precludes a
        reluctance to use or continue use. This is particularly evident in
        most rural areas where connectivity speeds seldom reach more
        than 56k with dial-up service.
     ¾	 Competition. Although not specific or limited to Manitoba an issue
        of concern is the competitive environment. There is little
        infrastructure improvement or upgrade that occurs without initiating
        some form of competition or competitive process; or indeed being
        initiated by “a competition.”13 The result is that there are, by default
        losers and no one wants to be a loser. Collaboration suffers,
        partnerships are harder to establish and the benefits are often lost
        in the confusion or are exaggerated beyond truth.14

Information - Content and Content Presentation Challenges
Content Creation15
In Manitoba there are few measurable successes in the delivery of content
from communities. Websites are often static and unattractive, leaving
viewers less than impressed. But a more critical problem is the issue of
the lack of real content. Community content and information is often bland
and wanting of detail. This type of website has, more often than not, had
content supplied by students with less than a passion for promoting the
community or by someone that is skilled in technology but poorly skilled in
marketing and presenting information in an attractive fashion. Following a
successful template or format may be a part of the overall solution but as
each community is different from another, flexibility in templates is still

Telephony (voice) service (including telecom network, wireless/cellular,
cable TV and other transport of voice) will decline steadily over the next
decade, as a percentage of total residential service revenue.

   BRAND, Smart Communities, etc. 

   See Appendix O for a discussion on the competition factor. 

   See Appendix Q for resources on Content Development.

                                      Smart Partners                         15
                             Cathedral Group

Manitoba’s Leadership
The Province of Manitoba appears to have had reactive rather than
proactive leadership when dealing with our technology-based industries
and that includes using the Internet for community information
dissemination. However, this may not have been intentional. In the past,
government has had few technology specialists in place that could
encourage the leaders to act in the best interests of technology
acceptance and infrastructure improvements. Not many government
leaders possess technology backgrounds or training and so their level of
understanding was in essence deficient. This can only improve as
government itself becomes more accepting and proficient in technology

Limited Financial Resources
Communities outside of the large urban centres may not have the financial
resources to undertake a large content-rich website project.

Lack of Exportable Content or Products
Community content may not be exportable. But this should not stop a
community from sharing information about the community to others who
may be potential visitors to the community in a physical or virtual context.
Showcase the community:
   ¾ Residents 

   ¾ Businesses 

   ¾ Industries 

   ¾ Cultural background 

   ¾ Unique geographic features 

   ¾ Famous or well-known former residents 

   ¾ Historical events and persons 

Lack of Global Vision
A common problem is that a community may not know (or understand) the
purpose of marketing their community. The community’s social circles
may be small and to broaden them to include global participants may be
more than the website planners in small communities can visualize. To
offset this several actions can be initiated:
    ¾ Seeking assistance or guidance from consultants with experience
        in developing and presenting community content
    ¾ Utilizing the services of organizations such as Community
    ¾ Research the community, discover what makes it unique
    ¾ Make it a community based project, the diversity of the community’s
        demographics can only improve the project

                              Smart Partners                               16
                                      Cathedral Group

Fragmented Communities of Interest
Banding several communities of a region together may form a greater
resource as well as presenting a wider base for content. Communities
may not realize they complement each other’s services and resources.
Visitors can be led through the communities with a virtual road map as the
highlights become evident.

Perception of Manitoba
In general, outsiders perceive Manitoba as a place on the verge of the
Artic regions of North America. The richness of Manitoba’s communities
can best be presented through the Internet where non-Manitobans can
learn about us from their own computers.

Solutions For Manitoba
As discovered in the previous sections of this paper, we find that in
discussing the concerns we often find elements of the solution. In fact
solutions are normally not found until the recognition of the
concerns has taken place. Manitoba’s Innovation Framework
recognizes a concern when it states, “The intensity of innovation within a
region is reflected in how well businesses, work-forces, government,
financial institutions, post-secondary and research institutions and
innovation infrastructure interact.” This sentiment is implicit throughout the
Action items that the Framework targets.16

In the Connectivity in Manitoba white paper17 the authors made the
It has become evident that there is no single solution to rural access and
connectivity concerns. No single top down solution is going to work in all
rural or remote northern locations. In many instances the potential
solutions first emerge from local communities themselves after which they
seek support from Provincial and Federal Governments. This is why it is
deemed important to ask first what local communities can do for
themselves to meet their needs.

There are elements that are common to many communities and when they
are addressed could result in pieces of the potential solution:
   ¾ Population: A lack of a sizable population denotes that business
      cases will be difficult to make. The solution must address the
      aggregation of demand.
   ¾ Industry: Local industries, if present, are forced to remain small
      unless they are prepared to move into or closer to a larger centre or
      adopt a global business strategy. Business can have a global

     See the entire document at

                                       Smart Partners                      17
                             Cathedral Group

        presence if presented appropriately in a virtual (global) market
   ¾	   Awareness: Residents are not aware of the increase in 

        opportunities when exposed to a higher level of connectivity. 

        Community leaders must be supportive and facilitate the 

        awareness process. 

   ¾	   Education: Residents may not understand technology and so have
        an inherent fear of it. As in awareness, community leaders must
        adopt the technology and be actively involved with educating
   ¾	   Infrastructure: Poor telecommunications infrastructure denotes a
        substantial investment in up-grade may be necessary. The
        solution, while costly, is in most cases well worthwhile when all the
        economic and social benefits are weighed.
   ¾	   Relevant Community Content: In a word, self-belief. A
        community must assess itself and then determine if the driving
        forces and the ability to adapt and change are present in sufficient
        quantity. Without champions and a dedicated community effort the
        content will certainly fall short of expectations and the too-few
        supporters will become discouraged.
   ¾	   Youth: Research discloses that in most successful projects the
        post-concept phases of a project are driven by youth. On-going
        development, technical advancements, maintenance and new
        directions are youth orientated tasks. Any solution would be wise
        to include the early adoption of youth and youthful ideology.
   ¾	   Tools: The tool set for communities is ever growing and becoming
        more valuable through the introduction of the constant
        improvements being made by successful projects. Communities
        need not reinvent the entire process but only apply the tools readily
        available to them.
   ¾	   Forward Thinking: Design towards tomorrow. Limiting the
        potential for change or expansion will dissuade future participants.
        Solutions will allow room to grow and acknowledge that you can
        never provide too much.

It is also important to note that municipal communication networks are
developed around the acceptance of complete communications strategies
and not just a way of deploying improved services or greater marketing
opportunities to residents and businesses. To gain the necessary level of
acceptance businesses and residents must first understand the concept
and they must also realize a fair value for the investments they will be
asked make.

Connectivity Solutions
Connectivity takes many forms, combining old technologies with new
technologies and even encompassing several different technologies.

                              Smart Partners                               18
                            Cathedral Group

Options for improved connectivity now include wireless. Wireless is best
utilized as a last mile solution, when distributing to a surrounding area
where height restrictions and terrain are not applicable constraints. It is
feasible that a municipal office could become the service distribution
centre for an entire region, achieving a 15 to 20 kilometer radius coverage
using wireless distribution. The distribution centre would require a link to
an infrastructure backbone. This link may be available from a carrier such
as Manitoba Telecom Services, Manitoba Hydro at one of their Points Of
Presence (POP) located in many areas of Manitoba; or a satellite

Connectivity is important because telecommunications needs are
increasing for all Manitobans no matter where they live or work. Both
urban and rural residents are facing a growing dependence on
telecommunications to keep family members in touch with each other,
workers in touch with employers and citizens in touch with their leaders.
Additionally, there is growing evidence that municipalities are beginning to
accept more responsibility for their own economic health.

Many communities in Canada and the world have recognized the
importance of establishing municipal connectivity policies as a way:
   ¾ to increase operational efficiencies;
   ¾ to regain control over their community’s future;
   ¾ to encourage partnerships;
   ¾ to develop new economic opportunities; and
   ¾ to retain their businesses, professionals and residents.

Today, community connectivity should be sought at the minimal level of
broadband. Anything less is settling for less than others already are
enjoying. Broadband allows for the delivery of broadband applications
that are now rapidly being developed around the world.

                             Smart Partners                               19
                                    Cathedral Group

What is Broadband?

      To begin and to be clear, by definition, high-speed access is not

There is much confusion as to exactly what broadband is and the
terminology broadband, high-speed and high-speed broadband are often
mixed within the same statement, adding to the confusion (by example
consider the FCC statement that is quoted in italics below). Often, the
terminology appears to be used in a way that is most advantageous to the
speaking service provider or politician.

       ¾	 In Canada the most commonly accepted definition is that
          Broadband is a transmission speed of at least 2 Mb/s or two million
          bits per second. For lower speeds the term is narrowband and
          higher speed, from several hundred kb/s up to 2 Mb/s, it is called
       ¾	 In the United States the Federal Communications Commission
          (FCC)18 classifies broadband as an “advanced telecommunications
          capability.” Advanced telecommunications capability is defined as
          any infrastructure capable of delivering data at a speed of 200 kb/s
          in each direction. A telecommunication service with over 200 kb/s
          capability in at least one direction is considered “high speed.” To
          be considered a broadband service, the transmission vehicle would
          have to support 200 kb/s in both directions (downstream from the
          Internet to the user and upstream from the user to the Internet).
          “Simply put, broadband technology is the high-speed transmission
          of digital data.” Additionally, broadband connections are “always
          on.” With broadband there is no need for dial-up because the
          connection is constant.

Whatever definition we come to accept it is the capabilities of broadband
that should interest us most. Much of the attention that is afforded to
broadband focuses on the ability to transmit data at a significantly higher
speed than was previously available. At 200 kbps it is about four times
faster than the 56 kbps modem still widely in use today. Currently there
are applications available on the Internet requiring speeds that exceed 1
Mbps. The broadband applications for the most part are multi-media data
transmissions, presented for entertainment or information.

But it is the future that holds the most promise for broadband. Distance
Education will take on a whole new meaning for those that have access to
broadband. Data transmitted via broadband, be it audio or visual can be


                                     Smart Partners                         20
                             Cathedral Group

reconfigured without diluting the integrity. Unlike photocopying where the
quality of each version is further removed from the original, data
transmitted via broadband is high quality so that it can be reconfigured
time and time again, with each rendition being at the original quality level.
At present broadband is accessible via cable modems, DSL and satellite.
Although the satellite industry is still in the early stages of developing
broadband technologies it is often viewed as an important option in rural
communities and other remote locations. Rural communities should
rightfully fear being left behind as traditional providers deploy broadband
technology in more profitable urban centres.

Let us, for discussion purposes, accept that broadband is a form of data
transmission that uses a wide range of frequencies that result in fast
digital signals that are over 1.5 Mbps. This being the case it allows that
broadband has been available for sometime, but only to an elite class of
users, mostly large corporations. Traditional forms of broadband have
included ISDN and frame relay (fractional T1, T1, T3, DS3). Traditionally,
the end users paid by usage unless they commit to a high rate for
unlimited use.

                              Smart Partners                                21
                            Cathedral Group

Three forms of broadband have recently (in the past 3 years) become
available to many homes and small businesses:
   1. DSL
   2. Cable
   3. Wireless

Cable Modem Service
In the 1990’s the cable industry began converting its facilities to support
what they believed to be the expansion of the video market. This upgrade
permitted the transmission of signals and a higher capacity of analog
video signals, digital video signals and data signals. The upgrade gave
the cable industry the infrastructure necessary to participate in the
communications industry as an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The
actual cable modem is simply a piece of equipment that converts the data
transmissions. The modem connects to the computer and allows the
transmission of both upstream (information sent from an individual back to
the Internet) and downstream (information sent from the Internet to an
individual’s computer) data on the cable system. The process actually
requires two types of equipment, a cable modem on the customer end and
a Cable-Modem Termination System (CMTS) at the cable provider's end.

                             Smart Partners                              22
                            Cathedral Group

In Manitoba, cable television and Internet access is provided by Shaw
Cable and Westman Cable.

Broadband DSL Service
DSL (digital subscriber line) comes in several forms and all provide data
services using existing telephone wiring. Voice alone uses only a fraction
of the total capability available via traditional copper telephone lines. DSL
utilizes that extra capacity that had long been available, but not used.
ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) is currently the form that is
emerging as the primary type of DSL for Internet connections. ADSL is
considered asymmetric because it is much faster from the telephone
company to the customer (downstream) than from the customer back to
the telephone company (upstream). ADSL divides the available
frequencies of a phone line on the assumption that most Internet users
view, or download, much more information than they send, or upload.
ADSL is distance-sensitive, so the distance between the user and the
central office providing ADSL service directly impacts the signal quality.
As the distance increases, the signal quality and the connection speed
decreases. The limit for ADSL service is 18,000 feet. ADSL allows voice
and high-speed data to be sent simultaneously over the existing telephone
line and it is the most predominant form of DSL in commercial use for
business and residential customers around the world.

                             Smart Partners                                23
                                  Cathedral Group

G.lite ADSL19
The G.lite standard was specifically developed to meet the 'plug-and-play'
requirements of the consumer market segment. G.lite is a medium
bandwidth version of ADSL that allows Internet access at up to 1.5 Mb/s
downstream and up to 500 kb/s upstream.

This offers up to 26 Mb/s, over distances up to 50m on short loops, such
as the copper tails used from neighbourhood cabinets that link to the local
exchange via optical fibre. It is particularly useful for 'campus'
environments: universities, business parks and multi-occupancy
commercial or residential buildings, for example. VDSL is currently being
introduced in various markets to deliver video-on-demand services over
existing phone lines; it can also be configured in symmetric mode. MTS
recently completed a pilot project delivering VDSL services to a select
group of participants. A public launch is anticipated within a year.

Broadband Wireless Service
Emerging quickly as a viable broadband solution particularly for rural and
remote locations is wireless. Not without its problems wireless broadband
technologies are being improved continually and perhaps in doing so
show their greatest weakness. The fact is that the technology is not yet
matured and will be subject to change. None-the-less, wireless solutions
are at times the only feasible way to bridge the last mile. Here the
technology has few legitimate challengers.

Wireless services are not truly wireless because at some point they must
tie back into the infrastructure backbone. The wireless portion of the
network refers to the distribution of the services in the immediate area,
typically an area of 10 to 15 kilometers radius from a central point.


                                   Smart Partners                        24
                             Cathedral Group

Advantages of Broadband
Whatever the method of broadband connectivity that is utilized is not as
important as what that level of connectivity achieves for the end user. It is
crucial that an overall understanding of Broadband is articulated and
disseminated in all communities. Broadband is not just about the ability to
watch the latest movie in real time it is about upgrading the tools that are
used and needed to sustain our communities in an information society.

Broadband availability allows that Broadband Applications can be
executed. Key areas of interest are:
   ¾ Streaming video
   ¾ E-commerce
   ¾ Data transfers
         ƒ Industrial 

         ƒ Medical 

         ƒ Government 

   ¾ Videoconferencing
   ¾ Entertainment 

         ƒ On-line radio 

         ƒ Music 

         ƒ Movies 

         ƒ Literature 

   ¾ Virtual Tours 

         ƒ Industry

         ƒ Tourism 

         ƒ Sports 

                              Smart Partners                               25
                                      Cathedral Group

     Broadband will only meet its potential and our expectations if the
             services are equitably accessible to everyone.

This is especially true of communities that competitive markets have
historically failed to serve. We must ensure that broadband does not
become the next facet of the already problematic digital divide. The
sharing of information cannot be an option; it must be a basic requirement.

Community Content20
The Internet is a massive source of information, much of it has limited
value but there are gems, perfect and rich with data. Unfortunately, as
with real gems the information gems are hard to find. A well designed
web space and resourceful content will make a website stand out, be
easily found and enjoyed by visitors.

Content that is designed for a community’s website should be based on
knowledge and not solely a marketing vision. Most communities have
much to offer visitors and the website should introduce the virtual visitor to
the many opportunities available within the community:
   ¾ Economic development opportunities (available labour pool,
      properties and community resources)
   ¾ Business opportunities (community needs, industrial and retail)
   ¾ Cultural exchange (local cultural awareness, collectables)
   ¾ Uniqueness of the people or the region
          ƒ Fishing, hunting, camping
          ƒ Heritage
          ƒ Site seeing
          ƒ Rivers, lakes and streams
   ¾ Music, art or crafts (festivals, events, conventions)

Basic Design Concepts
People don't read a website the same way they read a magazine or book.
Web pages are scanned and skimmed as people look for headlines, sub­
headings, bold print, and white space.

The design of the web pages should also follow some basic guidelines
that include:
   ¾ Knowledge of the dynamics in reading content on a computer
        monitor (resolutions, monitor size, colour, etc.)

     See Appendix Q for a listing of useful resources for Content Development

                                       Smart Partners                           26
                            Cathedral Group

   ¾	 Readers should be able to enter the site through any page, not just
      the front or opening page (consistency in naming conventions and
   ¾	 Information should be presented in a variety of formats, suiting
      individual needs and preferences (printable pages, downloadable
      articles, etc.)
   ¾	 Correct use and placement of hypertext links (be wary of broken
      links, incorrect spelling)
   ¾	 As there are no geographical boundaries in a website, no unguided
      cultural assumptions are usually made (if a cultural statement is to
      be made it is best to make it early, limiting assumptions)
   ¾	 The impacts of scrolling and scanning (correct sizing of windows,
      frames; generally it is best to avoid horizontal scrolling and limit
      vertical scrolling to two pages)

Adhering to the basic guidelines ensures that the web pages will be
enjoyable, easily readable and consistent in design principals.

Design Elements
Narrative should be succinct and clearly written with appropriate details.
Internal and external links can be used to provide additional information or
for site navigation.

People scan by using headlines, sub-headers, bullets, and highlighting;
allow your visitors to easily find what they want.

Keep pages short. The ideal page should not be longer than two screens.
This keeps scrolling to a minimum. In the end it may mean a site with
more pages but each page will contain only one complete concept with
links or bridges to other related concepts.

Layout and the effective use of white space will affect how people read the
site. Most readers don't want to expend much effort to find what they're
looking for so if there is too much text visitors may not find the keywords
they are scanning for and they will bypass reading the rest.

Lengthy sentences and long paragraphs do not work well. Subheadings
are often used to break text and bullets aid to highlight the most important

Be aware of literacy levels and ease of reading; strive for a grade nine
level on the reading scale. More young people and seniors are present on
the Internet. School aged children regularly utilize the Internet for
homework assignments and seniors seek information on retirement
activities, places to visit and cultural interests.

                             Smart Partners                               27
                           Cathedral Group

Content Summary
  •	 Narrative should be concise and brisk
  •	 Highlight key information
  •	 Make cultural statements early to reduce assumptions
  •	 Be aware of literacy levels (the reading level may need to be
      lowered; even complex issues can be dealt with in simple
  •	 The content for a community must come from the community
      Presentation of the content should reflect the local culture
  •	 Simple presentation, less is more
  •	 Links are great but they should be in keeping with the community,
      its partners, industry and sponsors/supporters.
  •	 Picture libraries are great but make them accessible from the
      opening pages rather than a part of them so long waits can be
      avoided in slow speed areas
  •	 Where are you? Place the community on a map of the country

                           Smart Partners                                28
                                    Cathedral Group

Today’s Challenge
As was first presented in Connectivity in Manitoba, the challenge and
the opportunity in Manitoba is still how to provide reliable basic telephone
service to many remote and northern residents. But now we face even
greater challenges, as we must consider:
   ¾ How to provide basic Internet access in areas of moderate or low
       user density at an affordable cost.
   ¾ How to provide access to broadband in areas of moderate or low
       user density at an affordable cost.

During a recent competition, the Industry Canada’s BRAND project, the
resource website identified more than 180 of Manitoba’s 220 communities
are without broadband service. By community count, that translates to
only 20% of Manitoba communities having access to broadband. The
remaining 80% are unlikely to receive services without initiating
community level action.

