Rogers Communications has partnered with the Nisga’a Nation to provide cellular service in the Nass Valley.
Rick Sellers, B.C. president of Rogers Communications made the announcement alongside Nisga’a Lisims Government’s president Eva Clayton that they have concluded their LTE network expansion at a meeting in Gitlaxt’aamiks on July 29.
“To be able to have connectivity is something we take for granted in an urban city and understanding how remote some of these communities out really gives us thrills and excitement to be able to play our part [to help],” says Sellers.
“Being able to connect four communities to help residents stay connected with their families, their friends, for visitors, emergency services and we also know that [it will] bring economy and business into the area.”
Five network sites have been constructed and funded by the Nisga’a Nation throughout the past year. The sites are operated by Rogers to connect 1,200 residents in Gitlaxt’aamiks, Gitwinksihlkw, Laxgalts’ap, and Gingolx. This does not include highway coverage between the villages.
Clayton says this project has been in the works since its previous government and is glad to finally see it through.
“It means so much for the Nisga’a Nation to be connected to the world, there’s so much possibility when being connected,” she says. “I’ve been hearing good stories from our citizens looking at what they can do, the opportunities that they can do with cellular activity within the Nass.”
The partnership follows Rogers’ plan to improve network coverage in rural, remote and northern areas across Canada. This year, $100 million was invested towards the next five years to connect over 1,000 km of unserved highway corridors with LTE wireless service and to better serve communities.
NLG partnered with the All Nations Trust Company’s Pathway to Technology program to partially fund the project.