An umbrella group of 110 Northern communities wants to partner with Elon Musk to bring satellite internet to the region.

His company, Space-X has a division called Starlink that’s working on the technology.  The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities wants to be in on the ground floor.

Board member Nicole Fortier-Levesque is the mayor of Moonbeam.  She uses her own community as an example of how vital high-speed internet is to sparsely populated areas,as an economic development tool.

“A lot of people are coming to live in the north, especially at the lake – Remi Lake – where we have internet, but it’s not always reliable,” she states.

One sector Fortier-Levesque points to is people now working and learning from home.

“Since the pandemic, we’ve had a lot of people coming from the south who want to come up north to get established here and for better living. The first thing they will ask is if we have access to internet.”

Stringing fibre optics across the north would cost billions.  The first thing wants to know is how expensive establishing satellite connections would be.