Access to telecommunications infrastructure varies widely according to
geographic location. A submission to the Information Highway Access
and Social Impacts Working Group stated: "Most northern and remote
communities are less interested in obtaining state-of-the-art
communication technology than in simply having an infrastructure that can
support what most southern communities take for granted: telephone lines
that can support fax and high speed modem as well as programming that
reflects their culture and their language."

In Manitoba many lines from the MTS Central Office (CO) to rural homes
are inadequate for data communications above 17 Kb/s. Cable TV is not
available in many areas. As a result, many people have installed satellite
dishes, although not all satellite service companies offer access to the
Internet. Where it is available, the satellite service is often less than
adequate or prohibitively expensive. New wireless technologies,
increased competition and more aggressive community attitudes have had
the combined effect of lowering the costs of wireless substantially. Now,
the main obstacle is often a suitable backbone connection.

But there is an even greater potential problem in offering services to some
select areas while denying access to those same services in others. MTS,
the dominant carrier in Manitoba has been introducing two new
technologies to Manitobans, ADSL and VDSL. ADSL is a part of the
NextGen services announced in 2001.21 VDSL (the V can be read Video)
can be considered an upgrade to ADSL as the same infrastructure is
required. The problem lies in that ADSL switching is only available in

     See NextGen at

                                     Smart Partners                        29
                           Cathedral Group

select areas of Manitoba. Not all Manitobans will soon see ADSL services
in their community. If one follows the natural progression of the
technologies it would be safe to assume that where you find ADSL today
you will one day find VDSL. In areas where ADSL is not available, VDSL
is near certain not to be offered either. This has the affect of twice
removing those in underserved areas from technology readily available to
their neighbours.

Many Manitoba jurisdictions now view broad and affordable access to high
quality telecommunications as fundamental to the economic well-being of
a community. They feel the availability of broadband is essential to the
vitality and competitiveness of their community, impacting education,
commerce, transportation, entertainment, health care and the retention of
residents and community professionals.

So it is still Manitoba’s challenge to provide equitable access to
telecommunications services to the “last mile,” where fulfilling a
municipality’s needs cannot be decided solely on a profitable business
case for the carrier.

More thought needs to be applied to the universal service model or unified
base pricing for basic performance. At some point there will appear be a
need to make broadband access a universal service requirement. The
question of universal service is very complex in an open
telecommunications market. Full Internet access means having a high
performance PC in the home with a high performance telecom link. It is
doubtful and we cannot assume that within a few years all or even most
homes will have power PCs and Internet access. In this case perhaps the
community’s public facilities are better served with an ensured broadband

                            Smart Partners                               30
                                   Cathedral Group

Common Manitoba Myths
There are many myths surrounding the availability, price, and access to
connectivity in Manitoba. These myths must first be dispelled before a
true picture can emerge.

The New Myth, Broadband Versus High-speed
Access Manitoba22, in discussing the merits of conducting business in
Manitoba states that, “Manitoba boasts one of the world’s most advanced
fibre optic networking and digital switching platforms.”23 This, of course,
may apply to Winnipeg and Brandon but cannot be applied to the entire
province. In announcing the award of the Provincial Data Network
(PDN)24 to MTS, Manitobans were presented with terminology that
suggests high-speed and broadband is interchangeable.

Although they are more careful now than in the past, Manitoba Telecom
Services frequently interchanged the terms high-speed and broadband
when discussing access speeds and capabilities.

The Myths
1)    The Provincial Data Network (PDN)25
Myth: The Provincial Government owns a fibre network that services every
government office (more than 85 locations exist) in Manitoba.

Reality: The Provincial Data Network was and still is an MTS supplied
service that runs on MTS infrastructure, so it is not private in a true sense.
The Government data is aggregated with other non-government data and
the traffic is sent along the available MTS infrastructure.

The PDN employs a wide variety of products and services that provides a
network solution; they range from low speed analogue access (rural and
remote) to high-bandwidth fibre optic digital access in Winnipeg and
Brandon. The PDN is a bundle of services including network, access,
terminal and management services that are offered as a business
“solution” for the Government of Manitoba.

The Government of Manitoba currently spends approximately $5 to 7
Million annually for PDN services.26 The continuing growth of the data
network and Government’s increasing reliance on Information Technology
dictates that PDN traffic will probably double or triple every year for the

   See to view the press release
   See Appendix J for details on the RFP and the resultant contract award.
   As quoted in the Province of Manitoba PDN RFP tender documents.

                                    Smart Partners                                          31
                                   Cathedral Group

next several years. In light of this and due to the expiry of the existing
contract the Provincial Government in 2001 released an RFP that
requested proposals for the upgrading of many of the critical connection
points and infrastructure. The proposal also had to ensure some co­
operative capabilities were inherent in the new PDN arrangement. In
2002, after nearly a year of deliberation, MTS’s proposal27 was chosen as
successful. Several statements are made that indicate the PDN will assist
in delivering broadband to the residents in rural areas of Manitoba; but in
2003 it is still largely unclear to the public how and when the upgrades will
be delivered.

Additionally, it should be made clear that an enhanced PDN does not and
would not necessarily serve the residents with improved access to the
Internet. The PDN is primarily a tool to serve government and its ever-
increasing bandwidth requirements. In some cases the local traffic
might in fact face degradation, as government traffic takes up more
bandwidth in an already stressed system.

2)    Manitoba Health Networks
Myth: Regional Health Authorities and the Winnipeg Health Authority
operate a privately owned health network infrastructure.

Reality: The Provincial Data Network carries the traffic of all health
authorities. The wide area network portion of the PDN connects
information technology resources at healthcare facilities (e.g. Manitoba
Health, Health Authority Offices, data centres, operations and
maintenance monitoring centres, regulatory bodies, hospitals, rural
diagnostic units, private labs, private lab specimen collection points, and
physicians clinics throughout the province.) The wide area network of the
PDN provides the data transfer capabilities for healthcare facilities to
exchange appropriate clinical and administrative data. The PDN connects
approximately 300 retail pharmacies, 85 hospitals, and a number of
personal care homes using common MTS infrastructure. The speed of the
connection is dependent on location and can range from a 28.8 Kbps to
high-speed cable and fibre optics. The award of a new five-year PDN
contract to MTS includes the provision to increase the health network
access to a high-speed connection in all locations.

3)    The Manitoba Public Library Information Network (MAPLIN)
Myth: All libraries are connected in a private infrastructure by MAPLIN.

Reality: The Provincial Data Network in combination with other MTS
infrastructure connects the libraries.

  See for the Province’s Press
Release regarding the contract award.

                                    Smart Partners                                           32
                                     Cathedral Group

The Manitoba Public Library Information Network is a partnership of all
108 Public Libraries in Manitoba, as well as the Manitoba Legislative
Library and some other small community organizations.

The MAPLIN network is based on local Internet solutions, and not a true
network. The MAPLIN network does not incorporate broadband access

4)      Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Network
Myth: Every MPIC office is connected by a high-speed networked

Reality: MPIC is an extension of the PDN. The MPIC Network is subject
to the same infrastructure limitations as other networks connected to and
part of the PDN.

5)    Manitoba School Network
Myth: Manitoba Schools are fully networked.

Reality: There is no school network in Manitoba; but schools across
Manitoba are able to connect to the Internet.

The speed of access varies significantly from 10 to 100 MB fibre in
Winnipeg and Brandon to low-speed modem and satellite access in rural
and remote locations.

Most high-speed data circuits in schools are used solely for Internet
access. Most rural school divisions are served by a 56 Kbps frame relay
service, connecting the local high school, with dial-up 28.8 Kbps access
provided to local elementary schools. Approximately 24 locations have
access via the DirectPC one-way satellite service. DirectPc provides a
shared 400 Kbps access across Canada. A phone line is used as a return
link to the Internet. This system is currently over-subscribed and is
providing a reduced quality service.

6)     Manitoba Hydro28
Myth: Manitoba Hydro has been laying fibre for years and has the
province wired.

Reality: Manitoba Hydro has a very small fibre optic network that connects
several of its generating facilities. This network does not extend fully from
facility to facility without utilizing some MTS infrastructure. It was
recognized that operating broadband applications on the network required
substantial upgrading and retrofitting.

     See Appendix for the Manitoba Hydro Fibre Build Map and broadband capabilities

                                      Smart Partners                                  33
                           Cathedral Group

In 2002 Manitoba Hydro began an ambitious upgrading program that
would see over 1,700 kilometers of new fibre be installed. The primary
reasons were to fulfill hydro export requirements, improve the Hydro
owned communication infrastructure and increase reliability of existing
leased infrastructure by acquiring new Hydro owned infrastructure. The
infrastructure and system was intentionally over designed so that dark
fibre would be available for expanded Hydro or optional use.

Will Wireless be king in Rural Manitoba?

                            Smart Partners                                34
                                       Cathedral Group

Manitoba Projects
Manitobans know they have limited access capabilities and that in many
ways technology is a difficult issue to introduce and maintain in more
remote and northern communities. Although no one shining beacon of
hope has emerged for Manitobans there has definitely been progress
made in increasing access for residents.

Manitoba Projects of note:
  ¾ MTS NextGen29 ADSL access
  ¾ Community Access Program (CAP) site expansion to 600 sites
      throughout the province
  ¾ Improved infrastructure in the southeast corner of the province
  ¾ Improved infrastructure in Brandon area particularly (MTS and
  ¾ Manitoba Hydro has assisted several communities in achieving
      infrastructure and connectivity
  ¾ Wireless and improved wireless technology
  ¾ Community Connections has worked with many communities in
      developing content and Internet presence, as well as developing
      tool-sets for communities to develop, launch and maintain their
      community websites

CAP Sites
Manitoba has developed 146 sites in rural and remote areas since the
CAP (Community Access Program) was introduced in 1995. The Manitoba
CAP agreement enabled Industry Canada and the Province of Manitoba to
establish Internet connections in approximately 440 additional sites.30
Winnipeg hosts approximately 200 of these sites while the remaining 240
new sites are established in rural areas. CAP is one of the longest
running federally sponsored connectivity programs. The main reason it
enjoys continued success is that the support for the program’s participants
has continued since the program was first started. Recently, the 600th site
in Manitoba was launched.

Manitoba Hydro
Manitoba Hydro has dark fibre capacity. This capacity will increase as
their seven-year upgrade project progresses. Where a community can
demonstrate it has few options for connectivity and the financial resources
to connect are available, Manitoba Hydro, in association with a third party
who will deliver the ISP services, will allow the use of their dark fibre.
Usually, for this to be cost effect the community will have to be in close
proximity to one of the Hydro Point Of Presence (POP). The list is
anticipated to grow as the Hydro project continues to completion.

     See Appendix B for more details
     See Appendix G for a list of community access sites

                                        Smart Partners                   35
                             Cathedral Group

Manitoba communities already assisted by Manitoba Hydro include:
  ¾ Lac du Bonnet and area, Granite Online
  ¾ St. Pierre-Jolys, Rat River Co-op
  ¾ Niverville
  ¾ Pinawa, Granite Internet
  ¾ Brandon utilizes Hydro dark fibre that is managed by MTS

Wireless Internet access has been used in several Manitoba
   ¾ St. Pierrre-Jolys, supplied by the Rat River Co-operative
   ¾ Pukatawagon, Q-Link and the community of Pukatawagon
   ¾ Rosenort, supplied by Genesis Networks Inc., also serves:
          ƒ Osborne 

          ƒ McTavish 

          ƒ Silver Falls

          ƒ Riverside

   ¾ Brandon and Area, supplied by several service providers such as:
          ƒ SkyCable/SkyWeb
          ƒ I-NetLink
   ¾	 Churchill, (the community is now known as the First North
      American Wireless Community) supplied by a collaboration that
          ƒ Global Wireless Satellite Networks 

          ƒ Broadstorm Telecommunication 

          ƒ Arrow Broadband 

          ƒ Vancouver Teleport 

Generally, wireless provides for a wider footprint over other broadband
options. Operating on the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequencies, wireless
broadband has become the technology of choice for many rural locations.
Wireless is favored as the best solution for the provision and distribution of
access to the “last mile.” In this inference, the last mile is the final
distribution mode and not the distance.

Features include:
   ¾ Lower implementation costs when compared to cable and DSL
   ¾ Fixed wireless is "always on"
   ¾ Wireless broadband technology meets the speed and the standards
      for multimedia and voice applications

For the greater distances, towers and repeater towers can be installed as
far as 50KM apart when configured with Carrier Class 5.8GHz high
capacity radio equipment. This type of infrastructure requires a high
capacity fibre link and an ISP to provide the system with Internet access.

                              Smart Partners                                36
                                    Cathedral Group

Community Connections31
Community Connections facilitates Internet access to community-based
programs and services through partnerships with communities,
government and private sectors. The combined efforts of community
groups, social agencies, libraries, schools, volunteer groups and the
business community helps Community Connections help Manitobans take
advantage of emerging opportunities in the global economy.

Public locations such as schools, libraries and community centres act as
access points to the Information Highway. Through Community
Connections activities like computer training and youth development are
supported within the local community, encouraging public use of the

Through an agreement with Industry Canada, Community Connections
manages the Community Access Program (CAP) in Manitoba.

Community Connections has assisted in developing the websites of:
  ¾ Central Winnipeg Community Network
  ¾ Point Douglas - North End Resource Network
  ¾ St. Vital Community Resource Network
  ¾ Transcona Community Network
  ¾ Community of St James Assiniboia Network
  ¾ River Heights Community Network
  ¾ Bayline Regional Round Table
        ƒ	 consists of small towns that are located along the rail line
            from The Pas to Churchill
  ¾ Northern Vision Regional Round Table

        ƒ South Indian Lake 

        ƒ Lynn Lake 

        ƒ Leaf Rapids 

  ¾ Southwest Regional Round Table

        ƒ Baldur 

        ƒ Boissevain 

        ƒ Deloraine 

        ƒ Glenboro 

        ƒ Killarney

        ƒ Souris 

        ƒ Wawanesa 

  ¾ Pembina - Manitou 

        ƒ Manitou 

        ƒ Darlingford 


                                     Smart Partners                        37
                                     Cathedral Group

           ƒ Snowflake 

           ƒ La Riviere 

       ¾ Town of Ste. Anne

It is unfortunate that many of the websites listed are often not accessible
due to a variety of reasons, the most common of which is Internet Service
Provider (ISP) related. As well the content of many of the sites is stagnant
and/or unfocused.

There are 60032 CAP sites in Manitoba:
Northern Manitoba         61
Rural Manitoba            338
Winnipeg                  201
WEB-4 access sites 18     (for assistive technology access)

Typical Rural Manitoba Community
It is unlikely any rural community in Manitoba would not enjoy the
advantages of Internet connectivity. Social and economic aspects, if not
well understood, are soundly demonstrated. In determining the
representation of a standard community model we look to examples of
reasons why residents may or may not utilize the Internet as a community
resource. Understanding the reasons for choice and then reviewing the
geographic implications should give a perspective of what a community
might do to implement a focused Internet access policy.

Recently LibraryNet (Manitoba stats) conducted a connectivity survey. It
assists us to determine our model community by demonstrating the type of
connectivity available in communities. The majority are clearly analog
modems of 56k or lower.

How does your library connect to the Internet?
Dial-up modem (lower than (56k)          43
Shared phone/Internet line (56)          24
Dedicated service line (56 kbp)          13
ISDN (64 kbps)                           0
ISDN (128 kbps)                          0
Satellite service                        11
Digital subscriber line (DSL)            0
T1 to T3 (45 mbps)                0
Cable modem (1.5 mbps)                   6
Wireless (1.5-40 mbps)                   3
Fibreoptic line (1gbps)                  20


                                      Smart Partners                      38
                                      Cathedral Group

The LibraryNet survey also states that the primary use of the public
access terminals (by a majority of 31.5%) was to locate information or
services from local, provincial and/or federal governments.

Statistics Canada provides further insight with the most common
reasons33 for not accessing the Internet:
Cost of equipment or cost of access              28%
Poor or nonexistent access                       27%
No Time                                          18%
Lack of Skills                           13%
No Need                                           7%

A profile of non-users is provided by StatsCan research results (these
are not ordered in any sequence):
   ¾ Disproportionately older, seniors
   ¾ Lower income
   ¾ Lower level of educated
   ¾ Rural or remote settings
   ¾ Women (are more apt not to use)

For those that do use the Internet StatsCan provides their most popular
Internet activities34
  1. E-mail                                           93%
  2. Browsing                                         90%
  3. Finding Medical and Health Information           57%
  4. Finding Travel Information*                      54%
  5. Finding News                                     50%
  6. Formal Education & Training*                     47%
  7. Government Information and Services              47%
  8. Finding Financial Information             46%
  9. Games*                                    45%
10. Obtaining Music*                                  44%
11. Sports                                            43%
12. E-banking*                                        36%
13. Finding Employment Information                    30%
14. Chat Rooms                                        27%
15. Purchasing Goods & Services (e-commerce)*         24%
16. Radio Listening*                                  23%

*Denotes broadband applications would be suitable or may even already
be used.

     Source StatsCan, General Social Survey 2000

                                       Smart Partners                    39
                             Cathedral Group

The Urban Issues (Urban Advantage)
The majority of the urban issues mirror the rural but there are several
divergent urban issues that can be readily identified. In Manitoba there
are two large, southern, urban centers, Winnipeg and Brandon. These
two urban centres have several distinct differences from their rural
   ¾ There are competitive forces at work.
           ƒ Brandon has Westman, MTS and others
           ƒ Winnipeg has MTS, Shaw, Sprint, ATT, Group Telecom and
               numerous ISPs
   ¾ Service levels and options are almost unlimited in either Brandon or
           ƒ Dial up from 28.8k to broadband at 150Mbps and more
   ¾	 Although access is not assured for everyone, it is on a per capita
       basis easier to achieve. This is managed through a multitude of
       public access sites, over 260 in Winnipeg and the use of online
       computers at friends and relatives homes.
           ƒ	 In comparison, Rural Manitoba has approximately 250 in
   ¾	 The two centers, Winnipeg and Brandon, themselves are
       competitive. Service providers may self-segregate the areas of
       service protecting hard earned customers from outside competitors
       by favorable regional service and sales policies.
           ƒ	 Cable packages and Internet services differ in rates and
   ¾	 The digital divide is very much alive in urban centers. The urban
       digital divide is more a derivative of cultural and income related
       issues than it is of accessibility. Although accessibility may also be
       affected by the “will” to participate, which is a definitive cultural
           ƒ	 Aboriginal people and First Nations communities are even
               more susceptible to digital divide and cultural content issues.
   ¾	 Content is easier to obtain from a larger urban population (cultural)
       base. When content is plentiful significant number of others will
       desire to utilize the resource. Trivial or stagnant content will cause
       the source to suffer non-use. Urban centres such as Winnipeg and
       Brandon can become “Knowledge Bases.” Knowledge bases are
       the central point of research and information dissemination.
           ƒ	 Rural and remote centres are very disadvantaged in the
               ability to generate knowledge base content unless local
               industry and government retain the knowledge sources
               identity locally.
   ¾	 Urban centres can more easily forge relationships with Provincial
       and Federal governments. Major funding for projects is more
       readily achievable. The funding also has the effect of making the

                              Smart Partners                                40
                                    Cathedral Group

        projects more attractive because invariably they are larger and
        make stronger business cases.
           ƒ	 Projects like Industry Canada’s BRAND can alleviate this to
               a degree but they also spawn other concerns such as the
               competitive lose factor.35

The Rural Issues (Rural Disadvantage)
The majority of the rural issues can be readily identified as distance
related. In Manitoba there are over two hundred and twenty rural
communities. These rural communities are distinctly different from their
urban counterparts:
    ¾ There are few competitive forces at work.
           ƒ Competition is very limited and services are generally
               expensive and scattered.
    ¾ Service levels and options are almost always limited in some way.
           ƒ Dial up access is common at 56k; broadband is unavailable
               in most areas and high-speed is limited to DSL or cable
               unless wireless is deployed.
    ¾ Access is not assured. There are a multitude of public access sites
       but the use is still limited to hours of operation and often at slow
           ƒ Rural Manitoba has approximately 250 public access sites in
    ¾ Providing services in rural areas is for many a labour of love and
       not a true competitive business venture.
    ¾ The digital divide is very much alive in rural communities. The rural
       digital divide is a derivative of cultural, income and accessibility
           ƒ Aboriginal people and First Nations communities that are
               often remote are even more susceptible to digital divide and
               cultural content issues.
    ¾ Content is harder to obtain from small rural populations (cultural as
       well as business and industry). When content is scant and perhaps
       not perceived as significant the desire to contribute may be
       diminished. Most rural centres cannot become “Knowledge Bases.”
           ƒ Rural and remote centres are very disadvantaged in the
               ability to generate knowledge base content unless local
               industry and government retain the knowledge source
               identity locally. Example: The town of Souris utilizes the
               famous suspension bridge as a unique area identifier and
               retains that image on a continual basis.
    ¾ Rural communities have less opportunity (ability) to attract major
       funding for projects when funding is based on a business case.

