In October of 2022, Wood River Internet partnered with Meadow Lake Tribal Council Resource Development Inc (MLTC) to form Beaver River Broadband. Their mission: to bring the internet to First Nations in Saskatchewan.
Access to the internet is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity. It’s a gateway to education, healthcare, job opportunities, and a world of information. Beaver River Broadband saw these needs and the importance of providing stable, reliable, and fast internet to these communities and making sure that they are updated with current news and trends across the globe.
The Digital Divide in First Nations in Saskatchewan
In an article posted in April, 2023, cbc.ca stated “High-speed internet access on First Nations continues to lag well behind the Canadian average, according to a recent report, prompting calls for more government subsidization of internet access”.
Access to reliable and fast internet has long been a challenge for members of First Nations in Saskatchewan. These communities are often located in geographically dispersed areas which makes it a challenge for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide a fast and reliable connection.
Also stated in the CBC article, only 10% of First Nations had internet access that met minimum connection speed targets set by the federal government — 50 megabits per second for downloading and 10 megabits per second for uploading (50/10 Mbps).
The lack of reliable internet prevents businesses from succeeding in rural areas. Limited access to online educational resources also hinders the educational growth of students. Without internet access, rural communities find it challenging to stay connected with the world, leading to isolation and limited access to essential services and information.
Beaver River Broadband’s Mission
Beaver River Broadband set out to provide better internet to under-serviced areas in partnership with Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) and SaskTel. They are working to reduce and close the digital divide for First Nations communities in rural Saskatchewan.
We originally launched in five communities including Cowessess First Nation, Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation, Eagle’s Lake, Birch Narrows Dene Nation, and Moudy Lake.
Where are are we now? There are currently 12 First Nations Communities in rural Saskatchewan that have access to 100 Mbps service!
As Beaver River Broadband approaches its first-year anniversary, our drive and dedication to our mission is unwavering. We continue to expand our reach and implement new technology to reach our target of 100% coverage. We strive to provide fast and reliable internet in rural Saskatchewan, focus on meeting the unique needs of these communities and be the best internet provider.
Internet Plans Available for Members of First Nations in Saskatchewan
Here are the plans currently available through Beaver River Broadband:
Good news! You can now get the 100 Mbps for $145/mo. for the first 12 months and save $20/mo! To take advantage of this limited-time offer, visit beaverriver.ca or call 1-306-450-3240.