ACCESS EXPANDS TO FIVE NEW LOCATIONS
MUSKOKA, Ontario ─ February 18, 2010 ─ Muskoka Community Network (MCN) is pleased to announce that access to high speed internet for Muskoka-based businesses and its residents has improved yet again.
Since 2006, Muskoka Community Network has improved rural high speed internet coverage from an estimated 12 per cent to 60 per cent. “This leads us to believe that overall access to high speed internet in Muskoka has reached 80 per cent ─ thanks to the efforts of Muskoka Community Network and a variety of Internet Service Providers,” said Rob McPhee, Executive Director, Muskoka Community Network.
“Muskoka Community Network has been working hard to bring high speed internet access to unserved individuals, families and businesses in the region, improving coverage throughout Muskoka and helping build the backbone of the digital economy that will be so important in the years ahead,” said Parry Sound-Muskoka Member of Parliament, Tony Clement. “I am encouraged by their continued efforts and I would like to thank Muskoka Community Network for continuing to bring quality high speed internet access to Parry Sound - Muskoka.”
“Every day the network is expanding and today we are pleased to announce the addition of four more Huntsville-based locations and one more in Lake of Bays,” added McPhee. “This represents a vast improvement over the 12 per cent availability identified in 2006 when Muskoka Community Network researched the coverage available in rural Muskoka.”
Locations include: Britannia Road West, Brittania Road East, Melissa and Otter Lake in Huntsville, as well as Browns Brea in Lake of Bays.
“I run a home-based business and high speed offers a solid connection to my customers and the rest of the world,” said Charlene Neill, Otter Lake Resident and beneficiary of the Otter Lake tower. “It’s a remarkable improvement over dial-up.”
“Some of the towers are unique. They are powered in large part by solar panels – a renewable, cost effective energy tool,” said Neil Smellie of CORE Broadband. “Green energy solutions such as these provide power solutions when the standard available power source is unavailable at times.”
Muskoka Community Network is working on 14 more towers and access continues to expand in the Townships of Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay, as well as the Towns of Huntsville, Gravenhurst and Bracebridge. Please check http://www.mcnet.ca/projects/broadsched/ for more information.
READY TO SURF?
In addition to bringing high speed internet to Muskoka, Muskoka Community Network is committed to providing the training necessary to use high speed internet to its maximum potential.
Muskoka Community Network provides classroom style workshops for businesses, organizations and individuals who want to increase their tech knowledge. Topics include Planning Your Website, How to Profit from E-Business and Technology Management.
Muskoka Community Network also provides online training through its virtual training centre. There are over 450 titles to choose from, including word processing, accounting, spreadsheets and even graphic design. Subscribers including businesses, government and individual residents are currently learning in this online environment. All you need is a high speed internet connection and a desire to learn. These online courses are FREE to Muskokans.
STILL ON DIAL-UP?
Residents without high speed internet access are asked to let Muskoka Community Network know precisely where they are. Individuals can do so by dialing 705-646-9044, or by completing the “I Need Broadband” form located at online at www.mcnet.ca.
For businesses unable to get high speed through existing means, Muskoka Community Network offers financial assistance to establish a satellite broadband connection. Through Muskoka Community Network`s Satellite Internet Remote Areas (SIRA) program, qualifying businesses may receive up to 75 per cent of the supported costs of equipment and installation (up to $1000).
FedNor is a federal regional development organization in Ontario that works with a variety of partners, as both a facilitator and catalyst, to help create an environment in which communities can thrive, businesses can grow and people can prosper.
To date, Muskoka Community Network has secured 2.5 million dollars in public funding from FedNor and has facilitated approximately 1.5 million additional dollars of technology investment in Muskoka. 1.7 million dollars was secured for broadband (high speed) alone. Additional funding has been allocated towards improving online communications for our communities, and providing training on how best to leverage online opportunities.
ABOUT MUSKOKA COMMUNITY NETWORK
Muskoka Community Network (MCN) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing high speed internet to Muskoka. MCN is also committed to providing the training necessary to use high speed internet to its maximum potential.
If you are currently without access to high speed, or are interested in training opportunities, visit www.mcnet.ca
For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Muskoka Community Network
Blue Whale Communications Inc.
For more information on broadband and technology in Muskoka, visit the Muskoka Community Network website at www.mcnet.ca