  Competitive Lose Factor refers to the “No one likes to loose” backlash theory that has been
evidenced in competitions like Smart Communities and BRAND.

                                     Smart Partners                                             41
                                     Cathedral Group

Statistical Summary of a Representative Manitoba Community
In reviewing the statistics presented by Statistics Canada and the
PCensus Report36 prepared by Cathedral Group a representative
Manitoba community emerges.

Average Age                                            36.6
Dominate Age Group                                     5 - 19
Persons Per Family                                     3
Average Household Income                               $50,700
Largest Household Income Group                         $20,000 – 29,000
Owned Dwellings                                        68%
First Language                                         English
Second Language                                        German
       Winnipeg (Pilipino)
Aboriginal People                                      15% of total population

Main Connection Speed by Geography         56k or less
Main Connection Type by Geography          Dial-up
Main Telecommunications Carrier        MTS
Estimated Households With High-speed
Connection Availability, by population     65%+
Top two reasons for not Accessing          Cost
                                           Lack of Availability
Top reason for Accessing                   E-mail
      Next 5 reasons: 

             ƒ Browsing

             ƒ Healthcare Info 

             ƒ Travel Info 

             ƒ News 

             ƒ Education & Training 

Estimated Average Household Computer
Ownership                                  57%

Main Industries
            ƒ Government (services delivery) Public Administration
            ƒ Agriculture
            ƒ Healthcare
            ƒ Manufacturing

     Appendix L contains the report summary

                                      Smart Partners                             42
                                   Cathedral Group

Manitobans have been asked their opinions about accessibility on
numerous occasions. Manitoba Education Research and Learning
Information Networks (Merlin)37, an agency responsible for connecting
Manitoba’s schools to the best connectivity available in the region has
released information on the quality of Internet connections to Manitoba

Manitoba Internet Connection Quality – May 200238
Quality of Connection        # of Schools         Percentage Rating
High Quality                                 229                             31%
Adequate                                     201                             28%
(High Speed)
Poor or none                                 289                             41%

Approximate Rural (remote) Access Costs
Rural Manitoba communities that are under-serviced (no high-speed or
broadband) will incur relatively high costs for their connectivity.

Typically, School or Band Offices access the Internet through a 28.8 dial­
up service. The charges applied are approximate and may include:
Line charges                                    $34.00 monthly
Base ISP charges of
(based on 180 Hours)                            $39.95 monthly
Extended by 180 Hours to reflect
12 hours per day usage                          $324.00 per month
Long distance charges may also apply
360 Hours Usage x .10 cents per min             $1,080.00 monthly
Total Cost could exceed                         $1,477.00 per month

Typical Home Users are also serviced through a 28.8 dial-up. The
charges applied may include:
Line charges                                 $34.00 per month
ISP charges                                  $29.00 per month

   Merlin’s mandate has recently changed and may further evolve. For an up-date on Merlin and
their mandate see
   Merlin Statistics – For more info on Merlin see Appendix M and

                                    Smart Partners                                          43
                                  Cathedral Group

Unlimited Long Distance bundle                            $76.00 per month
Total Cost may exceed                                     $139.00 per month

Manitoba Case Studies
In Connectivity in Manitoba39 we made the statements:
It has become evident that there is no single solution to rural connectivity
needs. No single top down solution is going to work in all rural locations.
The solutions need to emerge from local communities themselves with
support from Provincial and Federal Governments. This is why it is
deemed important to ask first what local communities can do for
themselves to meet their needs.

Whether service is provided by incumbents or a competitor the
fundamental economic problem in rural telecommunications is to
aggregate together sufficient demand to make it economically viable for
any provider to make the needed initial investments to connect the dots.

These statements were realistic and also very prophetic. Nearly all of the
telecommunications infrastructure projects undertaken in the past two
years in Manitoba have proven out these theories. Even now we find
Industry Canada’s Broadband40 (BRAND) initiative focusing on the
communities to seek their own solutions to obtaining broadband. The
program offers contributions of up to $30,000 for business planning and
RFP services for the introduction of broadband to rural and remote

In an effort to connect the dots communities that have adopted strategies
for broadband and connectivity invariably look to their neighbours for
assistance in aggregating demand. It has also been proven that
cooperation is more important than competition in achieving the needed
investment. In rural Manitoba, Federal, Provincial, and Municipal
government needs (including education and health care services) usually
constitute a larger percentage of telecommunications demand than they
do in urban communities. And so they must become major contributors to
the community’s efforts.41

   See the entire document at
   Details available at
   PCensus Report indicates government is a major employer in many Manitoba communities. See
the report in Appendix O.

                                   Smart Partners                                        44
                                    Cathedral Group

The E-Commerce in Northern Manitoba Report42
Following are highlights of a report on E-commerce in Manitoba’s northern
regions. Participants voiced their concerns on the quality of access to the
Internet. Bold passages indicate what the authors consider to be major
issues that need resolution.

The state of the communications infrastructure in Northern Manitoba was
of concern to the participants. Although, most discussions usually relate
to infrastructure participants were asked not to make it the focus of the
meeting. Frustration was expressed as northerners feel that they are
receiving a second-class service, which puts them at an economic
disadvantage. The problems presented by the communication
infrastructure have been discussed time and again with little
progress being made.

The lack of data transfer speed causes web pages with pictures to take an
exceeding long time to load. This results in frustration by the user and
from time to time causes the system to time out. The fact that the
download time is longer makes the service more expensive.
Most communities in Northern Manitoba do not have high speed Internet
access. The MTS plan to provide high-speed access to Manitobans was
discussed. Participants were frustrated that the service will only be
provided to The Pas, Flin Flon and Thompson in the north. The smaller
communities feel that they will be even further disadvantaged.

Web pages created for a Northern Manitoba market must be simple
so that they may be accessed in a reasonable amount of time. This
provides challenges for the developers who are targeting a wider
geographic audience.

One participant noted that Internet users in Norway House must pay long
distance charges at this time.

The discussion regarding the communication infrastructure was not limited
to Internet access. Participants expressed frustration with the fact that
when certain cables are cut in the south, the entire north loses
telephone communication, which includes Interac, credit card
authorization services, Internet and long distance telephone
communication. It was felt that a back up system should be in place to
ensure uninterrupted service.

Participants felt that governments should be placing more emphasis on
the quality and speed of the communication infrastructure in Northern
Manitoba. All Canadians should have good quality affordable access to


                                     Smart Partners                      45
                                      Cathedral Group

the Internet. How can economic activity be increased through e-
commerce in Northern Manitoba if the basic infrastructure required
is not in place?

Federally Assisted (funded) Projects
Pukatawagon, Manitoba
The Northern Cree community of approximately 2,800 residents that
shared 17 telephone lines recently deployed a wireless local loop and
satellite uplink to provide Internet access. (See self-financed projects)

Provincial Assisted (funded) Projects
See Community Connections.

Community Connections
In partnership with the federal government (CAP) Community
Connections43 can assist Manitobans with:
    ¾ Connectivity Grants
    ¾ Hardware Grants
    ¾ Assistive Technology Grants

Technology Commercialization Project (TCP)
The provincial government offers the TCP program.44 This program seeks
to assist new of existing businesses develop or import new technologies
products for Manitoba.

I-NetLink Loan of $225,000 from IT&M
Communities expected to receive wireless of 1 Mb/s for households and 3
Mb/s for business services include:
   ¾ Notre Dame de Lourdes
   ¾ Portage la Prairie
   ¾ Rathwell
   ¾ Shoal Lake
   ¾ Srathclair
   ¾ Treherne


                                       Smart Partners                       46
                                Cathedral Group

Self-Financed (non-assisted) Projects

Lac Brochet45
Lac Brochet is a First Nations community located approximately 300 km
Northwest of Thompson, Manitoba that has 600 residents.
Prior to the QLC supplied solution, Lac Brochet only had access to dial-up

The solution for this community was to install a high-speed satellite
system. The installation included a wireless network connection to:
   ¾ band office
   ¾ nurse’s station
   ¾ local store
   ¾ school
   ¾ 40 resident homes

The community benefited from the complete network solution that fully
integrated hardware and software technologies based on leading industry
standards. This now ensures Internet access to services required by
individuals, including the electronic delivery of Education, Health, Cultural,
Recreational and Government Services. The community operates their
own Internet Service Provider (ISP). The cost reduction is notable as well
as the other benefits that include increased employment opportunities and
better quality of service. The residents of Lac Brochet are now able to
seriously participate in continuing education, distance learning initiatives,
and e-business developments.

Pukatawagan, Manitoba
The Northern Cree community of approximately 2,800 residents that
shared 17 telephone lines recently deployed a wireless local loop and
satellite uplink to provide Internet access. A local network connects:
   ¾ Schools
   ¾ RCMP stations
   ¾ Nursing stations
   ¾ Band offices

The cost at approximately $30 per month, is considerably more
reasonable than the dial-up connections previously endured.46 Key
financial supporters and facilitators in this project included a Community
Champion, Quick Link Communications47 and the Federal Government.


                                 Smart Partners                              47
                                     Cathedral Group

Steinbach Credit Union
Businesses can also be proactive in their search for solutions not offered
by telecommunications carriers in the region or if available options are too
expensive. Steinbach Credit Union48 recently unveiled it’s own wireless
network that links the Steinbach and Winnipeg offices. The approximately
$750,000 spent on equipment and related services is expected to realize a
return on investment within 20 months. Savings realized are
approximately $75,000 per month.

BRAND Assisted Projects49
Round One – Business Plan Funding

Broadband Communication North
Thompson, MB

Central Plains Inc.
Southport, MB

Community Development Corporation
Ste. Anne, MB

Community Development Corporation Lourdeon
Notre Dame de Lourdes, MB

Interlake Regional Development Corporation,
Arborg, MB

North Central Development
Thompson, MB

St. George Community Development Corporation
St. George, MB

Swan Valley Community Network Inc
Swan River, MB

Triple R Community Futures Development Corporation
Morris, MB

Wheat Belt Community Futures Development Corporation
Brandon, MB

     See for details

                                      Smart Partners                                         48
                            Cathedral Group

Round Two – Business Plan Funding
Acces Saint-Laurent
R.M. of Saint-Laurent Community Development Corporation
St. Laurent, MB

East Side Broadband Project 

Little Black River 

Black River, MB 

Hutterian Broadband Network 

Morris, MB 

MMF Broadband To All 

Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. 

Winnipeg, MB 

Northwest Manitoba Broadband Telecommunications System (NMBTS) 

Northwest Community Futures Committee Inc. 

Lynn Lake, MB 

Westshore Broadband Network 

North-East Interlake Community Futures Development Committee, 

Riverton, MB 

Success Stories

News Article on the Saint Pierre-Jolys Network Project.

Two years ago, the tiny community of Saint Pierre-Jolys in the central
Canadian province of Manitoba thought it had found the solution to its
economic woes. It would establish itself as a "call center-ready
community," one capable of building and staffing a call center on demand
and thus qualify for provincial subsidies. But call centers today don't just
offer phone-based services. They also have to be able to provide chat
and e-mail contact for customers of e-commerce companies, and even
video conferencing. To do that, they need high-speed Internet access.
And that's where Saint Pierre ran into the great Digital Divide. The town is
30 miles south of the provincial capital, Winnipeg, near Canada's border
with Minnesota. Like most small communities in southern Manitoba, and
many across the continent, it didn't have broadband access: no cable, no
DSL and no leased line services (or not without prohibitive costs for fibre
construction from incumbent telco MTS Communications Inc. of
Winnipeg). It took over a year, but the determined folk of Saint Pierre, led
by the inter-community Rat River Communications Co-op, found a way to

                             Smart Partners                               49
                            Cathedral Group

bridge the Divide using broadband fixed wireless technology. Today the
town and its partners operate their own wireless ISP. It was very much a
community-based achievement, but with some interesting outside
participants, including Manitoba Hydro, a "utelco" (telecom provider spun
off from a power utility) and Calgary, Alberta- based Wicomm Inc., a
unique middle-mile wireless carrier. It's a model that may be instructional
to other small towns. Hydro, a utility run by the government of Manitoba
Province, built its own fibre data communications network to meet internal
requirements for monitoring, control, and security on its far flung power
grid. It has operated the network for over 15 years, and began selling
dark fibre as a carrier's carrier in the mid-1990s. "We had to work hard to
get our costs and Hydro's costs down and the cost of the Internet
gateway," Pickard says. "And then we had to do some strategic
engineering before we could create a business model that worked in a
place like this where there are so few customers. "The cost to the
communities was almost unbelievably low. Bugera says, the co-op paid a
little over $5,000 toward construction of the Steinbach fibre connection
and the point-to-point wireless links, and it pays about $2,500 a month for
the Internet connection to Winnipeg. It paid a total of about $20,000 for
equipment and installation for the Canopy system. The local school
district, The Red River School Division, recognizing the value of the
project to its objectives of providing its rural schools with high-speed
Internet access, kicked in $40,000 to build the radio towers at Saint Pierre
and St. Malo. The service initially targeting business customers only, has
been up and running since late last year. Businesses pay about $950 for
hardware and installation. They can buy a monthly package starting with
bronze service, which provides bandwidth burstable to 1 Mbps and 5 GB
of monthly download for $125. Gold service provides up to 20 Mbps and
unlimited downloads. In terms of bringing broadband access to Saint
Pierre-Jolys, St. Malo, and Grunthal, the project is a decided success. It's
even making it possible for local hospitals and clinics to think of doing
video conferencing over the Net. Best of all, now that it finally has high-
speed Internet access, Saint Pierre can pursue its original objective of
becoming a call center- ready community. That's next on the agenda,
says Bugera.

                             Smart Partners                               50
                                   Cathedral Group

Canadian Projects

An Overview of Canada
In 2001, Mr. Patrick Mattern of the Canadian High Commission discussed
broadband developments in Canada. Despite a seemingly demographic
disincentive to rollout, Canadian penetration achieved a ranking of 2nd in
all OECD countires.50

Canada is divided into 13 provinces and territories but the Canadian
telecom industry is very consolidated. Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE)
owns or largely controls the incumbent telcos that serve majority of the
population of Canada. BCE has two main subsidiaries, Bell Canada that
provides service through most of the two biggest provinces, Ontario and
Quebec and Aliant that serves Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince
Edward Island and Newfoundland. Another subsidiary, NorthWesTel,
provides incumbent service in the Northwest, Nunavut and Yukon
territories. Additionally, BCE also owns a minority interest in Manitoba
Telecom Service, who is the incumbent carrier for the province of

TELUS Corporation owns the incumbents in British Columbia and Alberta
and SaskTel serves Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan government
owns SaskTel.

The cable industry is also consolidated, with Rogers Communications
having the largest share. Other operators are Shaw, Videotron, Cogeco
and Eastlink. The cable companies launched cable modem services
early, in November 1996, and the numbers are still well ahead of DSL
however, DSL is gaining market share.

Canada’s broadband penetration as a percentage of the population is
8.85%. The Canadian government set a goal that broadband services
should be available to businesses and residents in every Canadian
community by 2005. A study conducted in 2001 indicated that 4,781 of
Canada’s 5,984 communities that did not have broadband access, were
overwhelmingly the smaller and more remote ones while less than 10% of
urban and suburban communities were without access.

  Details can be viewed at and for additional
details see

                                    Smart Partners                                         51
                                     Cathedral Group

Cobra Ontario Project51
Connect Ontario: Broadband Regional Access (COBRA) is an Ontario
government initiative that will see $55 million invested in broadband
access to libraries, educational facilities and businesses. COBRA is a
three year program that focuses on encouraging private-public
partnerships to provide reliable and inexpensive broadband connectivity to
remote and rural areas in Ontario. The partnership agreements between
communities and government dictate that the communities must fund their
contribution to the project from sources other than COBRA. COBRA is
Phase II of the larger Connect Ontario project, which is funded by
SuperBuild. The goal of Connect Ontario is to give rural and remote
communities the opportunity to compete in a global setting. Perhaps the
most notable aspect of this project is that the statements made about
penetration are based on geographic regions and not population as is
evidenced most often in statements made by many other jurisdictions.
The goal is to achieve 80% coverage of geographic regions with
broadband connectivity. Funding is for up to 50% of the community’s
project costs.

Alberta SuperNet
A Government Network
Alberta SuperNet is a high-speed, high-capacity broadband network
linking 4,700 government offices, schools, health care facilities and
libraries in 422 communities.

To be completed in 2004, SuperNet is a pathway that lets government,
educators and health care workers share and deliver information and
services province-wide, and faster than ever before.

When completed in 2004, Alberta SuperNet will be one of the most
sophisticated communications networks in North America.

Fibre Optic Cable
Fibre optic networks use lasers to transmit light in split-second flashes.
Fibre optic cable is able to carry more information than conventional
copper wire and provides a faster, clearer signal, immune to cross-talk,
radio and electrical disturbances. It can be laid where required, without
needing to be within proximity of electrical systems. Fibre optic
transmissions are secure and easy to maintain.
The fibre optic cable used in the Alberta SuperNet network features links
ranging in speed from one-to-five gigabits per second.
Two types of links will be used in the SuperNet network: 130 high-capacity
digital microwave transport links (covering distances ranging from 20 to
150 kilometres, at speeds of 50 and 155 Mbps - megabits per second) and


                                      Smart Partners                                        52
                                 Cathedral Group

210 broadband access links, to connect facilities to the main transport 

links. The typical range of broadband access links is 10 to 40 kilometres, 

at speeds of 6.5 and 26 Mbps. 

Kenora Municipal Telephone System52

Wireless Broadband was launched in May 2003. The service brings high-

speed access to customers that are not served by other high-speed 

options. Coverage is approximately a 10-mile radius from Kenora and is 

dependent on line of sight to the towers. 

FCNQ - Case Study53

Federation of Cooperatives of Nouveau-Québec (FCNQ) is based in 

Montreal and is owned by its thirteen-member co-op in the Inuit 

communities of Nunavik (Northern Quebec). 

Prior to QLC’s CampusNet service, Nunavik only had access to dial-up 


Solution: - Installed a high-speed satellite system. 

Installed Cable network to offices, nurse’s station, local store, school and 

40 home users. 


  ¾ A complete solution including fully integrated hardware and
       software technologies based on industry standards.
  ¾ Guaranteed Internet access to services required by individuals,
       including the electronic delivery of Education, Health, Cultural,
       Recreational and Government Services.
  ¾ Operating of their own Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  ¾ Reduced costs, increased employment and better quality of
  ¾ “By meeting the needs of all individuals and organizations with one
       comprehensive Internet solution, we are able to bring a quality
       service at a competitive price to everyone,” said Paulussie
       Kasudluak, FCNQ.


