Community Partners

The four community partner organizations included in this project were selected to provide contrasting examples of how public ICT infrastructure can be deployed.

Keewaytinook Okimakanak - K-Net

An initiative of Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO), a non-profit tribal council in northwestern Ontario, K-Net is an aboriginally-owned and managed community network established in 1994 to provide broadband services and ICT applications (telehealth, education, economic development, and community e-centres) to communities of the Nishnawbe Aski First Nations. K-Net uses satellite broadband, video conferencing, IP telephony, online forums, e-mail, and other web-based communication tools to link First Nations communities and their service organisations. KO was named as Industry Canada's Aboriginal Smart Communities demonstration project in 2000. K-Net also serves as the Regional Management Organization for First Nations School-Net programs across Ontario, and operates telemedicine services in 24 communities. K-Net servers host over 20,000 web pages and 30,000 e-mail accounts, and receive over 100 million hits per month.

Île Sans Fil (ISF)

Île Sans Fil is an all-volunteer bilingual non-profit organization dedicated to the development of a free communication infrastructure to strengthen local communities in the greater Montreal region. Île Sans Fil is both a technical development project and a grass roots community group, involving professionals and students from diverse fields. Île Sans Fil has deployed 105 free Internet hotspots in public spaces and local businesses (cafes, parks, etc.) in downtown Montreal, which currently have over 24,000 registered users. Open source captive portal software developed by ISF (WiFi-DOG) enables members to disseminate local content (e.g. arts, community news, local events) at its various hotspots.

Fredericton eZone

Wi-Fi in Fredericton, NB is the result of an extension to the fiber network that the City developed in 1999. Addressing issues such as high cost of Internet, necessity of communicating across a dispersed organization, and effectively sharing information and files led to the formation of a City-owned company known as e-Novations to build and manage a fiber network. Fred-eZone is now a free, community-wide Wi-Fi network providing residents, visitors and businesses with mobile broadband access from virtually anywhere within the city.

Wireless Nomad (WN)

Wireless Nomad is a Toronto-based co-operative ISP established in 2005 to develop a community-based and cooperatively managed residential and commercial broadband network using WiFi "mesh" networking technology. The network is financed through fees paid by subscribers, who automatically become members of the WN co-operative, with full membership rights to participate in developing and managing the network. In addition, Wireless Nomad has developed captive portal technology which enables members to post locally-specific content to neighbourhood "splash" pages.

Government Partner

Industry Canada

Industry Canada is the main federal government department with both program and regulatory involvement in the deployment, adoption and use of advanced ICTs in Canada, and has been a long-standing funder of public/community based ICT initiatives in Canada, including SchoolNet and the Community Access Program. More recently, Industry Canada has managed the Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program and, along with Infrastructure Canada, the National Satellite Initiative. In addition, radio-frequency spectrum allocation and management, including WiFi, are mandated responsibilities of the Department.


CWIRP is supported by Infrastructure Canada