Saturday, July 2, 2011

Helping Rural and Remote Businesses Secure Access to High Speed Internet


Muskoka Community Network Announces Hi-SIRA
Helping Rural and Remote Businesses Secure Access to High Speed Internet

June 30, 2011 – MUSKOKA, Ontario - Muskoka Community Network (MCN) today announced the High-Speed Internet for Remote Areas program (Hi-SIRA) to help rural and remote businesses of Muskoka secure access to high speed internet by way of an extended antenna.  Hi-SIRA is a modified version of Muskoka Community Network’s Satellite Internet Remote Areas (SIRA) Program which offered financial assistance to establish a satellite broadband connection. 
“While Muskoka Community Network is proud to have brought high speed internet connectivity to 85 per cent of Muskoka, we are aware of the fact that some businesses remain located beyond the reach of existing broadband services,” said Rob McPhee, Executive Director, Muskoka Community Network. 

“The barrier is often topographical in nature since variations in elevation may or may not lend themselves to the nearest signal,” added McPhee. “It is for this reason that we are offering a contribution towards the purchase and installation of an extended antenna that will bridge a successful connection to an internet service provider.”   

Eligible applicants may receive up to 75 per cent of supported costs including external (to the dwelling) connectivity equipment or structures and installation fees, to a maximum of $1,000.

The program is being made available for a limited time, while funds last. Small and medium sized businesses operating on a full time basis in Muskoka may apply by calling Muskoka Community Network at 705-646-9044, or by visiting  

The program is not available to cottagers, private homes or hobby businesses.


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.


Muskoka Community Network (MCN) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2000.  On December 31, 2010, MCN exceeded its prime mandate to bring high speed internet to 80 per cent of the un-serviced population within Muskoka. Today, overall access to high speed internet in Muskoka has reached 85 per cent.  This represents an incredible jump from the 12 per cent coverage rate recorded in 2006.  Muskoka Community Network also provides the training necessary to use high speed internet to its maximum potential.  If you are interested in training opportunities, or to book the Business and Technology Centre of Excellence for your next meeting, visit


For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Rob McPhee                                                  
Muskoka Community Network                     
705-646-9044 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            705-646-9044      end_of_the_skype_highlighting                                                                                                                              

Alison Withey
Blue Whale Communications Inc.
705-783-4218 (mobile)

For more information on broadband and technology in Muskoka, visit the Muskoka Community Network website at

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