                                 Smart Partners                             53
                          Cathedral Group

Connectivity Map
Note: Values and areas indicated are approximate. Consult the service
supplier for exact service areas.

                                                       MTS MTS – Provincial
                                                       Backbone ----------
                                                       (carries the PDN)

                                                       Sprint – Primary
                                                       operations in Winnipeg,
                                                       a long distance service

                                                       Telus – Primary
                                                       operations in Winnipeg,
                                                       a long distance service

                                                       Shaw Cable Shaw
                                                       Cable – Cable and
                                                       Internet, Winnipeg,
                                                       Selkirk, Steinbach

                                                       Manitoba Hydro
                                                       Manitoba Hydro –
                                                       Fibre Backbone

                                                       I-NetLink – Wireless in
                                                       Brandon area linked to
                                                       the Westman Fibre

                                                       Group Telecom –
                                                       Some fibre
                                                       infrastructure in
                                                       Winnipeg, primarily
                                                       commercial application

                                                       Communications –
                                                       Brandon and area,
                                                       cable and Internet

                                                       Rat River Co-op
                                                       Rat River Co-
                                                       operative – St. Pierre
                                                       and area

                                                       Rainy Day Software
                                                       Rainy Day Software –
                                                       Niverville and area

                                                       Churchill – serving

                                                       See Southern details
                                                       next page

                           Smart Partners                                     54
                        Cathedral Group

Brandon Area
                                                           I-NetLink –
                                                           serves the
                                                           Brandon, Cardale,
                                                           Chater, Clear
                                                           Lake, Deloraine,
                                                           Douglas, Erikson,
                                                           Forrest, Hamiota,
                                                           Hartney, Justice,
                                                           Kemnay, Kenton,
                                                           Oak River,
                                                           Rivers, Souris,
                                                           Sioux Valley,

                                                           – serves Brandon,
                                                           Winnipeg with
                                                           High-speed data

St. Pierre-Jolys Area

                                         Rat River Co-
                                         operative –
                                         serves St.
                                         Pierre, St.

                                         Rainy Day
                                         Software –
                                         serves the R.M.
                                         of Richot and

                                         These maps and lists are
                                         provided for general Information
                                         For complete lists of the
                                         communities served contact the
                                         service provider.

                                         Westman Communications has
                                         a complete list of home services
                                         at their site:

                        Smart Partners                                         55
                                       Cathedral Group

Availability of Connectivity in Manitoba

Capability of Service Providers in Manitoba
It is difficult to determine the exact state of Internet access in Manitoba.
The capability of the carriers and telecommunications companies is
considered competitive information and the service areas are so
fragmented. Satellite and wireless services are scattered throughout the
province in small pockets of service, often serving individual organizations
or businesses and not truly benefiting the entire community. Even more
difficult is discovering how much dark fibre is on the known fibre routes or
what capacity is available for use, sale or lease. It is fairly certain that in
rural Manitoba there is little if any dark fibre available. The exception
would be the dark fibre that may become available through the Manitoba
Hydro up-grade project. This, while limited, could still be a major
improvement for the communities along or near the fibre route.

Manitoba Specific Connectivity Suppliers
Manitoba connectivity suppliers, their principal broadband capability and
localities served are listed for quick review.

Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) – MTS provides telecommunication
services to all Manitoba communities. Broadband capabilities are located
in the communities of Winnipeg, Brandon, The Pas, Thompson, Dauphin,
Swan River, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk and Steinbach. The capability
ranges from 1 Mbps to 155 Mbps.

Recently MTS has embarked on a large-scale upgrade of some service
areas and they will have ADSL services in the following communities by
the end of 2005 as a part of their Next Gen services. It should be noted
that ADSL is not considered true broadband but high-speed Internet
access.54 Additionally, some communities will not receive a complete
ADSL service as switching boundaries literally cut the community into
sections of service or non-service.55

Altona      Arborg            Beausejour         Birtle
Boissevain         Brandon         Carberry                                       Carman
Dauphin            Dugald          Elm Creek                                      Erickson
Flin Flon          Gimli           Gimli Industrial                               Glenboro
Hamiota            Headingely      Killarney                                      Lockport E
Lac du Bonnet      Lockport W      Lorette                                        McCreary

     Check the URL for current status
     The list is current to July 2003. More communities may have been added after this date.

                                        Smart Partners                                         56
                                      Cathedral Group

Minnedosa                   Morden                  Morris       Neepawa
Nortre Dame                 Niverville              Oakbank      Pinawa
Pine Falls                  Portage la Prairie      Rivers       Roblin
Rossburn                    Russell                 Sanford      Selkirk
Shilo                       Shoal Lake              Souris       St. Claude
St Franicois                RM Springfield          Steinbach    Stonewall
East St. Paul               West St. Paul           Swan River   The Pas
Thompson                    Virden                  Wawanesa     Winkler

According to promotional literature and presentations, MTS views their
role as providers of basic bandwidth and claim to be moving from
narrowband to broadband. They also lay claim to embarking on a $67
Million network modernization project that accomplishes several key tasks,
among them extensive new fibre optics and improving of individual line
services. As was stated by an MTS representative in a recent
presentation to industry the project will lead to high-speed access to the
home, office and home office.56

Shaw Cable
Shaw Cable – Shaw Cable’s head office is located in Calgary Alberta. 

The Manitoba cable services are considered high-speed access and are 

located in the communities of: 

City of Winnipeg           Stonewall          Selkirk 

Steinbach                  Portage la Prairie     

Shaw Cable does not offer telecommunications services. Shaw has some 

fibre optic infrastructure, mainly in Winnipeg, to support their cable 


Westman Communications
Westman Communications – Broadband capacity is offered in Brandon,
Carberry, Minnedosa and Neepawa. Westman must use MTS
telecommunications infrastructure for portions of their service provision.
Westman are cable-based with some fibre optics in the Brandon area.
Broadband is rated from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps.

Telus is newly emerged in Winnipeg place and has not as yet become a
serious player in the telecommunications market. It is unknown exactly
what broadband capacity they have in Winnipeg although it is believed
they have some. There is little if any rural broadband penetration to date.


                                       Smart Partners                         57
                           Cathedral Group

Group Telecom – 360networks
Although Group Telecom is broadband capable the services are largely
limited to Winnipeg. The services range from 1.5 Mbps to 100 Mbps for
Internet connections.

AT&T Canada
Broadband service is only available in Winnipeg. Telecommunications
services are generally province wide and operate on MTS infrastructure or
delivered wireless.

Sprint broadband service is only available in Winnipeg.
Telecommunications services are generally province wide and operate on
MTS infrastructure. Sprint relies on the MTS infrastructure or wireless

Wireless Providers
WiLAN provides wireless services in some regions of Manitoba. The
company is based in Calgary.

WiBand Communications – Provides Wireless capability in Steinbach,
Winkler, Altona and Carmen that ranges from 1 to 3 Mbps; dedicated
services are available up to 100Mbps. The head office is located in

Wicomm has focused its attention toward building broadband wireless
networks within the Province of Manitoba. Within Manitoba, Wicomm is
presently building fibre and wireless facilities that "bridge the gap"
between Manitoba Hydro's existing fibre routes and various rural
communities in need of broadband services.

Quick Link Communications
Quick Link is a Satellite-based broadband communications network. The
company targets delivery of broadband services to under-served
enterprises. Since 1991, Quick Link has been providing enterprise
customers with broadband communications solutions in core and non-core
regions throughout Canada via its own hybrid satellite and terrestrial
based network. Recently launched Connect™, Canada’s first fully-
managed, private IP based satellite network. Service offerings include:
High-speed IP; data; voice and fax; high fidelity Internet; multicasting

                            Smart Partners                               58
                             Cathedral Group

Wireless services in Winnipeg and Brandon area that are called high-
speed Internet connections. Expansion potential and range is not known.
SkyWeb is a combination of Craig Wireless and WaveCom.

DirectPC (Telesat)
Wireless services in many areas of Manitoba, in the range of 400 Kbps for
download. Service area expansion is possible but the necessary dial-up
portion for upload is reliant on MTS infrastructure and is limited to 56 kbps.

Rat River Communications Co-op
Rat River Communications Co-op is Manitoba¹s first community-owned
Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), which provides a variety of
broadband Internet and Internet-based services to schools, businesses
and households in the communities of St. Pierre, St. Malo and Grunthal.

Rainy Day Software Corp.
Rainy Day Software Corp. was incorporated in 1998 as a consulting firm
and ISP (Rainy Day Internet) and is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As an
ISP, Rainy Day Internet offers narrowband (dialup) and high-speed
Internet connectivity. As a consulting firm they provide hardware and
network sales and service, including RF (wireless) consulting, sales, and
installation for voice and data networks as well as support services for
LAN, WAN, and internetworking configurations. Rainy Day clients include
public and privately held corporations in the private sector as well as
government agencies and non-profit organizations. Primary service area
is Niverville.

TeraGo Networks
TeraGo Networks is based in Toronto. TeraGo has some frequency
licenses in Manitoba. Wireless services are offered from 1.5 mbps to 100
Mbps. The primary interest is in large centres offering a solid business

It must be stated that carriers and service providers in Manitoba are in a
state of transition. Transition, in this instance, means the current list of
service providers and/or their capabilities appear to be changing or
realigning. As an example, very recently (approximately August 15, 2003)
Wicomm’s business page ( was deactivated or
redirected to Canadian Broadband Solutions Group (CBSG). Whether this
is a new company or a temporary association is not made clear.

What is evident is the opportunities presented by Industry Canada’s
BRAND program as well as the potential of dark fibre being made

                              Smart Partners                               59
                                    Cathedral Group

available by Manitoba Hydro will heighten the competitive environment in
Manitoba for at least the short term.

List of Resources
The following is a list of Connectivity consultants and contractors who
practice in or are located in Manitoba. The list does not intend to
represent capabilities beyond the self-described “services.” The list was
culled from the extensive list presented at the Sourcecan website.57

AML Wireless Networks Inc.
260 Saulteaux Cres.
Winnipeg, MB
R3J 3T2
Transmission Services:
Microwave Radio
Equipment Providers:
Fixed Wireless
Consulting Services:
Network Design
Services Provided in the Following Regions:
International, Alberta, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba,
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan,
Newfoundland, North West Territories, Yukon
AML Wireless Networks designs, manufactures, markets, installs and
services state of the art broadband RF signal transmission systems to
provide solutions to video, voice or data distribution requirements. As an
innovator in the design and manufacture of wireless transmission systems,
AML Wireless Networks, technology continues to set the standard for
wireless applications to meet the ever-changing needs of multimedia
services providers. The product line includes a complete line of analog
and digital indoor and outdoor equipment with two-way capabilities.
Multiple frequency plans are available for both point to point and point to
multi-point applications.

Broadband Development Centre
456-435 Ellice Ave
WINNIPEG, Manitoba
Canada R3B1Y6
Consulting Services:
Community Engagement/Demand Aggregation, Preparation of Business
Plan, Network Design, Engineering Services, Network Management, The
Broadband Development Centre (BDC) provides technical / commercial


                                     Smart Partners                         60
                            Cathedral Group

consulting and management services to communities, economic
development agencies and businesses engaged in broadband network
development and deployment. We are not associated with nor represent
any commercial equipment or services vendor. This allows us to work
impartially and soley on behalf of our clients. The BDC offers specialized
expertise, at the community or regional level, in the areas of broadband
user needs analyses, market demand assessments, alternative
technology evaluations and financial sustainability appraisals.
Services Provided in the Following Regions:
International, Alberta, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba,
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan,
Newfoundland, North West Territories, Yukon
Our Services:
The Broadband Development Centre, in partnership with our affiliate E B
Systems Limited, offers system integration, design engineering, project
management and community consulting services.

E B Systems Limited
210-2025 Corydon Ave.
Winnipeg, MB
R3P 0N5
Consulting Services:
Preparation of Business Plan, Network Design, Engineering Services
Services Provided in the Following Regions:
Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan
E B Systems Limited is a firm that has planning and design skills, along
with "hands-on" broadband activity including field surveys, equipment
installation, testing and ongoing system maintenance. Service areas
range from wireless systems (50 MHz to 50 GHz), cable systems
employing fibre optics, coaxial cable and satellite systems.

I-NetLink Incorporated
2-1417 Rosser Ave. 

Brandon, MB 

R7A 0M5 

Transmission Services: 

Microwave Radio, Bulk Internet Connectivity 

Local Network Services: 

Fixed Wireless 

Equipment Providers: 

Fixed Wireless, Switches/Routers, Customer Premises Equipment 

Consulting Services: 

Community Engagement/Demand Aggregation, Network Design, 

Engineering Services, Network Management

                             Smart Partners                                61
                            Cathedral Group

Services Provided in the Following Regions: 



A fixed point wireless ISP offering broadband services to over 20 

communities in Southwestern Manitoba. They offer cost effective high-

speed Internet solutions to rural areas that are underserved by the major 


Consulting Services: 

Community Engagement/Demand Aggregation, Network Design, 

Engineering Services, Network Management

Kisik Marketing & Communications Ltd.
619 Renfrew St.
Winnipeg, MB
R3N 1K1
Transmission Services:
Equipment Providers:
Satellite, Customer Premises Equipment
Services Provided in the Following Regions:
Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Concentrate on serving First Nation Communities in Canada. Aboriginal
owned and operated company.

RFNow Inc.
297 Nelson St. W
Virden, MB
R0M 2C0
Transmission Services:
Fibre Optic, ATM/SONET, Ethernet, Microwave Radio
Local Network Services:
Fibre Optic, Ethernet LAN, Fixed Wireless
Equipment Providers:
Fibre Optic, Fixed Wireless, Satellite, Switches/Routers, Customer
Premise Equipment
Consulting Services:
Community Engagement/Demand Aggregation, Preparation of Business
Plan, Network Design, Engineering Services, Network Management
Services Provided in the Following Regions:
Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Wi-LAN Inc.
2891 Sunridge Way NE
CALGARY, Alberta
Canada T1Y7K7

                             Smart Partners                              62
                            Cathedral Group

Transmission Services:
Microwave Radio, Satellite
Local Network Services:
Fixed Wireless, Satellite
Equipment Providers:
Fixed Wireless, Satellite, Customer Premises Equipment
Consulting Services:
Preparation of Business Plan, Network Design, Engineering Services
Services Provided in the Following Regions:
International, Alberta, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba,
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan,
Newfoundland, North West Territories, Yukon
Wi-LAN specializes in high-speed Internet access, LAN/WAN extension,
and broadband wireless access. Wi-LAN's broadband wireless access
systems use Wi-LAN's patented W-OFDM technology to achieve superior
throughput, enabling companies to avoid the high costs of installing wire
and paying licensing fees or on-going monthly line charges. It is the ideal
solution for multiple-site information networks, high-speed Internet access
and wireless communications infrastructures. The Wi-LAN advanced
wireless Ethernet bridges have wireless data rates currently ranging from
4,5 to 16 Mbps, and operate using MC-DSSS and Direct Sequence
Spread Spectrum technology. A Canadian company, Wi-LAN has been
assisting communities achieve connectivity for more than 10 years.

WiBand Communications
26, 920 - 28 St. N.E.
Calgary, Alberta
T2A 6K1
Transmission Services:
Ethernet, Microwave Radio, Satellite, Bulk Internet Connectivity, Fiber
Optic and ATM services through our many partnerships that were forged
through the construction and expansion of our national infrastructure.
Local Network Services:
Ethernet LAN, Fixed Wireless, Satellite, Point of Presence. Although our
infrastructure is based largely on Fixed Wireless, Fiber Optic and Ethernet
LAN technology for access and distribution, we also have experience with
DSL, Cable Modem and Satellite access.
Equipment Providers:
Fixed Wireless, Satellite, Switches/Routers, Customer Premise
Equipment. WiBand holds distribution rights and vendor relationships for
many Fixed Wireless Access and Networking products in Canada.
Consulting Services:
Community Engagement/Demand Aggregation, Preparation of Business
Plan, Network Design, Engineering Services, Network Management.

                             Smart Partners                              63
                            Cathedral Group

Services Provided in the Following Regions:
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan
WiBand provides a full suite of services related to data communications
and Internet applications. We offer Fixed Wireless Internet access in the
major center of Winnipeg as well as many of the surrounding
communities. We provide Engineering and Consulting services related to
the Design, Construction and Operation of private data communication
infrastructures. We provide Construction and Integration services for the
deployment of data communication infrastructures, for both private WANs
and public Internet access. WiBand is the longest-running national Fixed
Wireless Internet access provider in Canada.

The consultant list is subject to the same conditions as the service
provider list. The consultants listed and their capabilities will
continue evolve as the opportunities either increase or decrease.
Manitoba has few mature, “home-grown” consultants as is
evidenced by a review of the list. Caution should be exercised in the
selection of a consultant as not all consultants or service providers
may remain active in an area once the opportunities subside.

Longevity in the industry is one critical measure but communities need to
fully assess the other projects completed by a consultant or service
provider. Success should be measured using common sense and
     ¾ Is the success based on a similar geographic make-up
     ¾ Are the demographics similar enough to offer a fair comparison
     ¾ Is the client community satisfied the solution provided has all the
        needed benefits 

     ¾ Was the project brought in on or under budget 

                             Smart Partners                              64
                                     Cathedral Group

Review and Analysis of Resources
There are many resources available to communities that research and
implement a technology plan. The following are particularly useful and
should provide the researcher valuable information and guidance.

The Top Manitoba Resources:

Recommended Resources for Information and Concept Development
Smart Partners – for the basic and general information that can be used
to guide communities through the first steps in attaining connectivity or a
web presence.
Community Connections and CAP – for the assistance in establishing a
web presence, gaining basic connectivity and training assistance.
Additionally, CIMNET offers a useful set of tools for the development and
maintenance of web presences.
Industry Canada – for the success stories and planning tools offered.
Although the competitions do little to help at a local level the posted tools
and tips can assist in preparation of RFPs, Business Plans and other
proposal documents.
Merlin – for the links listed to potential resources and information
available to Manitobans. Merlin58 is undergoing a change of mandate and
it is highly desirable that the current focus and level of resources will
remain intact.

Concept Analysis
Various consultants59 are available to do concept analysis. Most
consultants will reduce the cost of a project that goes ahead by the
concept analysis consultant fee. For most projects that do not move
forward a consulting fee is levied and they will vary with each consultant.

If the community is capable (has the technical knowledge) of issuing a
Request For Proposal (RFP) without consultant involvement the concept
could be included in the narrative of the RFP and thus the community
would receive a partial concept analysis by default, through the responses

There are some exceptions to this general guideline; Smart Partners has
been known to contribute significant time on concept analysis to
communities at little or no cost (travel associated reimbursement; an in-
kind contribution).

  See section titled List of Resources for a listing of Manitoba Consultants capable of project

                                      Smart Partners                                              65
                            Cathedral Group

Project Funding
The best funding resource is by far the community itself. In any
imaginable case a community will need to be prepared to contribute some
level of funding to any connectivity access or web presence project. The
community should be prepared to go it alone and any funding or
assistance received thought of as a bonus.

There are organizations that can assist, the most notable is Community
Connections who have access to resources that can be applied to
access, a web presence and training.

There are those who have achieved funding from an Industry Canada
sponsored competition. Most often the funding is awarded in two stages:
Business Planning and Implementation. Not all funded Business Plans
achieve Implementation funding, although research indicates most will
receive some level of assistance.

