Bell Aliant has proposed a project to build a 2,300km fibre-optic terrestrial cable network to bring broadband connectivity to 27 remote northwestern Ontario First Nation communities in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory, reports Wawatay News Online. The proposed network would serve just 6,700 homes spread out over 250,000 square kilometres, with twelve First Nations changing over from satellite and microwave radio systems to fibre-optic services. The project has an estimated cost of CAD85 million (USD82 million), of which Bell Aliant has proposed providing CAD21 million whilst it is in discussion with the federal and provincial governments to provide the remainder. ‘The fibre based infrastructure will replace the current satellite and microwave technology serving these communities. This fibre network will be self healing and diverse, providing an industry leading level of reliability,’ said Norma Hughes Howard, a Community Manager with Bell Aliant.