Batchewana First Nation leaders announced a partnership with Northern Rural Networks to form a new pan-Canadian telecommunications company, Batchewana Telecom.
According to a press release, Batchewana Telecom will provide reliable high-speed Internet, telephone and television services to First Nations and rural communities across Canada at affordable prices.
Batchewana Telecom’s current network includes more than 40 communication towers providing telecommunications services to customers from Goulais Bay to Manitoulin Island.
Batchewana Telecom also provides service to First Nations and rural communities in Saskatchewan.
“Our First Nation is made up of four home bases, two of which are somewhat isolated, so access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet has been a serious issue,” said BFN Chief Dean Sayers.
When the opportunity to start their own telecommunications company came up, he said they didn’t hesitate to provide members with these essential services.
Batchewana Telecom offers competitive rates to on- and off-reserve members and other First Nations, as well as customers throughout rural Ontario and Canada, he added.
“Our partnership with Northern Rural Networks will create economic prosperity and opportunity for Batchewana First Nation,” said Chief Sayers.
Lucas Balemba, President of Northern Rural Networks, added, “Batchewana Telecom has the opportunity to develop First Nations-owned pan-Canadian network infrastructure to provide affordable high-speed Internet service to First Nations and rural communities.
Batchewana First Nation comprises four land bases: Rankin, Goulais Bay, Obadjiwan and Whitefish Island.
Northern Rural Networks is a medium-sized national telecommunications company based in Bancroft, Ontario. The company is primarily focused on providing reliable telecommunications services to rural areas of Ontario and Canada.