Note: Each successful Industry Canada application for funds must be
accompanied by in-kind or participant contributions at a predetermined
level. In most cases this is 50% of the total project costs. The authors
own research did not disclose any Industry Canada projects that were
Industry Canada funded that did not first participate in an Industry
Canada competition; the exceptions are several First Nation community

                             Smart Partners                                66
                               Cathedral Group

Connectivity Solutions

Wireless Technology
Wireless has been used extensively in Western Manitoba to provide
access services to rural communities. Several urban centres have used
wireless to achieve a cost-effective WAN or local LAN configuration when
a line of site installation is possible or when a Rights of Way issue
prohibits a cable solution.

Wireless may be at its best as a “last mile” distribution solution. Wireless
is still emerging technology and so it may have many of the problems
associated with the adoption of early technologies. As the standards
become more universally adopted, which they in fact are, wireless will
certainly become an attractive alternative solution.

Rating the Wireless Solution

            Advantage                             Disadvantage

Generally wireless is less              Reliability issues are not all
expensive than a hard-wired or          resolved including physical issues
satellite solution.                     of equipment repair and
Wireless is quick to deploy and re-     Wireless technology is still
deploy if required (mobility factor).   emerging. Changes may
                                        necessitate frequent or costly up­
Greater geographic coverage for a       A limited coverage range may
lesser cost, 10 to 15 kilometers is     leave some outlying residents in
average.                                under-serviced areas.
When used in conjunction with a         Compatibility issues between
wired service there is less latency     different technologies may call for
than pure satellite solution.           switching over equipment if a
                                        service provider can no longer
                                        provide the service.
New wireless technologies provide       When the system is down it is truly
a true broadband level of service.      down unless the local network
                                        remains functional because it is
                                        hard wired.
Many have chosen to own their
wireless infrastructure in municipal,
co-op or privately run networks.
There are some definite
advantages to ownership.

                               Smart Partners                                 67
                             Cathedral Group

Wireless technology may be the only viable solution for connectivity
outside of satellite service in many regions of Canada and Manitoba. This
fact is recognized by government and is evidenced by the formation of
partnerships and working alliances between wireless service providers
and governments.
    ƒ Wi-LAN and Federal government partnership
    ƒ Manitoba Government and I-NetLink

In the Manitoba government and I-NetLink alliance the government has
provided a loan under the Manitoba Industrial Opportunities Program
(MIOP). I-NetLink provides 22 communities in South-western Manitoba
with high-speed Internet connections of 1Mbps for residential customers
and broadband connections of up to 3Mbps to commercial customers.

Satellite Solution
Satellite broadband utilizes a dish receiver and possibly a transmitter on a
building or tower to send and receive data from orbiting satellites. The
dish may also be used for satellite television and radio. Services are
dependant on the service provider. The main advantage of satellite
Internet access over the other forms of broadband technology is its
immediate availability. An unobstructed view of the southern skyline is
required. Where cable, DSL or wireless connections are unavailable, you
may still be able to get a broadband connection with satellite.

Early satellite providers and users may not have a two-way satellite
communication system (duplex or full duplex) and will require a phone
modem connection to send data to the service provider. Ultimately this
results in additional costs and much slower speeds.

Although satellite service is not as fast or reliable as DSL or cable, it may
be your only choice if you are in a rural or remote area that cannot be
serviced in any other way.

                              Smart Partners                                68
                                Cathedral Group

Rating the Satellite Solution

            Advantage                             Disadvantage

Availability. Satellite is available    Satellite is subject to several
almost anywhere, with the               physical issues that affect
exception of far northern locations     performance, these include:
where the southern skyline is               ƒ Bad weather
below the horizon (generally                ƒ Misaligned dishes
available up to the 63 parallel)            ƒ Local interference
                                        Poor performance with streaming
                                        applications, video and online
                                        Inherent latency issues cannot be
                                        totally resolved
                                        Large file transfers can take longer
                                        due to the retransmission that may
                                        be required due to signal outages
                                        Upstream links are often much
                                        slower or not available at all

                                Smart Partners                                 69
                            Cathedral Group

What Can Organizers Do To Gain Community Interest
In nearly all researched cases community connectivity projects began and
were for the most part driven by a core believer or group of believers
(also known as project champions). These core believers began to grasp
the concept of virtual spaces and borderless thinking. They also believed
that their community deserved the same levels of connectivity and
commerce opportunities, as did their neighbours.

In St. Pierre-Jolys the idea of a community owned connectivity network
emerged when two economic development planners ran into the “lack of
infrastructure” dilemma. It appeared that most everyone around them had
access to broadband or high-speed connectivity but much to their surprise
St. Pierre-Jolys was unable to obtain it. Rather than give up the preferred
development plan the planners, who are not technology experts, decided
to research what could be done to achieve the required broadband
connectivity. They called several meetings inviting key community
members such as politicians; schools board representatives; business
owners; and technology companies of the region. The meetings resulted
in a core group of believers (the steering committee) who moved the
concept forward until eventually their community network was a reality and
broadband is now readily available in their region.

      The main task of core believers is to extol the benefits of
     connectivity and an online presence for their communities.

In order to do this the benefits must be known and easily understood first
by the organizers and then by key members of the community.
Community leaders, business owners, professionals and residents will
need to be educated so they too understand the benefits.

The concerns and issues of the community must be at the centre of any
movement to increase access or develop an online Internet presence.
This may be difficult to accomplish if the community’s members do not see
how their concerns are addressed. As an example, the residents of an
agricultural community may not see a benefit to expending any resources
on an online presence because they cannot relate to how the technology
can improve their personal situations. One could anticipate the question,
“How can the Internet assist in selling my crop or make the weather more
cooperative at harvest?” These are difficult questions to answer unless
you combine the knowledge of the Internet and the knowledge of the local
agriculturalist, then one can easily realize the potential of the mixture and
the advanced knowledge it yields. Access to information, which is then
converted to greater knowledge, is one of the main benefits for
communities, particularly rural and remote communities where the ready
exposure to information is already limited. While the Internet cannot make

                             Smart Partners                                70
                            Cathedral Group

the weather more cooperative it can offer new techniques and information
on equipment that may in some way make the task of harvest easier.
Once the task is easier there may be additional benefits such as a
speedier delivery to market or a fresher product for the marketplace.

A community’s real interest may not always be evident until the residents
come together at a town hall meeting and they realize the issues and
concerns are shared amongst all community members. Town hall style
meetings are often successful because they:
         ƒ	 Clearly show the commonality of the concerns and issues
         ƒ	 Demonstrate the main benefits to the community
         ƒ	 Disclose the community’s resource base
         ƒ	 Offer a forum where leaders emerge

Success stories of other communities are useful tools because in many
cases there are similarities in the benefits to other communities.

For most communities the two primary benefits of access can be
summarized as being:

   1. 	 Additional Economic Growth Opportunities: Access offers local
        businesses opportunities to participate in a wider area of
        commerce. Access and a community’s web presence can be
        viewed as a tool for gaining e-commerce, enhancing economic
        development, and fostering cluster growth.
   2. 	 Equitable Access Increases Retention: A community can begin
        to reverse the trend of losing its residents and professionals by
        increased levels of access (and acceptance of new technology).
        Retention of community’s human resources has become one of the
        top issues in rural Manitoba. Access allows professionals, youth
        and businesses to remain in touch with current trends, markets and
        educational advancements without leaving the community.

                            Smart Partners                              71
                                      Cathedral Group

How Important is the Internet to Canadians?60

               Very Important                                       45%

           Somewhat Important                                       27%

             Not Very Important                                     25%

Even once a community has expressed interest in developing or improving
access or an online presence there may still be many issues the
organizers will need to answer. The most common of which will be:
          ƒ Why should we do it?

          ƒ I thought we already had the Internet; isn’t it connected to 

              the telephone?
          ƒ I heard it costs a lot, probably too much.
          ƒ I’d rather just send a letter or phone them.
          ƒ We should just wait for MTS, certainly they will get to us
              eventually and I don’t see the need for it now anyway.
          ƒ It can’t help my business or family.

Alternatively, the community may have been long embattled with the
telecommunications carrier and the comments and questions may take a
different route:
           ƒ The Internet is so slow it is almost useless to me.
           ƒ The carrier drops all the time and long downloads just aren’t
           ƒ My brother is always online and I can’t get any of my stuff
           ƒ I wish I knew how to get an e-commerce site up so I could
               sell my products online.
           ƒ Attachments, I wish I could send attachments!
           ƒ I want the best advantage for my children so even if it costs
               more they deserve what everyone else has.

How To Do It
Several methods have proven successful in organizing communities
around the causes of access and gaining an effective online presence.
The most successful of these has been the town hall meeting. The
meeting is arranged by a core believer(s), often with the support of an
industry expert, consultant or member of a community that has already
had the experience of working through the process. The meeting(s) tend
to bring out the converted, but that is acceptable as it helps build the team
that in necessary to take the concepts forward.


                                       Smart Partners                      72
                            Cathedral Group

The meetings should yield a steering committee that has the authority to
discuss the concept with political leaders, industry and business as well as
residents. They will seek:
    ¾ Community support
    ¾ Financial Resources
    ¾ Additional Team Members
    ¾ Sponsors
    ¾ IT and Technology Talent
    ¾ Volunteers
    ¾ Partnerships

When Is Best Time
There is no best time to begin the process although an acknowledgment
that it can take as long as several years to complete is advised. The
organizers will need to meet many challenges and face numerous
frustrations; patience will prove to be a virtue.

Often the concepts are tied to an occasion or related concept that must be
dealt with. In St. Pierre-Jolys the economic developers of the community
ran headlong into the digital divide when they were told they couldn’t
follow through with an initiative due to the lack of telecommunications
infrastructure. Here, rather than have the project come to a complete halt,
they made the informed decision to get the infrastructure issues dealt
with. The economic initiative could then proceed and the community could
realize this as well as other opportunities.

Education For Awareness
It is important for organizers to realize that even before the project is
completed they need to keep community interest by being active in the
cause. The education process must include information and knowledge
dissemination and the increased use of technology.

The three most common ways people were originally introduced to the
Internet are:
           1) Taught by friends or family members.
           2) Self Taught
           3) Learned at Work

Long-term Internet users were most likely to have learned at work; for
recent Internet users the method is friends/family and self-teaching. This
reinforces the importance of access to computers, at home, or from
locations other than the home. Access stimulates use. But, access to
technology does not make much sense unless people are properly
educated in using technology. Creation of educational opportunities
requires commitment and some communities may not be able to generate

                             Smart Partners                                 73
                                   Cathedral Group

the commitment themselves from their limited resources. Organizations
such as Community Connections61 have been established to aid
communities in achieving an effective online presence and assist with their
training requirements.

The proposed result that residents need to understand is that it will lead to
them experiencing increased control over the demands placed upon their
lives through the conveniences offered by an enhanced information

It is also proposed that connected communities would be more able to
compete economically in the new global economy by attracting increased
commerce activity as a result of the advanced telecommunications

In summary, a community will need organizers that can gain and maintain
the momentum achieved by actively involving its members at all levels of
the concept development. The key motivational factors are economic
development and human resource retention. A well-resourced and
efficiently operated community tends to be a happy community; happy
residents encourage community growth through the continued investment
in their community.


                                    Smart Partners                         74
                            Cathedral Group

Technical - Architecture Requirements for Wireless

Simple Satellite Configuration

PC            Personal Computer             EMR
ISP           Internet Service Provider     DVB
VPN           Virtual Private Network SMR

Communication satellites are space orbiting microwave relay stations that
are used to link two or more earth-based microwave stations.
Communication satellite providers lease a portion of a satellite’s channels
where they are generally used for long distance telephone traffic, private
data networks, and distribution of television signals. The costs of leasing
these communication channels can be expensive and are generally not
suitable for the mass residential marketplace.
Consequently, a new service was developed that is called direct broadcast
satellite (DBS) system. It provides consumers with a range of high-speed
Internet access services. A DBS system is comprised of a mini dish that
connects a PC to a satellite located about 35,000 KM above the surface of
the earth. These satellites have the ability to deliver multimedia data to
the users PC. The speed of a connection varies accordingly to the age of
the technology. Many older systems require a telephone connection to

                             Smart Partners                             75
                            Cathedral Group

upload or send information to the Internet. Newer technologies employ a
digital (duplex) satellite modem to achieve broadband level connectivity.

User requirements
   ¾ Mast and/or roof mounts
   ¾ Mini Dish
   ¾ Digital modem or analog modem and telephone connection
  ¾ Personal Computer

   ¾ Internet Browser
   ¾ Proprietary connecting software

Technical & technicians
   ¾ Internet Service Provider

Ongoing maintenance and support
  ¾ Maintaining line-of-site
  ¾ General cleaning

Upgrades and improvements
  ¾ As defined by evolving standards and hardware vendor/supplier

Many vendors offer a complete systems package that includes:
  ¾ Purchase of all hardware
  ¾ Set-up of dishes and modems
  ¾ Alignment and maintenance of alignment
  ¾ Automated back-up services
  ¾ Automated software up-grades
  ¾ In some cases ISP services

                            Smart Partners                              76
                              Cathedral Group

Simple Wireless Configuration

  MMDS          multi-channel multi-point distribution system
  ISP           Internet Service Provider
  Transverter   Converts intermediate frequencies to radio frequencies
  Tower         Structure that raises and carries the antenna and transverter

With limited broadband availability from traditional telephone and cable
ISPs fixed wireless broadband becomes a feasible option. Wireless
broadband is one of the only alternatives to cable and DSL particularly in
rural markets. Access to the Internet at high-speeds in rural and remote
areas is the primary advantage of using broadband fixed wireless
technology. In general, it is rapidly deployable, scalable, and has lower
implementation costs than those of cable and DSL systems. Like DSL
and cable broadband, fixed wireless is an “always-on” Internet-access
technology that meets the broadband requirements for multimedia and
voice applications.

A wireless modem converts the request for Internet data from a PC or a
connected network to a signal that is suitable for transmission over the
multi-channel multi-point distribution system (MMDS) network. The
modem connects to a transverter, which then converts the intermediate
frequencies to radio frequencies, passing them to the antenna. The

                               Smart Partners                                   77
                              Cathedral Group

transverter typically is mounted on a raised stationary object such as a
roof or mast. This is to gain line-of-site visibility to the transmitter site
(typically a tower).

At the transmitter site another antenna is used to communicate with the
wireless modems connected to the user’s PC. The transmission site then
relays the request to the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) facilities. The
ISP receives the request and retrieves data either from its servers or from
the Internet over the backbone connection (the backbone is most often a
fibre connection.) The ISP then returns the data via the MMDS network
back to the originating computer or network.

For many rural residents a fixed wireless broadband solution will prove to
be the only feasible option for broadband or high-speed connectivity.

User Requirements
   ¾ Mast and/or roof mounts
   ¾ Antenna
   ¾ Wireless modem
   ¾ Personal Computer

   ¾ Internet Browser
   ¾ Proprietary connecting software

Technical & technicians
   ¾ Internet Service Provider

Ongoing maintenance and support
  ¾ Maintaining line-of-site
  ¾ General cleaning

Upgrades and improvements
  ¾ As defined by evolving standards and hardware vendor/supplier

Many vendors offer a complete systems package that includes:
  ¾ Purchase of all hardware
  ¾ Set-up of antennas and modems
  ¾ Alignment and maintenance of alignment
  ¾ Automated back-up services
  ¾ Automated software up-grades
  ¾ In some cases ISP services

                               Smart Partners                                   78
                             Cathedral Group

Existing Services and Service Gaps
There are several key gaps that have emerged:

Gap 1: Government – Manitoba’s is beginning to understand it needs to
take a leading role in connectivity issues for Manitobans. Initiatives the
Province of Manitoba stated they have an interest in include:
   ¾ Churchill Community Network
       The Churchill Community Network, a high-speed connectivity
       project that provides broadband of 2 mbps through satellite and
       wireless, is a much-discussed topic but in reality government had
       little to do with the project. Government support appears to be
       limited to the support afforded by the Community Connections
       Program. Although exact details are difficult to locate, it appears
       that the community itself owns the network and pays for the
       services. It is interesting to note that the Churchill website utilizes
       an animated opening page, one that would not work well (if at all) in
       most northern areas due to the poor connectivity.

   ¾	 I-NetLink Communications Loan
      The provincial government did provide a loan to I-NetLink
      Communications. The I-NetLink loan is repayable and was granted
      to offset the capital cost burden of purchasing wireless towers and
      related wireless equipment. The Southwest and central regions of
      Manitoba are targeted.

   ¾ Hydro Announcement
     Manitoba Hydro has undertaken a major expansion and up-grade
     of its internal telecommunications infrastructure. This infrastructure
     (and the resultant dark fibre) may in some cases be utilized to gain
     access to broadband. Manitoba Hydro is a provincially owned
     hydro utility and the government role is self-explanatory. What
     makes this initiative so important is that the infrastructure is routed
     through previously under-serviced geographic areas and it is
     anticipated many communities may benefit from the utilization of
     the Hydro owned dark fibre.

   ¾ Community Connections
     Perhaps the most active of all government programs is the
     Community Connections program. Community Connections (in
     association with the CAP Program) is a joint federal/provincial
     initiative. It has created approximately 500 new public Internet
     access sites throughout Manitoba bringing the total number of sites
     to approximately 600.

                              Smart Partners                                79
                                       Cathedral Group

           Access site providers also participate in developing and sponsoring
           community home pages using web-page technology, developed
           through Community Connection’s CIMNET (Community Information
           Management Network) program. Twelve community home pages
           are operating and another 12 are in development. Other
           community groups are beginning to use CIMNET applications and
           strategies to publish community information.

       ¾ Broadband Project Office
         The BPO was first created in September of 2001. Recent research
         cannot identify if the BPO is still active. The location of BPO is - The URL speaks
         of several projects.

Manitoba government needs to review its effectiveness in dealing with the
equitable delivery of connectivity to residents.

Gap 2: Industry Canada – Although Industry Canada is contributing to
Manitoba’s connectivity it favors the use of competitions.

Competitions necessitates there will be losers, and no one wants to be a
loser. The losers are viewed as such by others and after the competition
is over the loser may find it difficult to partner with industry, gain positive
public exposure for their projects or attract funding.62

Although the competitions create excitement and exposure for Industry
Canada they do not appear to encourage the sharing of knowledge and
resources at the local level. Additionally, without another competition
with new “winners” and more “losers” the momentum gained is quickly

Gap 3: Lack of Municipal Awareness – There appears to be a direct
relationship with a lack of awareness and the lack of understanding; many
of Manitoba’s communities just do not understand connectivity and the

This is troublesome and in part stems from Gap 1, Government. A
proactive posture by government in combination with education programs
would go a long way to a community gaining the understanding they need
to fully appreciate and co-operate with community connectivity and
relevant content delivery.

Funding for community level projects may already be in place (Community
Connections, CAP) but it is not always utilized in the most productive

     See Appendix O for a discussion on the competition factor.

                                        Smart Partners                        80
                            Cathedral Group

fashion. Community sites once established often quickly grow stale or
even vanish. Additionally, there is a lack of Manitoba success stories. For
every success story in Manitoba, Alberta or Saskatchewan can boast
seven or eight.

Gap 4: MTS Monopoly – MTS has enjoyed a monopoly in
telecommunications services since (and previous to) being fully privatized
in 1997. In the quest to remain dominant, MTS has acquired numerous
smaller but competitive ISPs as well as several websites and portals.

Gap 5: Equitable Access: Manitoba Telecom Services – MTS to date has
not provided all Manitobans with equitable access.

Communities can be in the middle of a broadband delivery area and still
not be able to access it themselves. The telephone-switching grid can
easily isolate communities and destine them to be without high-speed or
broadband services. Usually this is attributed to a business case not
being evident for the incumbent telecommunications provider. The
serious issue here is in creating haves and have-nots. Unless a
community has the resources to take matters into their own hands (as did
St. Pierre-Jolys) they may remain have-nots forever.

