CENGN Announces Northern Ontario Broadband Project for Nipissing First Nation

Non-Ground Penetrating Tower & TVWS Technology will Bring Improved High-Performance Internet to Nipissing First Nation

CENGN is announcing the launch of an innovative project that will bring high-performance broadband access to under-served residents located across multiple communities within the boundaries of Nipissing First Nation. This project is part of CENGN’s Northern Ontario Residential Broadband Program and will serve as a model for other communities across the province looking to extend high-performance internet service to underserved areas that are greater than 5 km from well-served locations.

Leepfrog Telecom Selected to Provide Broadband Solution

Internet Service Provider, Leepfrog Telecom, was selected to address the needs of residents living along a section of the north shore of Lake Nipissing. This project will focus on 5 major residential areas: Garden Village, Jocko Point, Meadowside, Beaucage, and Yellek, all within the Nipissing First Nation. Supported by CENGN program funding, Leepfrog Telecom will install a new innovative non-ground penetrating tower, using both 5GHz and TVWS radio technology to distribute internet services to all 5 communities.

This fixed wireless access approach will bring a range of broadband internet access services to the residents within a very rapid timeframe. The wireless technologies used will include 5GHz high-speed backhaul, 5GHz WIFI distribution, and 700MHz TVWS distribution where better tree/foliage penetration is required to connect to homes.

This project promises several benefits, including:


“CENGN is pleased to work with our partners to address the barriers to high-speed broadband internet access to under-served areas of the Nipissing First Nation,” said Jean-Charles Fahmy, President and CEO of CENGN. “Reliable high-speed connectivity will enable a stronger local economy and new internet-based services for residents of the region. By supporting and documenting this innovative solution, CENGN will gain a strong blueprint to help address the challenges of similar communities in Northern Ontario and across the province.”

“Access to reliable high-speed internet is essential for all Ontarians, no matter where they live. Businesses, families, schools and hospitals in rural and Northern communities need fast connections just as much as in urban areas,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. “This innovative new project will mean secure and reliable internet connectivity for the subdivisions and multiple housing areas within the boundaries of the Nipissing First Nation, bringing long-overdue cost-effective and high-speed solutions for those who live and work in the community.”

“Bringing high-speed internet to communities like Nipissing First Nation is a high-level priority for the Ontario government and we are here to deliver this support,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “The digital divide is real, and it is magnified during this COVID-19 global pandemic. I understand this full well coming from a rural community. This investment continues to build on Ontario’s commitment to connect people and reduce the digital divide. We are moving as fast as we can to get people the services they need.”

Beautiful Lake Nipissing Shoreline
Beautiful Lake Nipissing Shoreline

“This is a tremendous announcement for Nipissing First Nation. Broadband Internet has been an essential tool for years and now, more than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how much everyone needs reliable access to high-speed internet,” said Hon. Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing-Timiskaming. “Residents of Garden Village, Jocko Point, Meadowside, Beaucage and Yellek will soon have access to reliable high-speed Internet so that they can work, learn and keep in touch with their loved ones from home.”

“Nipissing First Nation is proud to partner with CENGN and Leepfrog Telecom on this innovative and environmentally friendly project that will benefit 5 of our largest communities,” said Chief Scott McLeod, Nipissing First Nation.  “Access to reliable and cost-effective internet services is no longer a luxury, it is more necessary than ever with so many people working and learning from home.  The provision of quality broadband internet services is long overdue and will result in better connectivity for our residents and businesses while making a minimal footprint on our lands.  We are grateful to be part of this project and for CENGN’s investment in our nation’s infrastructure needs through the Northern Ontario Residential Broadband program.  We are also excited to know that this represents a step forward in addressing similar challenges in First Nations and other communities across Ontario. Miigwech (Thank you).”

“Leepfrog Telecom is excited to bring our unique and innovative approach to extending excellent broadband services to Nipissing First Nation,” said George Chriss, General Manager of Leepfrog Telecom. “Using non-ground penetrating tower technology and TVWS in Northern Ontario to distribute broadband services has been key to the rapid growth of Leepfrog Telecom in Northern Ontario. We are pleased to be working with CENGN to bring this project to the multiple communities within Nipissing First Nation in the summer and fall of 2021.”

The Next Generation Network Program (NGNP)

This project is part of the Next Generation Network Program (NGNP), an Ontario government program powered by CENGN in partnership with the Ontario Centre of Innovation, which helps Ontario companies develop and demonstrate new wired and wireless technology, products and services. Other projects in the program are focused on smart miningsmart agriculture, and autonomous vehicles.

Quick Facts


Rick Penwarden
Senior Manager, Communications
CENGN – Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks
613-963-1200 ex:329


CENGN Northern Ontario Residential Broadband Program

Leepfrog Telecom

Nipissing First Nation

Next-Generation Network Program

Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Connecting Ontario: Improving Broadband and Cellular Access

View CENGN’s Project Overview Presentation to Nipissing First Nation – June 17, 2021

Watch the recording of the Virtual Announcement – June 17, 2021 – Passcode: MXD+9M6=

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About the Author

Rick is a proud member of the Canadian research and technology community, having an extensive background in tech commercialization and industry adoption of innovative technologies. Through his experience with start-up businesses and not-for-profit organizations, Rick is an outspoken advocate for the integration of technology to improve both industry outputs and society.

Over the past 5 years, Rick has managed the public relations and communications for CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks. At the centre of an organization that facilitates collaboration between tech businesses, industry leaders, academia and government, Rick champions the message that talent development and commercial growth in advanced networking technology is crucial to a thriving economy.

More by Rick Penwarden

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