Canada’s Rural & Remote Broadband Conference
The first annual Canadian Rural and Remote Broadband Conference will take place from November 12th-14th in North Bay, Ontario, Canada. See: https://bridgingthedigitaldivide.ca.
This conference promises to provide strategic information sharing for community leaders, rural advocates, service providers and government officials. The summit presents a unique opportunity for stakeholders to come together and share their knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned on the challenges and realities of creating a sustainable and ubiquitous digital economy for the rural and remote regions of our country. The agenda is focused on educating and informing community leaders and related stakeholders about the challenges and options surrounding the implementation of broadband solutions in their regions and the evolving technological landscape, specifically in rural and remote areas.
Who should attend? This conference is essential for anyone looking to better understand rural and remote broadband challenges, engage with other stakeholders, and explore options to collaborate to find effective solutions. The forum will be held at the North Bay Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre and will begin with a welcome reception on Tuesday, November 12, followed by two days of information sharing. Please click here for registration packages and details. Canada’s first annual Rural & Remote Broadband Conference recently announced the latest line-up of rural community influencers who will engage with conference attendees in North Bay including
· Caledon’s Mayor Allan Thompson, Chair of the Rural Ontario Municipalities Association (ROMA) who will present why he believes broadband services should be considered an essential service – just like electricity, education, and health care are in Canada. Mayor Thompson’s perspectives have generated great interest in the matter (article here) underscoring how critical it is to bridge the digital divide. This will be a “must see” session that will ignite thoughtful discussion.
· Information sharing and collaboration are key themes of the conference, and the latest additions to the Thursday morning Q&A sessions will not disappoint. The first Q&A will be led by Melanie Pilon, Dubreuilville Ontario’s Economic Development Officer. She is also co-chair of the Northeastern Superior Region Broadband Network (NSRBN) – a group of five First Nations and five municipalities who have come together to address the broadband gap that exists in their diverse region. The NSRBN project was recently awarded the Community Futures Ontario Award of Excellence for their efforts.
· Chad West, Manager of IT from Nova Scotia’s Municipality of County of Kings will provide an overview of the impressive Valley Community Fibre Network. Built in 2008, the VCFN is jointly owned by the towns of Berwick, Windsor, and Wolfville, the Municipality of the County of Kings, the Municipality of the District of West Hants, Acadia University, and the Nova Scotia Community College. In addition to its owners, the VCFN currently serves users from the educational, health, research, and business sectors.
· Arguably one of Canada’s best-known community broadband deployments, Mitch Thomson of the Olds Institute will provide his insights and lessons learned to date. Mitch is the Executive Director of Alberta’s Olds Institute for Community & Regional Development. “OI” is recognized for the pioneering work it has done to develop community-based broadband services. They have created their own ISP and offer gigabit internet, IPTV and Voice Over internet Phone services. They retail electricity, natural gas and green energy to consumers in over 50 communities and use the profits from their social enterprises for community and economic development.
Check out the impressive roster of speakers that include:
· The Honourable Victor Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade;
· Chris Seidl, Executive Director, Telecommunications for the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC); and
· Chairman and Co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum, John G. Jung.
See the Agenda: https://bridgingthedigitaldivide.ca/
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