Gap 6: Manitoba’s Geography – Manitoba has a south heavy population
and most major centres (outside of Thompson) are located in the southern
third of the province.

In fairness, the geographic and demographic make-up of Manitoba does
make it difficult for any government or service provider to service
adequately. However, it does not mean no attempt should be made.
Rural and remote communities deserve equitable levels of access.

                             Smart Partners                             81
                             Cathedral Group

Filling the Gaps
Although there are large gaps in the quest for equitable connectivity
services for Manitobans there are also reasons to believe that some of
these gaps can be filled. The organizations most qualified and able to fill
these gaps and what roles they can play are identified.

Province of Manitoba
The Province of Manitoba must assume a more active role in ensuring
equitable access on behalf of its residents. The successful delivery of the
now developing government programs and services depends on it.
Government is moving ahead with programs that are reliant on broadband
but they are not yet ensuring that the supply of the infrastructure
necessary to carry that broadband and subsequently the programs is in

Websites and community content are only small pieces in the mosaic of
the Manitoba issues of connectivity and access. The increased use of
connectivity resources is directly related to the level of access the
communities have.

   ‰	   Communities must understand the key reasons access is
        important – that takes education, and in this government can
        increase assistance.
   ‰	   Communities must also have the tools to do the work – that takes
        resources and guidance, again government can continue
        (Community Connections, CAP) and perhaps increase assistance
        (Smart Partners for advocacy and information dissemination).
   ‰	   Communities must also have the infrastructure – and that takes
        the active participation of government, particularly in rural and
        remote regions.

Government has a role to play in addressing all the Gaps. If government
does not wish to play an active role in filling the gaps then they should, at
the very least, support those who are.

Community Connections
The most active of all government programs is the Community
Connections program and yet it appears to very understated and hard to
locate when removed from government web pages. Community
Connections has the mandate to assist Manitobans to gain access and
have a web presence. In order to do this most effectively the main thrust
of their effort should be made away form the Internet, not within the
Internet where it is “preaching to the already converted.”

                              Smart Partners                                82
                             Cathedral Group

In association with the CAP Program, Community Connections is a joint
federal/provincial initiative. Although the CAP program has assisted in
creating hundreds of public Internet access sites throughout Manitoba the
Community Connections program has not made the impact that one would
think possible with such a dedicated resource. Access, or the lack of
equitable access to high-speed connectivity, is one of the key problems
that Community Connections faces. It is hard to sell the concept of putting
communities online if the level of access is substandard. Generally and
from the rural standpoint as access improves so will the desire of
residents to participate.

Community Connections also participates in developing and sponsoring
community home pages using web-page technology, developed through
the CIMNET (Community Information Management Network) program.
The tools allow even modestly talented or web-savvy individuals to put
together a web-space. The initial results are often less than spectacular
but the theory is that the more time you spend on the space the better it
will get, the result of better skills and improved content. Currently, twelve
community home pages are operating and another 12 are in development.
Although community groups are beginning to use CIMNET applications
and strategies to publish community information the program would
benefit from:
    ‰	 More effective local exposure. Although residents may have
        heard about Community Connections there appears to be little
        proactive marketing.
    ‰	 A comprehensive development kit. A community that desires to
        utilize Community Connections must first find a resident who
        understands enough about the technology to make the initial
        inquiries, fill out the forms, seek assistance from others, etc. The
        kit would aid by putting everything the community would need into
        one, comprehensive off-line package. The package could be
        acquired from a number of sources that would include libraries,
        community development offices, government offices, etc.
    ‰	 An aggressive marketing strategy. The Community Connections
        concept is sound and the resources appear to be dedicated to the
        cause. However, very few know of the possibilities and potential of
        the Community Connections program. The resources per project
        while not large can take the edge off a community’s first venture
        into the Internet. Most importantly, the community becomes linked
        via the Internet to other communities and the benefits of networking
        can now begin to emerge. This concern is definitely rooted in rural
        Manitoba; the urban program has a far greater recognition factor.

Addresses gaps 1 and 3.

                             Smart Partners                                83
                                      Cathedral Group

The role of industry remains unclear primarily because industry is
competitive and reliant on profit. If there is no chance of a profit or if the
profit margins are too small Industry is unlikely to provide services.
Industry can and should be proactive and innovative, viewing their
participation as an investment in a community. There are examples of this
in other industry sectors but in Manitoba few connectivity examples exist
other than Manitoba Hydro.

Manitoba Hydro
Perhaps the best example of industry participation is Manitoba Hydro.63
Although a part of government, the decision was made proactively by
Hydro to allow the use of its dark fibre by communities who can
demonstrate they are unlikely to receive broadband in any other fashion.

Communities can communicate their need directly with Manitoba Hydro or
with several local consultants who have established a working relationship
with Manitoba Hydro. Note: Manitoba Hydro is not an Internet Service
Provider (ISP) but the owner of infrastructure (dark fibre). However, they
are sympathetic to the plight of communities who remain underserved with
adequate broadband or high-speed connectivity.

Addresses Gaps 1, 4, 5 and 6.

Seerx Technologies - Treherne
In Treherne Manitoba a local legal office was unable to convince the
incumbent telecommunications carrier to provide broadband or high-speed
access to the Internet. The legal office experienced ever-increasing
frustration in dealing with the legal and government websites it is
mandated to communicate with through its 56k dial-up service; typical and
daily experiences included long downloads and uploads, dropped carriers
and data errors. Seerx Technologies became aware of the dilemma and
offered to participate in a pilot program that would see the legal office
receive broadband level connectivity through a satellite connection. In
order to make the solution financially viable the connection was networked
to two other local businesses that cost shared with the legal office. Seerx
Technologies, to ensure the connection was secure, implemented a
Virtual Private Network (VPN). The pilot project was deemed a huge
success as the badly needed broadband connection was achieved.
Additional benefits for the participant included:
    ¾ Cost effectiveness - achieved due to the participation of two other
    ¾ Reliable File Transfers – transfers were sped up significantly
        without errors or dropped connections

     See Appendix C for details on Manitoba Hydro participation

                                       Smart Partners                       84
                                    Cathedral Group

Seerx Technologies supplied the hardware components (dish, receiver,
transmitters, routers, etc.) while the legal office committed to paying for
the Satellite connection (approximately $350 per month). In this example,
industry stepped forward with the necessary information and technical
ability to assist a community in need and all participants enjoyed benefits:
    ¾ Seerx Technologies64 developed a solutions template that can be
         applied to others 

    ¾ The legal office achieved the needed broadband connectivity 

    ¾ The legal office was able to partner with other community 

         businesses, strengthening the community’s ability to be competitive
         in the global market place

Addresses Gaps 3, 5 and 6.

Smart Partners
Smart Partners, formerly known as Smart Winnipeg, has since 1998
provided information, guidance and support to communities seeking to
become better connected.

Smart Partners, through their portal smartpartners.ca65, will become the
information centre of choice for individuals and organizations that require
non-biased information and support with IT issues that relate to
connectivity and intelligent or “smart” projects.

Additionally, Smart Partners operates the Virtual Incubation Manitoba
(VIM) program. VIM is a successful IT business incubator established
specifically to keep IT businesses in Manitoba. To date 11 new or
expanding businesses have received the assistance of Smart Partners
mentors and advisors. Business consultants provide participants with
assistance in the preparation of business plans and marketing strategies.

Addresses Gaps 3, 5 and 6.

Smart Partners Portal

Gap 2 can only be addressed by Industry Canada.66 Industry Canada
appears to strongly favor “competitions” as a method of funding projects or
project plans. While they give the appearance of fairness there are
criticisms that can and are levied against the procedure:

   See site is currently under development
   See Appendix O for a discussion of the IC competitive factor.

                                     Smart Partners                       85
                        Cathedral Group

¾	 The competitive process of a competition can be exhaustive as well
   as resource intensive – those who are unsuccessful may have
   no further (volunteer) strength or resources (financial) to
   continue the process after it is over. Consider that communities
   may be required to write an extensive proposal that may cost
   several thousand dollars. If funding is not achieved the expenditure
   may be a total loss. Smaller jurisdictions cannot afford to go
   through this exercise more than once, if even that. In failing to
   achieve funding doubt may follow the project leaders in their future
   endeavors even if the project are sound and feasible.

¾	 Often, it is interpreted as “losing” by those who do not succeed in
   achieving funding – besides the morale defeat losers are often
   deemed unsuccessful by others and not worthy of further
   support. Potential supporters, community leaders and funding
   agencies do not always look kindly on those not successful in a first
   round competition. Successful applicants are deemed the winners
   and their initiatives gain the majority of the scarce resources
   available even if the unsuccessful application has merit and value.

¾	 When a community put a concept forward, that concept, in most
   cases, is sound to those who put it forward. Yet, the concept
   faces judgment for merit by others from outside of the
   community, who incidentally happen to hold the key to the
   resources – mistrust of the system, resentment for the loss and
   apprehension in applying for future projects await those who are
   not successful.

                         Smart Partners                               86
                             Cathedral Group

Discussion points the authors put forward are:

Dedicate the resources directly to the area of need, both by
geographic and demographic need – let the local areas assess their
own needs and use the resources in ways they see best fit. It would not
increase the costs and it would to, some extent, eliminate the “winner” or
“loser” concerns. Industry Canada would retain the full credit for program
introduction and could still “take credit” for the outcome.

Disperse the resources equitably to all – move away from the
“government funds government” model. Private organizations (those not
related to government) are disadvantaged as they may not be able to
operate in the bureaucratic environment as well as government agencies
can. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) possess the skills and have
the entrepreneurial spirit to take seed funding and turn it into a viable local
concern. Without seed funding and technical assistance of the kind
available through Program funding many projects will not go past concept

Third party “involvement” in the selection process – non-government,
local technical experts and industry participation are required in the
selection process. Further, consultation with both the successful and non-
successful applicants is required so that the successful applicants can
move forward in the most efficient manner and the unsuccessful
applicants clearly understand why their application was not
successful. For the unsuccessful applicant this could go along way in
removing the “loser” stigma now attached. Additionally, it would indicate
how, in future, the applicant’s project or future projects could become
successful. The current practice is that there are no reasons offered for
the application not being successful after the selection process is closed.

                              Smart Partners                                 87
                             Cathedral Group

Although much has improved for Manitobans since the first Connectivity
in Manitoba Report released in the spring of 2000, we must remain
diligent in our efforts to achieve an equitable access solution for our
neighbours, many of whom do not yet have reliable telephone services or
Internet access. The advent of broadband services only widens the gap
for those not yet on the digital highway. And, as is to be expected, the
advent of broadband by limited geographic distribution widens the digital

As stated the goal of this paper is to disseminate information and offer
guidance regarding public access, broadband and high-speed access
from the many scattered but none-the-less important sources. Although
the information provided focuses primarily on residents of Manitoba the
information should be beneficial to any Canadian community seeking to
enhance its understanding of public access, broadband and high-speed
access. The author’s intention is to encourage discussion and broaden
dialogue with regard to the impact of access and access to true

This report, if successful in its intent, will serve to open or keep open the
channels between those that can provide resources to remedy the
concerns expressed and those that can best implement resources to
ensure the remedy reaches those most in need.

                              Smart Partners                                    88
                                   Cathedral Group

Appendix A

Connectivity Table

                      Speed                 Physical Medium           Application

 GSM mobile
                                                               Mobile telephone for
 telephone      9.6 to 14.4 Kbps      RF in space (wireless)
                                                               business and personal use

                                                               Mobile telephone for
 switched       Up to 56 Kbps         RF in space (wireless)
                                                               business and personal use
 data service

 telephone                                                     Home and small business
                Up to 56 Kbps         Twisted-pair
 service                                                       access

 56Kbps on                                                     Business e-mail with fairly
                56 Kbps               Various
 Frame                                                         large file attachments

                                                               The base signal on a
 DS0            64 Kbps               All                      channel in the set of
                                                               Digital Signal levels

 Packet                                                        Mobile telephone for
 Radio          56 to 114 Kbps        RF in space (wireless)   business and personal use
 System                                                        (available in 2000)

                BRI: 64 Kbps to
                128 Kbps
                PRI: 23 (T-1) or 30                            BRI: Faster home and
                (E1) assignable 64-   BRI: Twisted-pair        small business access
                Kbps channels plus    PRI: T-1 or E1 line      PRI: Medium and large
                control channel; up                            enterprise access
                to 1.544 Mbps (T-1)
                or 2.048 (E1)

                                                               Faster home and small
 IDSL           128 Kbps              Twisted-pair
                                                               business access

                                                               Local area network for
                                                               Apple devices; several
 AppleTalk      230.4 Kbps            Twisted pair             networks can be bridged;
                                                               non-Apple devices can
                                                               also be connected

                                   Smart Partners                                      89
                                 Cathedral Group

                                                                 Mobile telephone for
Data GSM
              384 Kbps             RF in space (wireless)        business and personal use
                                                                 (available in 2001)
t (EDGE)

                                                                 Faster home and small
Satellite     400 Kbps (DirecPC)   RF in space (wireless)
                                                                 enterprise access

                                                                 Large company backbone
              56 Kbps to 1.544     Twisted-pair or coaxial       for LANs to ISP
Frame relay
              Mbps                 cable                         ISP to Internet

                                                                 Large company to ISP
                                   Twisted-pair, coaxial
DS1/T-1       1.544 Mbps                                         ISP to Internet
                                   cable, or optical fiber

                                                                 Mobile telephone for
              Up to 2 Mbps         RF in space (wireless)        business and personal use
                                                                 (available in 2002)

                                   Twisted-pair, coaxial         32-channel European
E-1           2.048 Mbps
                                   cable, or optical fiber       equivalent of T-1

                                                                 Large company to ISP
T-1C                               Twisted-pair, coaxial
              3.152 Mbps                                         ISP to Internet
(DS1C)                             cable, or optical fiber

                                                                 Second most commonly-
IBM Token     4 Mbps (also 16      Twisted-pair, coaxial
                                                                 used local area network
Ring/802.5    Mbps)                cable, or optical fiber
                                                                 after Ethernet

                                                                 Large company to ISP
                                   Twisted-pair, coaxial
DS2/T-2       6.312 Mbps                                         ISP to Internet
                                   cable, or optical fiber

Digital                            Twisted-pair (used as a       Home, small business, and
Subscriber    512 Kbps to 8 Mbps   digital, broadband            enterprise access using
Line (DSL)                         medium)                       existing copper lines

                                   Twisted-pair, coaxial         Carries four multiplexed
E-2           8.448 Mbps
                                   cable, or optical fiber       E-1 signals

              512 Kbps to 52       Coaxial cable (usually uses
Cable         Mbps                 Ethernet); in some            Home, business, school
modem         (see Key and         systems, telephone used       access
              explanation)         for upstream requests

                                   10BASE-T (twisted-pair);
                                   10BASE-2 or -5 (coaxial       Most popular business
Ethernet      10 Mbps
                                   cable); 10BASE-F (optical     local area network (LAN)

IBM Token     16 Mbps (also 4      Twisted-pair, coaxial         Second most commonly-

                                 Smart Partners                                           90
                             Cathedral Group

Ring/802.5   Mbps)             cable, or optical fiber       used local area network
                                                             after Ethernet

                               Twisted-pair or optical
E-3          34.368 Mbps                                     Carries 16 E-l signals

                                                             ISP to Internet
DS3/T-3      44.736 Mbps       Coaxial cable
                                                             Smaller links within
                                                             Internet infrastructure

                                                             ISP to Internet
OC-1         51.84 Mbps        Optical fiber
                                                             Smaller links within
                                                             Internet infrastructure

                                                             Between router hardware
                                                             and WAN lines
                                                             Short-range (50 feet)
HSSI         Up to 53 Mbps     HSSI cable
                                                             interconnection between
                                                             slower LAN devices and
                                                             faster WAN lines

                               100BASE-T4 (twisted           Workstations with 10
Fast                           pair); 100BASE-TX             Mbps Ethernet cards can
             100 Mbps
Ethernet                       (twisted pair); 100BASE-      plug into a Fast Ethernet
                               FX (optical fiber)            LAN

                                                             Large, wide-range LAN
FDDI         100 Mbps          Optical fiber                 usually in a large company
                                                             or a larger ISP

                                                             ISP to Internet
T-3D                                                         infrastructure
             135 Mbps          Optical fiber
(DS3D)                                                       Smaller links within
                                                             Internet infrastructure

                                                             Carries 4 E3 channels
E4           139.264 Mbps      Optical fiber                 Up to 1,920 simultaneous
                                                             voice conversations

OC-3/STM-                                                    Large company backbone
             155.52 Mbps       Optical fiber
1                                                            Internet backbone

                                                             Carries 4 E4 channels
E5           565.148 Mbps      Optical fiber                 Up to 7,680 simultaneous
                                                             voice conversations

             622.08 Mbps       Optical fiber                 Internet backbone

Gigabit                        Optical fiber (and "copper"   with 10/100 Mbps
             1 Gbps
Ethernet                       up to 25 meters)              Ethernet will plug into
                                                             Gigabit Ethernet switches

OC-24        1.244 Gbps        Optical fiber                 Internet backbone

                             Smart Partners                                            91
                              Cathedral Group

             2.325 Gbps (15 OC-
SciNet                              Optical fiber   Part of the vBNS backbone
             3 lines)

             2.488 Gbps             Optical fiber   Internet backbone

             10 Gbps                Optical fiber   Backbone

OC-256       13.271 Gbps            Optical fiber   Backbone

                                  Smart Partners                         92
                             Cathedral Group

Appendix B

MTS Community Rollout Plan
Access to MTS’s Next-generation initiative services will be rolled out to
Manitoba communities over a three-year period.

In 2001
Communities targeted to receive these services by the end of January
2001 are (in alphabetical order)
- Altona                       - Selkirk
- Dauphin                      - Souris
- Minnedosa                    - Steinbach
- Morden                       - Virden
- Neepawa                      - Winkler
- Portage la Prairie
Installation of this infrastructure will also begin in Winnipeg and Brandon
this year.

In 2002 - 2003
The following communities (in alphabetical order) will also receive MTS’s
Next-generation services. A rollout strategy is currently being finalized,
and MTS will announce timelines as they are established.
- Alexander               - Pine Falls
- Arborg                  - Rapid City
- Boissevain              - Rivers
- Carberry                - Roblin
- Carman                  - Russell
- Douglas                 - Sanford
- Dugald                  - Shilo
- Flin Flon               - St. Adolphe
- Killarney               - Starbuck
- Lac du Bonnet           - St. Francois Xavier
- Lockport                - Stonewall
- Lorette                 - Stony Mountain
- Morris                  - Swan River
- Niverville              - The Pas
- Oakbank                 - Thompson
- Pinawa                  - Wawanesa

More rollout news:

                              Smart Partners                                  93
                             Cathedral Group

Appendix C

A Role for Manitoba Hydro
In 2001 we began discussions with Manitoba Hydro on what role they
could play in a province wide optic-fibre distribution initiative. It became
apparent that Manitoba Hydro was interested in participating in the role of
leasing dark fibre to communities that had little or no chance of obtaining
broadband services in their community.

Manitoba communities that have made the decision to develop a
community owned /initiated telecommunication plan have found they may
begin immediately, with little change in existing staff or equipment. This is
achieved relatively easily because communities have access to the
necessary support systems, such as Manitoba Hydro and their associates
and independent contactors and consultants, which supply:
   ¾ Experience in installing fibre optic networks
   ¾ Experience in selection of appropriate equipment
   ¾ Technology experience

Manitoba Hydro is a natural solution, especially in under-served areas, to
participate in providing access to broadband services. Generally, policy
for public entities is to avoid competing directly against private companies
in a competitive market. However, the public utilities could be the provider
where private entities cannot provide affordable services. In Connectivity
in Manitoba the recommendation was made that Manitoba Hydro explore
this further in an effort to find a balanced solution, which maximizes
benefits for rural and remote areas. Bob Brennan of Manitoba Hydro
accepted the recommendation and Manitoba Hydro are now open to
discussions with communities on or near the optic-fibre infrastructure for
the use of dark fibre.

