NEOnet recognizes the economic and social implications of our increasingly digital world and the digital divide. In order to advance the digital economy in northeastern Ontario, we explore workforce development, community education, foster innovation, and build business technology capabilities.
The organization has the mandate to promote and develop the three pillars of the ICT sector:
Facilitate and encourage private and public sector partnerships that will result in the betterment telecommunications infrastructure and ICT-related services in our catchment;
Raising public awareness of information technologies and increasing their adoption, thereby increasing demand for services and fostering a more competitive ICT environment;
Promote the development and innovative application of technologies, especially in the economic, cultural and social development of Northeastern Ontario.
NEOnet's approach to large-scale projects aligns with its mandate: it works with stakeholders to develop applications, awareness and infrastructure simultaneously, so that funded projects are sustainable and they encourage competition.
The NEOnet catchment constitutes over sixty communities, municipalities and First Nations in a 200,000 square kilometre radius. The catchment area includes both the Cochrane and Temiskaming Districts, Gogama and Foleyet area, Indigenous communities within the James Bay Coast such as Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Moosonee, and Moose Factory.
The distance combined with the population density of 0.5 persons per square kilometre presents a significant challenge to improving the telecommunication landscape in our area. NEOnet has helped reduce the digital divide in rural and remote communities. Its initiatives have stimulated over 120-million dollars in ICT infrastructure development within the region.