History of NICSN: The Development of a Community Satellite Network
January 2004

The following time chart outlines a collaborative effort involving Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO), Kativik Regional Council (KRG), Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC), Telesat Canada and Industry Canada to allocated public benefit satellite space on Anik F2 and combines it into the shared resource of the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network (NICSN).


KO begins working with Telesat Canada and Industry Canada FedNor to find a solution for delivering broadband services to Fort Severn .


FedNor funds KO installation for earth stations in Fort Severn and a Sioux Lookout hub utilizing Telesat R&D bandwidth to connect Fort Severn to services delivered from Sioux Lookout.


KO's earth station in Sioux Lookout supports broadband connection and applications to Slate Falls and Anaheim Lake (BC) with FedNor funding support from FedNor under the SMART Communities Project.


Telesat applies to Industry Canada for the oribtal space for Anik F3 with support from KO; part of application provides 2 transponders to Industry Canada for public benefit applications. KO presents business case to Industry Canada to use the first transponder available on Anik E2.


January: Industry Canada accepts KO's Business Case to access first public benefit transponder on Anik E2 (their original satellite). KO assists neighbouring Tribal Councils to establish earth stations and connections to band buildings in 6 remote satellite served First Nations in the Sioux Lookout district.

February: Telesat and Industry Canada announce partnership with Keewaytinook Okimakanak to use public benefit transponder on E2 for community applications with an 18mhz allocation from IC.

April: Winnipeg meeting of interested public sector parties coordinated by KO to hear about this unique strategy for serving remote communities with broadband connectivity.

Fall: The first public benefit resource (one Anik E2 transponder) divided between governments of Nunavut (12.5 mhz) and the Northwest Territories (5 mhz) and Keewaytinook Okimakanak (12.5mhz).

Fall: KO switches 8 communities in Northern Ontario to transponder on Anik E2.



April: KO and KRG meet to discuss solutions for network operations in Nunavik and agree to work together to access additional bandwidth on the second public benefit transponder.

May: KO with assistance from FedNor launches their own network management system to manage increased traffic and to support the kinds of broadband applications required in the remote north.

September: FedNor supports KO to design an earth station with enough capacity to manage the needs of broadband applications (telehealth) and the Network Operations Centre; dish designed with the capacity to expand bandwidth as the needs of the Network grows. KO telehealth expansion occurs to include 24 remote First Nations.

December: In Winnipeg , KO holds SMART Fair with the KO, KTC and KRG partnership being introduced and developed through an informal arrangement to support satellite served communities.


January: KO supports KRG and KTC to successfully submit proposals to the National Satellite Initiative for space on the second public benefit transponder on Anik F2. Neskantage First Nation obtains FedNor funding for earth station and broadband connections to every building.

May: KTC receives approval from BRAND to install infrastructure in their satellite-served and terrestrial-served communities. Windigo First Nations Council receives approval from BRAND and FedNor to add Muskrat Dam to the network and expand services in Slate Falls .

May: Industry Canada announces KRG will receive 11 mhz and KTC 4 mhz on second transponder.

June: Sioux Lookout dish constructed and set up. KO Network Manager attends Viasat's VISTA gathering and uses lessons learned from their association to begin discussions with partners to establish an association of all communities (NICSN).

August: Sioux Lookout earth station is operational.

Fall: 14 KRG communities added to the network along with Neskantage in northwestern Ontario .


January 19: NICSN is officially launched by the Minister of State for FedNor in Sioux Lookout.

January 20: Communities of NICSN meet to discuss the formation of an association.

March: 10 KTC communities to be added to the network.