There are precedents where Manitoba Hydro has undertaken the
installation of fibre optic cable for other than internal use. The most
notable of these installations is a connection from Winnipeg to Brandon
that was installed for Westman Communications several years ago.
Shorter runs have also been completed in partnership with Westman and
Manitoba Telecom Services. Manitoba Hydro seeks to ensure the whole
community would benefit from the newly introduced telecommunications
infrastructure; particularly regarding the issues of economic growth and
equitable access. Manitoba Hydro also has a dark fibre capacity in its
runs west to Brandon and east to Pine Falls.

Manitoba Hydro already has:
  ¾ Staff experienced in fibre optic networks
  ¾ Appropriate equipment

                              Smart Partners                               94
                             Cathedral Group

   ¾ Technology Experience
   ¾ A pent-up demand for broadband from hospitals, schools,
     universities and libraries within the communities 

   ¾ Established right-of-way 

   ¾ Established Costing and related processes 

   ¾ Established Marketing processes 

Dark Fibre Supplier
Dark fibre is not “lit” (transmitting or receiving data). The Dark Fibre
supplier normally leases fibre to users (ISPs). Dark Fibre Suppliers
maintain the infrastructure and hold the Indefeasible Right to Use (IRU) on
the fibre. As a rule, dark fibre suppliers do not fall under CRTC regulation.

In 2003

Upgrading Hydro’s Communications Systems
Manitoba Hydro has begun a major communications system upgrade
involving the installation of almost 1700 kilometres of fibre optic cable and
associated electronic systems. The upgrade is required for the
maintenance of communications between Manitoba Hydro's System
Control Centre and the utility's generation and transmission facilities -
communications critical to ensuring an adequate supply of electricity.

The upgrade includes four projects and will take approximately seven
years to complete.

USA Communications Link
A combination digital microwave and fibre optic cable installation project
will replace an analogue microwave system in support of transmission line
connections to the United States. Minnesota Power is participating with a
similar upgrade on the American side of the border.

Interlake and Nelson River
This is the most ambitious of the four projects and involves the installation
of almost 1200 kilometres of fibre optic cable between Rosser
Transmission Station on Winnipeg's north perimeter to the Limestone
Generation Station on the Nelson River. The system will replace an old
analogue microwave system that is nearing the end of its service life. This
project is underway and is expected to be complete in 2004.

Dauphin - Ashern
Approximately 140 kilometres of cable will be placed between Vermillion
Transmission Station near Dauphin to the Ashern Transmission Station in
the Interlake. The project will be completed in 2005.

                              Smart Partners                               95
                             Cathedral Group

Southwest System
Starting in Winnipeg and heading south to Letellier this system will then
turn west and wind its way through Southern Manitoba touching numerous
transmission stations ultimately terminating in Cornwallis Station in
Brandon. System length will be approximately 400 kilometres and will be
completed in 2006.

Manitoba Hydro is working with a number of local Community
Development Corporations and Community Broadband Cooperatives
considering access to the utility's fibre optic infrastructure for the delivery
of high speed Internet access and other services. In certain situations,
Manitoba Hydro can provide service at a wholesale level to a third party
who then delivers the service, typically through a wireless infrastructure, to
the consumer. For it to be cost effective, communities must be near one
of the termination points along a fibre optic route where connections to the
network are possible.

For more Manitoba Hydro information contact Murray Matiowsky at (204)

                              Smart Partners                                 96
                        Cathedral Group

Appendix D

Manitoba Hydro Fibre Build Map
                                            Manitoba Hydro
                                            Interlake and Nelson
                                              River Fibre Optic

                                          Manitoba Hydro is
                                          upgrading its northern
                                          communication system.
                                          Over the next year, a
                                          new fibre-optic
                                          communication cable
                                          will be installed between
                                          Winnipeg and Manitoba
                                          Hydro’s facilities near

                                          The Interlake and
                                          Nelson River fibre-optic
                                          cable installation will
                                          replace an aging
                                          microwave system. A
                                          48-fibre armoured
                                          optical cable
                                          approximately 2.2
                                          centimeters in diameter
                                          will be installed. The
                                          route follows existing
                                          Manitoba Transportation
                                          Corridors or exiting
                                          Manitoba Hydro right-

                                          The present microwave
                                          system is nearly 30
                                          years old and is
                                          approaching the end of
                                          its functional life.

                                          The project is scheduled
                                          in 4 Phases with
                                          completion anticipated
                                          in the summer of 2003.

                        Smart Partners                                97
                            Cathedral Group

Appendix E

Article: Access to Phone Providers Opens Up: CRTC

By Alexander Panetta
 OTTAWA -- In a victory for consumers, the CRTC declared Monday
 tenants of apartment and office buildings must have full access to local
telephone providers. The decision extends to apartment and office
complexes the same choices homeowners have enjoyed since local
telephone and phone-based Internet service was deregulated in 1997.
Some tenants have been restricted in their choice of telephone lines
because of cash deals between phone companies and building owners.
Landlords have struck deals to keep out the competition, in exchange for a
cash payment or a cut as high as 15 per cent of the phone and Internet
bill. That practice can no longer continue, the Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission ruled.
"The competition in this market is far from robust," CRTC chairman
Charles Dalfen said in an interview. "(But now) you and I will be able to
pick the supplier of our choice from anyone who provides service in our

The impact on consumers will not be felt immediately, he added.
But over time, companies leading in their markets may face stiffer
competition and consumers could notice a difference on their phone bills,
Dalfen said. The first step is for phone companies to install lines in
buildings from which they were previously barred. Consumers and phone
companies have waited years for the CRTC to ban landlords' practice of
charging for access to phone lines. The local residential phone market is
overwhelmingly dominated by former regional monopolies, such as Bell
Canada in Ontario and Quebec, Aliant in the east and Telus, SaskTel and
Manitoba Telecom Services in the west, CRTC research has found. The
only national phone company currently competing against the majors in
the local residential market is Sprint Canada, owned by Call-Net
Enterprises of Toronto.

Effects of this decision will vary across the country, for several reasons.
First, consumers will not gain access to providers that don't serve their
area. Also, landlords can still charge companies a fee to offset costs
incurred by the additional phone lines. Phone companies could, for
instance, be required to reimburse building owners if their added wiring
reduces the value of a commercial space. Other than that, the CRTC will
step in if phone companies complain of being blocked from a building.
B.C.-based Telus Corp. (TSX:BCE), the country's second-biggest phone
company after Bell Canada, said the ruling will be positive both for
customers and for Telus. "(It) reduces considerably the uncertainty Telus
has faced in gaining access to some multi-tenant buildings, especially

                             Smart Partners                               98
                            Cathedral Group

where Telus is a new entrant in the market," said Willie Grieve, the
company's vice-president for regulatory affairs. -- Canadian Press

                             Smart Partners                            99
                            Cathedral Group

Appendix F

High-Speed Internet in Churchill

Churchill Community Network a Model For Broadband Expansion in
Manitoba: Mihychuk
CHURCHILL--Industry, Trade and Mines Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk
today launched the Churchill Community Net, a high-speed Internet
network that will service business and residential customers in the
Churchill region, and make the northern town one of the most wired
communities in northern and rural Manitoba.
The Churchill Community Network is a partnership between the private
sector, the community of Churchill and the Manitoba government and is
the first community-owned Internet service provider in Manitoba. The
network is a not-for-profit venture that has already secured subscriptions
from 70 residences and 20 businesses in Churchill.
The network will benefit from digital infrastructure supplied from
Vancouver Teleport Inc. whose satellite and wireless technology will
supply up to two mega-bytes per second of reliable high-speed service to
the network’s customers.
"The Town of Churchill is an outstanding example of a community that
recognized the importance of high-speed Internet, created a strong
business case, and worked together with government and the private
sector to achieve a cost-effective solution," said Mihychuk. "The town's
creation of its own small-scale telecommunications company is a
remarkable achievement that will serve as a model for other communities
interested in high-speed service."
"Improving electronic communications in Northern Manitoba is vital to
promoting economic development," said Aboriginal and Northern Affairs
Minister Eric Robinson. "The new network provides a window to the world
for the residents of Churchill.
"Our government's Northern Development Strategy (NDS) recognizes the
importance of new technologies in sharing ideas and innovative new
approaches for health care, education, and community and economic
development among our northern communities. This initiative fits in with all
of these goals."
"The high-speed Internet project undertaken by the Churchill Community
Network is a model for all northern communities that are looking to
enhance their technology infrastructure," said Mike Spence, mayor of
Churchill. "One just needs to look at to see how a
small community can harness the Internet to access international
Mihychuk noted that bringing Manitoba communities online was a major
thrust of Manitoba's E-Friendly Information and Communications
Technology Strategy announced in 2001. Industry, Trade and Mines has

                             Smart Partners                             100
                            Cathedral Group

established a broadband office that is mandated to work with communities
to achieve access to high-speed service through partnerships with the
private sector.
"I congratulate the community of Churchill for making this a reality," said
Mihychuk. "By providing this service to Churchill and Northern Manitoba,
high-speed Internet access will help to connect residents and businesses
to services and markets in other parts of Manitoba, Canada and the

                             Smart Partners                             101
                          Cathedral Group

Appendix G

Public Internet Sites in Manitoba

Manitoba Public Internet Access Sites            Served By:
Altona                               MTS Dial-up
Anishinabe First Nations, Anola
Arborg                                    MTS
Barrows                                   MTS Dial-up
Beausejour                                MTS Dial-up
Benito                                    MTS
Birch River
Birtle                                    MTS
Bloodvein First Nation
Boissevain                                MTS Dial-up & DSL
Bowsman                                   MTS Dial-up
Brandon                                   MTS,
                                          Westman Com
Brokenhead First Nation
Camp Morton
Chemawawin Cree Nation
Cross Lake
Dauphin                                   MTS DSL & dial-up
Deloraine                                 MTS
Dominion City
Ebb & Flow
Emerson                                   MTS
Erickson                                  MTS
Fairford First Nation
Fisher Branch
Fisher River First Nation
Flin Flon                                 MTS DSL & dial-up
Gilbert Plains
Gilliam                                   MTS,
Gimli                                     MTS
Gladstone                                 MTS

                           Smart Partners                     102
                           Cathedral Group

Glenboro                                     MTS
Grandview                                    MTS
Iles des Chenes
Keeseekoowenin First Nation
Killarney                                    MTS
La Broquerie
La Salle
Lac du Bonnet                                MTS
Little Black River First Nation
Little Grand Rapids First Nation
Little Saskatchewan First Nation
Lynn Lake
MacGregor                                    MTS
McCreary                                     MTS
Melita                                       MTS
Moose Lake
Morden                                       MTS
Morris                                       MTS
Neepawa                                      MTS DSL
                                             Westman Comm. (the
                                             Wave Cable internet)
Nelson House First Nation
Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation
Norway House
Oak Bluff
Ochre River
Peguis First Nation
Pilot Mound                                  MTS
Pine Creek First Nation
Poplar River First Nation
Riverton                                     MTS
Roblin                                       MTS
Rolling River First Nation
Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation
Rossburn                                     MTS

                            Smart Partners                          103
                        Cathedral Group

Russell                                   MTS
Saint Lazare
Sainte Anne                               MTS Advanced
Sandy Bay
Selkirk                                   MTS,
Shoal Lake                                MTS
St. Claude
St. Jean Baptiste
St. Laurent
St. Malo
St. Pierre Jolys                          MTS
Ste. Rose du Lac                          MTS
Steinbach                                 MTS,
                                          CCCO Net
Stonewall                                 MTS Advanced
Swan River                                MTS
The Pas                                   MTS
Thompson                                  MTS,
Treherne                                  MTS
Virden                                    MTS
Waywayseecappo/Education Authority
Winkler/South Central Regional Library     MTS
Winnipeg Beach                             MTS
Winnipegosis                           MTS

   ¾ Unless otherwise stated the connections are 56k dial-up
   ¾ MTS Advanced and MTS considered the same service provider

                         Smart Partners                          104
                              Cathedral Group

Appendix H

Manitoba CAP Sites for Persons with Disabilities

   ƒ   A Stepping Stone Adult Learning Centre
   ƒ   Association for Community Living
   ƒ   Canadian Centre on Disability Studies
   ƒ   Ecole Precieux Sang
   ƒ   First Nations Disability Office
   ƒ   Good Neighbours Senior Centre
   ƒ   Governing Council of the Salvation Army
   ƒ   Health Action Centre
   ƒ   ILRC Winnipeg
   ƒ   International Centre
   ƒ   Lions Deaf Centre
   ƒ   McDonald Youth Services
   ƒ   MTS Pioneers
   ƒ   Osborne Village Resource Centre
   ƒ   Reaching E-quality Employment Services
   ƒ   Rossbrook House
   ƒ   Society for Manitobans with Disabilities
   ƒ   Ten Ten Sinclair Housing
   ƒ   West Broadway Avenue Education and Employment
   ƒ   Wolseley Family Place

                              Smart Partners           105
                                 Cathedral Group

Appendix I

Broadband Glossary
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line; High speed Internet access that works over a regular
phone line. Downstream speeds average 1.54 mbps, and upstream speeds range from
256 kbps - 512 kbps. ADSL is typically used in residential areas.
The amount of data transmitted in a given amount of time; usually measured in bits per
second, kilobits per second, and megabits per second.
B (Bearer) channel
An ISDN channel (path between the ISDN modem and the Central Office switch) which is
responsible for carrying voice and data signals across the line. Each B channel has 64
kbps allocated to it.
A single unit of data, either a one or a zero. In the world of broadband, bits are used to
refer to the amount of transmitted data. A kilobit (kb) is approximately 1000 bits. A
megabit (Mb) is approximately 1,000,000 bits.
Occurs when data passes through a port at a slower speed than the actual data
BRI (Basic Rate Interface)
A type of ISDN line consisting of two 64 kbps B channels and one 16 kbps D channel.
The two B channels may be bonded together to get a 128 kbps Internet connection.
Term referring to the high speed industry; a data "pipe" which can carry multiple channels
at once (as opposed to baseband, which can only carry one signal at a time).
8 bits. A kilobyte (KB) is approximately 1000 bytes. A megabyte (MB) is approximately
1,000,000 bytes. Bytes are usually used to refer to the size of files stored on a
computer's hard drive.
Cable modem
A modem that connects to your cable TV line in order to give you high speed access to
the Internet.
CO (Central Office)
A circuit switch where the phone lines in a geographical area come together, usually
housed in a small building.
Coaxial Cable
A type of cable that can carry large amounts of bandwidth over long distances. Cable TV
and cable modem service both utilize this cable.
D (Delta) channel
An ISDN channel (path between the ISDN modem and the Central Office switch)
responsible for signaling the switch to let it know what kind of call is coming through
(voice or data).
A term used to refer to Internet access using a phone modem. Usually, the user dials a
telephone number using the computer in order to connect to the Internet. The maximum
bandwidth of a dialup connection is 56 kbps.
DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer)
A device located in the Central Office switch that enables it for xDSL capabilities.
DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification)
A set of standards that cable modem manufacturer's must adhere to. These standards
ensure the inter operability of cable modem equipment.

                                  Smart Partners                                      106
                                 Cathedral Group

Data flowing from the Internet to your computer (Surfing the net, getting E-mail,
downloading a file).
Data (computerized information) is scrambled in order to prevent unauthorized access.
A protocol developed in the 1970's that supports LAN's (Local Area Networks). Ethernet
is capable of 10 mbps data transmissions, and "fast ethernet" is capable of 100 mbps.
Type of DSL that offers higher bandwidth than G. Lite. Up to 8 mbps downstream and 1.5
mbps upstream depending on distance from CO.
Common residential type of DSL. Offers about 1.5 mbps downstream and 384 kbps
High Bit Rate DSL; Downstream and upstream bandwidth is about 1.5 mbps using two
telephone lines.
Same as HDSL but using one phone line instead of two.
Headend router
The device, located at a cable provider, that manages all of the cable modems in a
geographical area. The headend router has a direct connection to an Internet backbone.
HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coax)
A type of cable that can carry large amounts of bandwidth over long distances. Cable TV
and cable modem service both utilize this cable.
ISDN Digital Subscriber Line; Combination of ISDN and DSL. Provides a 144 kbps
Internet Backbone
A company that owns large amounts of bandwidth. The bandwidth is leased to ISP's or
telephone companies, which allows them to supply consumers with access to the
IP Address
A unique numerical address for every computer that is connected to the Internet. If a
computer has a static IP address, its IP address is always the same. If a computer has a
dynamic IP address, its IP address is assigned by the ISP whenever the computer logs
on. A static IP address is required to run a web server.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
A digital signal that travels over existing copper phone lines. ISDN works in channels.
Each B (Bearer) channel is capable of 64 kbps. BRI lines (Basic Rate Interface) consist
of 2 B channels for a maximum Internet connection speed of 128k. PRI lines (Primary
Rate Interface) consist of 23 B channels, also known as a T1 line. BRI's are used in
residential areas, and PRI's are used for business.
ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A company providing Internet access to consumers and businesses.
LAN (Local Area Network)
A group of computers sharing resources (files, printer, Internet access). Usually, LAN's
are set up using Ethernet cards and cable.
Loop Qualification Check
A test that the telephone company can perform to see how far a customer is (in wire feet)
from the Central Office switch.
MSO (Multiple Service Operator)
The name for a cable provider offering cable modem service to its customers.
Network Card
An internal card on a computer which allows the computer to be connected to a network.
Also known as 10Base-T card, Network Interface Card (NIC), or Ethernet card.

                                  Smart Partners                                     107
                                Cathedral Group

PRI (Primary Rate Interface)
A type of ISDN line that consists of twenty-three 64 kbps B channels and one 64 kbps D
channel. The connection rate of this line is about 1.5 mbps; also known as a T1.

Equipment that does not conform to a standard. Proprietary computer equipment will
typically only communicate with equipment of the same brand/type.
Rate Adaptive DSL; Adjusts bandwidth amounts according to the phone line quality. Up
to 7 mbps downstream and 1.5 mbps upstream.
Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line; High speed Internet access that works over a regular
phone line. Downstream and upstream speeds are equal and can be anywhere from 160
kbps - 1.54 mbps. SDSL can be used in business or residential areas.
Serial Port
The 9 or 25 pin ports on PC's that are used for connecting external devices to the
computer, such as modems; also known as COM ports.
SPID's (Service Profile IDentifiers)
Telephone numbers of an ISDN line. When configuring ISDN equipment, four digits
(0101) are usually added to the end of the phone number to form a SPID.
Static IP
An address on your network that never changes. Static IP Addresses are obtained from
Data flowing from your computer to the Internet (sending E-mail, uploading a file).
USB (Universal Serial Bus)
A way of connecting devices to a computer. One USB controller (2 ports) can support up
to 127 devices. USB can transmit data up to 12 megabits per second, and it is a true
plug and play interface. Windows 98 Second Edition and Macintosh OS 8.5.3 both
support USB.
Very High Bit Rate DSL; Customers must be within 4,500 feet of the CO. Provides data
rates of 13 - 52 mbps downstream and 1.5 - 2 mbps upstream.
xDSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
A term used to generalize all of the different types of DSL.

                                 Smart Partners                                    108
                                   Cathedral Group

Appendix J

Provincial Data Network

The creation of the data network (then called the Data Transmission
Network) in 1995 was to lead to many new and exciting developments in
telecommunications for Manitobans. The following Press Release is
presented as a benchmarking tool to analysis what was committed to in
1995 and what has transpired since then.

