SIRA Program 2005 –2009

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Project Partners: FedNor

The Satellite Internet for Remote Areas Program (SIRA) was introduced in the fall of 2005 to help rural and remote Northern Ontario businesses and organizations secure high-speed Internet access for business purposes. SIRA supported FedNor’s efforts to facilitate small business development in rural economies by helping small to medium size businesses establish broadband access regardless of their location. Through NEOnet, eligible applicants received up to 75%, to a maximum of $1,000 to help support the cost of equipment and installation.

Demand for this program was such that this initial pilot project was continued for four successful years after its inception. By completion on September 30, 2009 FedNor’s investment of $450,000 helped 816 small to medium size businesses obtain access to high-speed Internet.

High-speed Internet access is a critical tool for any business, as it facilitates marketing and communications efforts. Research shows that when properly implemented, it can also introduce significant operational efficiencies and cost savings. NEOnet’s Project Facilitator, Sharon Jones should be commended for her efforts with this successful project.

Testimonials:

We are dependant on the Internet for marketing and electronic correspondence with our customers. I would like to express my appreciation for the SIRA Program provided through NEOnet. This has been a tremendous help for our business. – Al & Doris Errington, Errinton’s Wilderness Island Resort

The SIRA project was very helpful in obtaining hi-speed Internet. We didn’t have regular telephone lines so the satellite hi-speed Internet was wonderful for us. – Russ Thibodeau, Green Wilderness Lodge