Following this is the 2002 Press Release awarding MTS, the incumbent
service provider, with the contract(s) to continue providing data
transmission services to the Manitoba government. It is interesting to note
how the intent has not as much changed as it has been taken in a different
direction through the privatization of MTS. A brief analysis of the two
documents and commentary complete Appendix J. Main points of interest
are highlighted for emphasis and comments/observations are noted as

                                      Feb. 15, 1995
Province and MTS Sign Contract For Data Transmission Network
The Government of Manitoba and the Manitoba Telephone System (MTS)
have announced the signing of a major contract to provide a backbone for
Manitoba's information highway throughout the province.

MTS, which tendered the lowest bid, will build and administer a data
transmission network, with the government being the principal customer.
The government's volume discount on the network will be extended to the
private sector to ensure affordable access for all users.67

 This statement was made pre-privatization and may have represented the will of the Manitoba
Government of the day.

                                    Smart Partners                                        109
                                      Cathedral Group

The network will stimulate economic activity, generate employment
opportunities, improve productivity and assist Manitobans to compete in a
global economy by removing barriers of distance and time.68

"This network will provide Manitobans with access to one of the most
sophisticated communications networks in Canada," said Glen Findlay,
minister for MTS. "Its development is consistent with a continuing effort to
enable a pathway to prosperity by fostering the climate for economic

The government anticipates savings on the cost of data communications
of about $2 million over the course of the five-year contract while providing
Manitobans with increased access to government, medical and distance
education services, the Internet, home shopping, telebanking and
entertainment options.69

"Manitobans and Manitoba businesses will have a world of opportunities at
their fingertips," said Findlay. "An expanded capability to communicate
worldwide will increase our competitiveness and provide expanded
marketing opportunities."

Findlay also noted that the announcement of the contract marks a major
milestone in a process the government started in 1988 to modernize the
telephone system province wide that includes the phasing out of rural
party lines and establishing a widespread, state-of-the art fibre optic

The new network will use fibre optic lines (which can move much more
data much faster than conventional telephone lines), digital technology,
and cutting edge Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) equipment which is
being provided by a Canadian company called Newbridge Networks
Corporation. ATM technology will enable a new generation of enhanced
telecommunications services for all Manitobans.

With the introduction of the network, MTS will also be able to pursue
opportunities such as forming new alliances and partnerships with
businesses who want to offer their services to Manitobans. Tom
Stefanson, chairman of the board of MTS, said, "MTS will pursue
relationships with other customers, other industries, service providers and

   The theory is sound but in actuality MTS did very little to assist Manitobans in this way.

Internet access rates actually increased, especially for ISP other than MTS. 

   Indeed MTS did allow the use of the infrastructure for these purposes but at an increase in costs 

to Manitobans. 

   The fibre network was not as widespread as was desired and basically served only government.

                                       Smart Partners                                            110
                                    Cathedral Group

our competitors to accelerate the development of the highway and bring
benefits to all Manitobans."71

Building the network will give enterprises in Manitoba access to a
technological advantage that should encourage research and
development as well as new opportunities. Gerry Ducharme, minister of
government services, noted, "while the province will be major user of the
network, the number of future services is limited only by the imagination of


   The challenge for MTS would be to demonstrate how this statement has been fulfilled. MTS, 

after privatization acquired their competition almost at will. However, we must acknowledge that 

the statement was made pre-privatization. 

   Privatization has resulted in a near complete turn around in this type of thinking. 

                                     Smart Partners                                          111
                                   Cathedral Group

The 2002 announcement for the award to MTS the incumbent service
provider to the data network:

May 14, 2002

   Government Service Delivery To be Improved: Premier
Premier Gary Doer announced today that the government’s Provincial
Data Network (PDN) will be upgraded to enhance broadband access for
hospitals and provincial government buildings and serve as a catalyst for
the future expansion of high-speed telecommunications to rural and
Northern Manitoba.73

"This announcement is an investment in the future that lays the foundation
for the eventual delivery of broadband services to rural communities" said
Doer. "Since the development of high-tech industry and opportunities are
not dependent on geography, it is critical that Manitoba encourages the
required investments in infrastructure to allow all of our communities to be

To support the distribution of broadband infrastructure to rural
communities, the province is upgrading its provincial data network which
serves provincial government offices and hospitals. The upgrade will
utilize the latest technology, designed to handle up to 100 mega-bytes per
second of data, voice and video traffic. In total, this initiative will provide
broadband capabilities to 85 communities with hospitals or government

   As in 1995 the government claims to serve the remote and rural residents of Manitoba through
the PDN. We raise the question, “if they were not able to do it when MTS was part of government
how will they manage the task now that MTS is a for-profit corporation?”
   These 85 communities will benefit through better delivery of government services but the
original problem of improved citizen access is not addressed. In some communities the public’s
share of the bandwidth has declined while government uses more of the available bandwidth.

                                    Smart Partners                                         112
                            Cathedral Group

The upgrade will improve the government's ability to transfer data and
images and will provide greater opportunities for telecommunications
services such as video-conferencing.

The initiative will also enhance the government's ability to deliver existing
health programs including:
   ƒ	 Telehealth: an initiative that allows doctors and patients in northern
       and rural Manitoba to access clinical specialists through video-
       conferencing capabilities;
   ƒ	 Oncology Outpatient: an application used by Cancer Care Manitoba
       to facilitate treatment in rural and northern communities;
   ƒ	 Drug Program Information Network - Emergency Rooms: a 

       program designed to help emergency room doctors identify 

       potential adverse drug reactions for patients. 

To facilitate the upgrade, three contracts, worth a total of $47.4 million
over five years, for upgrading and expanding the capacity of the Provincial
Data Network were tendered and have been awarded to Manitoba
Telecom Services Inc. (MTS). The average annual costs for the contract
are $9.48 million which is comparable to the projected annual costs
associated with an expanded network under the previous contract. This
new network design allows for the potential future expansion into schools
and libraries.

"We are delighted to work with the provincial government to provide new,
state-of-the-art broadband data services that can interconnect government
offices and hospitals across the province at speeds up to 35 times faster
than the current network," said MTS President and CEO Bill Fraser. "Our
people have gained tremendous expertise in delivering these services
after having launched our DSL high-speed Internet in 34 rural
communities as part of our $300 million Next Generation Services initiative
to bring high-speed Internet to 85 per cent of Manitobans by the end of

The announcement was made at the Telehealth video-conference facility
at the Health Sciences Centre, one of 23 Telehealth sites across the
province that utilize the PDN to deliver health services to Manitobans.

Other Telehealth sites include Churchill, Dauphin, Flin Flon, Gillam,
Killarney, Leaf Rapids, Lynn Lake, Pine Falls, Russell, Ashern, Berens
River First Nation, Steinbach, Swan River, Brandon, Thompson, The Pas
and the recently opened site in Selkirk. Sites have also been established
at Boundary Trails Hospital, the St. Boniface General Hospital and the
Rehabilitation Centre for Children. All Manitoba regional health authorities
have joined the Manitoba Telehealth Network.

                             Smart Partners                              113
                                    Cathedral Group

"Today’s announcement represents our government’s commitment to
enhancing Manitoba’s network infrastructure," said Doer. "We recognize
that providing a solid infrastructure lays the foundation for our long-term
economic well-being and the future of our province. We are pleased to be
able to work with MTS in connecting government offices and improving
service delivery in rural and northern Manitoba."75

Authors Commentary:
While it can be argued that the PDN remains open for public use, the facts
are very lean to support this argument. The PDN infrastructure has little
capacity to deliver services on the public side and the administration
appears to be lacking any serious will to provide public access. MTS, as
the owner of the infrastructure and a for-profit corporation reviews the
business case before allowing any use of their infrastructure. In short,
some one will need to pay the rates deemed appropriate by MTS.

It is evident Government is still the primary user of the PDN. While some
industry use is present the cost of utilization is very high and beyond the
capabilities of most small and medium sized enterprises. The 2002 Press
Release makes it clear the PDN has been declared a government
services delivery tool. It is unclear how the PDN will “serve as a catalyst
for future expansion of high-speed telecommunications to rural and
Northern Manitoba” when it reaches only select centres along the
infrastructure route. The precedent is if industry attempts to tie-in to the
PDN infrastructure they would quickly discover the bureaucracy and the
costs to be overwhelming.

  The service delivery referred to here is the delivery of government services and not improved
access for Manitobans.

                                     Smart Partners                                           114
                                   Cathedral Group

Appendix K

Potential Funding Resources

Public Access Points 76 Rural Manitoba Northern Manitoba Aboriginal People
dddfb5cefafef7eb460ad8075c Persons with Disabilities

Information Resources
dc6d/85256a220056c2a485256cfc0050366b!OpenDocument A good
resource for advanced projects and researchers Best Practices,
Library focused research Library focused research
project Focuses on high-
level policies, government and organizations General information; white papers on
connectivity, community engagement and policy A good source of white papers on a wide range of
topics including broadband and connectivity

     Community Connections

                                    Smart Partners                    115
                             Cathedral Group

Appendix L

PCensus Report
Census Snapshot
 Census Snapshot         Manitoba              Winnipeg (C), MB      Brandon (C), MB
Total Population                          %                    %                     %
                           1,119,580    base       619,540 base             39,715 base
    Males                    549,600    49%        299,420 48%              18,765 47%
    Females                  569,980    51%        320,120 52%              20,950 53%

2001 Population by                        %                  %                       %
Age                        1,119,580    base       619,540 base             39,715 base
    0 to 4 years              70,675     6%         35,835  6%               2,295  6%
    5 to 19 years            243,460    22%        121,495 20%               7,970 20%
    20 to 24 years            72,850     7%         44,205  7%               3,440  9%
    25 to 34 years           143,175    13%         86,000 14%               5,240 13%
    35 to 44 years           177,130    16%        100,810 16%               6,000 15%
    45 to 54 years           155,710    14%         89,315 14%               5,135 13%
    55 to 64 years           100,160     9%         54,265  9%               3,320  8%
    65 to 74 years            78,565     7%         43,460  7%               2,915  7%
    75 to 84 years            56,875     5%         32,455  5%               2,465  6%
    85 years and over         20,980     2%         11,705  2%                 935  2%

   Average age of
 population                     36.6                   37.3                   37.5
   Median age                   36.7                   37.2                   36.5
   Dominant age
 group                  5 to 19 years          5 to 19 years          5 to 19 years

Families                                  %                  %                       %
                            302,855     base       167,225 base             10,840 base
   Persons per
 family                             3                     3                    2.9

 families                   253,690     84%        136,155     81%           8,980    83%
        With no
   children at home         111,190     37%          59,685    36%           4,405    41%
        With children
   at home                  142,505     47%          76,470    46%           4,575    42%
 families                     49,160    16%          31,075    19%           1,855    17%

   Total children at
 home                       362,115                191,640                  11,330
   Children per
 family                          1.2                    1.1                      1

Households                  432,555                252,810                  16,750
   Persons in private
 households                1,090,625               607,435                  38,845
   Persons per
 household                       2.5                    2.4                    2.3
   Average 2000
 household income           $50,756                $53,176                $46,926

Occupied Dwellings                        %                  %                       %
                            432,550     base       252,815 base             16,750 base

                               Smart Partners                                         116
                                 Cathedral Group

 Census Snapshot             Manitoba              Winnipeg (C), MB         Brandon (C), MB
   Owned Dwellings             293,295      68%        160,755 64%                10,315 62%
   Rented Dwellings            128,930      30%         92,055 36%                 6,435 38%

   Single detached
 houses                         298,230     69%         150,805     60%             10,280    61%
 x                                33,530     8%          23,590      9%              2,100    13%
   Apartments                     93,195    22%          77,985     31%              4,015    24%
   Movable dwelling                7,600     2%             430      0%                350     2%
   Dominant building                                      Single
 type                   Single detached                detached           Single detached
                                 houses                  houses                    houses

    Official Home
 Language                        English                 English                   English
    Non-official Home                                   Tagalog
 Language                       German                 (Pilipino)                 Chinese
    Immigrant Place
 of Birth                     Philippines            Philippines          United Kingdom
    Ethnic Origin              Canadian                  English                  English
    Religion                                             Roman
                        Roman Catholic                 Catholic             United Church
 Attainment               Grades 9 to 13          Grades 9 to 13            Grades 9 to 13
   Labour by             Health care and                                   Health care and
 Industry               social assistance         Manufacturing           social assistance
   Labour by                                           Sales &
 Occupation              Sales & service                service            Sales & service
                            occupations            occupations                occupations

                                   Smart Partners                                             117

                           Cathedral Group

Appendix M

Manitoba Education Research and Learning Information Networks
(MERLIN) was created as a special operating agency with the Department
of Education, Training and Youth in April 1995. It was formed as a
facilitating body to coordinate the delivery of technology services to the
education community across Manitoba.

MERLIN was given a five-year mandate with the understanding that the
mandate would be reviewed thereafter. In the summer of 2000, a five-
year Effectiveness Review of MERLIN’s operation indicated that some of
MERLIN’s methods for delivering services were not as well targeted to the
needs of the education community as they could have been. Focus
groups, surveys, and interviews with stakeholders and clients supported
that view.

In response to the evaluation, MERLIN developed a draft Discussion
Paper (Strategic Plan), which was taken to the education community for
discussion. This consultation process involved regional meetings
throughout the province with educational stakeholders including school
superintendents, computer coordinators, technicians and Manitoba
Education, Training and Youth staff. The education community
overwhelmingly supported MERLIN's proposed direction. From these
discussions, a new Business Plan was developed that more clearly
responded to the needs of the education community through the
development of a new mission statement, mandate, objectives and goals.
This new role of supporting and consulting with the education community
was important to improving educational services to learners.

In October 2002, MERLIN became part of the newly formed Department of
Energy, Science and Technology.

  ¾	 To support the use of technology in improving educational services
      to learners.

  ¾	 Provide direction and management in the educational use of
     networks, acting as a broker of services to meet customer needs;
  ¾ Provide services that support educational institutions (K-S4 and
     post-secondary) in the application of technological tools to enhance
     and expand program delivery.


                            Smart Partners                             118
                        Cathedral Group

¾	 Provide products and services to improve equity of access;
¾	 Support self-sufficiency at the school division level;
¾	 Facilitate collaboration with education partners on technology
¾	 Provide support and direction in distance learning initiatives and
   technology infrastructures;
¾	 Support the goals of the Department of Education and Youth;
¾	 Proactive approach in embracing opportunities to the advantage of
   the education community.

                         Smart Partners                            119
              Cathedral Group

Appendix N

CTRC Ruling

              Smart Partners    120
Cathedral Group

Smart Partners    121

                            Cathedral Group

Appendix O
The Competition Factor

Industry Canada is a major technology information resource and a major
funding agency for connectivity projects. Industry Canada strongly favors
competitions as a method of seeding and funding projects or project plans.
While these competitions give impression of fairness and equality there
are criticisms that can be and are levied against the procedure. In any
case, there is an environment of “winner and loser” created by the
competitive process.

The processes of a competition can be exhaustive as well as resource
intensive and those who are unsuccessful may have no further (volunteer)
strength or resources (financial) to continue the process after it is over.
The magnitude of the competitive process is in itself alarming, for every
project offered funding there are in some cases hundreds of unsuccessful
applicants. Each of these unsuccessful applicants will have downloaded
applications, retained a human resource pool (paid or volunteer), met with
local supporters, drafted a proposal, reviewed the draft proposal with
potential local players, written a formal proposal, submitted it before a
deadline and then waited months for their answer. All the while believing
they had a good solid proposal worthy of support. Consider that
communities may be required to hire proposal writers to author an
extensive proposal document that may cost several thousand dollars. If
funding is not achieved these expenditures may be a total loss to the
community. Smaller jurisdictions cannot afford to go through this exercise
more than once, if even that. Of even greater consequence, in failing to
achieve funding doubt may follow the project leaders in their future
endeavors even if the project was sound and feasible.

There is also the blow to the morale to those that are not successful in
funding and they may not have the desire to continue a project once an
official government department has informed them they are not worthy.
Potential supporters, community leaders and funding agencies do not
always look kindly on those not successful in a first round competition.
While successful applicants are deemed winners and their initiatives gain
the majority of the scarce resources available the unsuccessful application
receives nothing even if their project has merit and value.

When a community puts a concept forward, that concept, in most cases, is
sound to those who put it forward. Yet, under the competitive system of
Industry Canada the concept faces judgment for merit by others from
outside of the community, who incidentally happen to hold the key to the
resources. Mistrust of the system, resentment for the loss and

                             Smart Partners                             122
                            Cathedral Group

apprehension in applying for future projects await those who are not

                            Smart Partners                             123
                             Cathedral Group

Appendix P

Nunavut Satellite Service Enhancement

Nunavut Enhances Satellite Network
Network World Canada
Rebecca Reid

The Government of Nunavut has chosen Ottawa-based Dyband Corp., a
provider of IP traffic management offerings, to help manage its broadband

Nunavut uses satellite Internet provider Telesat, also based in Ottawa, for
its broadband service and it will now use Dyband’s 2100 Internet Protocol
Traffic Manager (IPTM) to manage the bandwidth.

Without a bandwidth management tool, it would be easy for a community
of 1,000 users, for example, to have the entire connection dominated by
one user, said Tim Welch, vice-president of sales at Dyband.

"What our software allows the government to do is make sure everyone
gets a fair and equitable share of bandwidth and everybody gets a really
good online experience, so one user can’t swamp out the rest of them," he

Industry Canada and Telesat provided Nunavut with 12.5MHz of satellite
transponder space to be used exclusively for traffic on Nunavut’s
Community Services Network, which connects schools, libraries, colleges
and health centres throughout the territory.

The product will be administered by Nunavut’s Informatics Services
Branch, and with the 2100 IPTM can group users into various categories,
such as consumer and corporate, and allot how much bandwidth each
user has access to and prevent clogs. This means Nunavut can segregate
core government functions from other traffic.

Scaling up to about 50,000 IP addresses, the 2100 IPTM reaches up to
155Mbps both on uplinks and downlinks, Welch said. Nunavat has a
population of about 29,000 residents in 26 communities, with populations
ranging from five to almost 6,000 in those communities.

The 2100 IPTM also monitors network functions every 10 milliseconds
(ms) in order to rapidly evaluate and adjust traffic conditions throughout
the network, Dyband said.

                             Smart Partners                                  124
                             Cathedral Group

Nunavat will also be able to use the software to collect data about the
traffic that can indicate, for example, how much bandwidth each customer

Welch said the tricky part about managing satellite bandwidth as
compared to its wireline and cable counterparts is dealing with
propagation delay. That is the amount of time it takes the signal to get
from the earth to a satellite and back. It takes about 250ms in each
direction, Welch said.

"If you’re going to shape traffic over a connection like that, you are going
to have to do it really, really quickly," he explained. "Our software, every
10ms, makes a decision on the network status and sends the packet out,
so we only hold the packets back for 10ms and that’s less than a router

The 2100 IPTM costs between $1,000 to $30,000 depending upon traffic
flow on the network.

                              Smart Partners                               125
                             Cathedral Group

Appendix Q

Content Development

Additional Information on Content Development can be found at the
following locations:

December, John, "An Information Development Methodology for the World
Wide Web," Technical Communication, (Vol. 43, No. 4, 1996, pp. 369­
December, John. "Web Development." Milwaukee: December
Communications, Inc., 2000
Designing Web Usability: This is Jakob Nielsen's site on Web usability and
provides excellent coverage of Web page layout and design techniques.
Dr. Nielsen provides links to his numerous papers and essays concerning
usability, including his expertise in heuristic evaluation and usability
Usable Web: This site provides a large collection of links about human
factors, interface design, and usability issues specific to World Wide Web
development. The resources are described, and multiple organizational
schemes allow for searching by date, site, topic, or popularity. Topics
covered include news, usability engineering, design, calendar of events,
issues, sources, and technology.

                              Smart Partners                            126

To top