Mage Networks has commenced the building of data pipelines as part of its effort to deliver affordable high-quality internet to the residents of West Bragg Creek community. The buildout is estimated to last the whole of September.
Over the years, the residents of West Bragg Creek have lived without high-quality internet service due to the mountainous, forested terrain of the region. This development gives access to affordable internet service powered by Mage.
While appreciating residents who waited for long to get connected to the Mage internet service, the President and CEO, Mage Networks, Dr. Sayed-Amr El-Hamamsy stated that after a long wait time, Fortis has completed its work on the much-needed power poles, and we can now fulfill our commitment to deliver affordable high quality to the West Bragg community.
According the CEO, “We are also working on installing houses and areas closer to the data pipeline as we build it. This means that people closest to the data pipelines can get service early.” El-Hamamsy added.
Mage is designed to deliver internet to the hardest-to-reach areas, where traditional top-down telecom models do not work. After completion of the buildout, residents of West Bragg Creek will get the best quality connection, regardless of their location in the network.
Mage provides services in Long Plain First Nation in Manitoba, Bragg Creek, Foremost and Redwood Meadows in Alberta and Rural Milton in Ontario and is expanding internationally.
On March 23, sky observers marveled at a gorgeous display of northern and southern lights. It was a reminder that when our Sun gets active, it can spark a phenomenon called “space weather.” Aurorae are among the most benign effects of this phenomenon.
At the other end of the space weather spectrum are solar storms that can knock out satellites. The folks at Starlink found that out the hard way in February 2022. On Jan. 29 that year, the Sun belched out a class M 1.1 flare and related coronal mass ejection. Material from the Sun traveled out on the solar wind and arrived at Earth a few days later. On Feb. 3, Starlink launched a group of 49 satellites to an altitude only 130 miles above Earth’s surface. They didn’t last long, and now solar physicists know why.
A group of researchers from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Catholic University of America took a closer look at the specifics of that storm. Their analysis identified a mass of plasma that impacted our planet’s magnetosphere. The actual event was a halo coronal mass ejection from an active region in the northeast quadrant of the Sun.
The material traveled out at around 690 kilometers per second as a shock-driving magnetic cloud. Think of it as a long ropy mass of material writhing its way through space. As it traveled, it expanded and at solar-facing satellites — including STEREO-A, which took a direct hit from it — made observations. Eventually, the cloud smacked into Earth’s magnetosphere creating a geomagnetic storm.
HOW STARLINK SATELLITES EXPERIENCED THE EFFECTS SPACE WEATHER
One of the side effects of space weather that can affect satellites is warming in a region called the “thermosphere.” That increased the density of the upper atmosphere over a short amount of time and caused it to swell up. A denser atmosphere causes a phenomenon called “atmospheric drag.” Essentially, the thicker atmosphere slows down anything moving through. It also heats things up.
The atmosphere thickened enough that it affected the newly launched Starlink stations. They started to experience atmospheric drag, which caused them to deorbit and burn up on the way down. It was an expensive lesson in space weather and provided people on Earth with a great view of what happens when satellites fall back to Earth. It was also that could have been avoided if they’d delayed their launch to account for the ongoing threat.
HOW DOES SPACE WEATHER WORK?
The Sun constantly sends a stream of charged particles called the solar wind. This stream varies in density, speed, and temperature. Occasionally, the Sun will also belch out clouds of plasma in what’s called a “coronal mass ejection.” Sometimes it also sends out solar flares. All the material it loses travels away on the solar wind.
During periods when the Sun is more active, those clouds of plasma can come pretty frequently. If they impact Earth, the results can vary from a pretty auroral display all the way to commercial satellite disruptions and power blackouts on the ground. The loss of the Starlink satellites was a particularly massive effect of space weather.
CURRENT SPACE WEATHER EFFECTS
At the moment, the Sun’s activity is increasing as it heads into a period called “solar maximum.” We can expect more auroral displays, along with CMEs and flares. With the strong outbursts come threats to our technology. Obviously, communications and other satellites are in danger. So are astronauts on the International Space Station.
But, the threats aren’t just in space. Earth-based power grids, communication lines, and other technologies are also at risk. For example, when a geomagnetic storm hits, it sets up huge circulating electrical currents between Earth and space. These are called “geomagnetically induced currents.” At the very least, they can short out power lines and grids. When those go down, so do the Internet, computer systems, telephone systems, and other crucial services. The average person would immediately experience a power outage, at the very least. But, airlines, banks, and other systems would be down until power and communications could be restored. There’s a great need to strengthen our technology against solar storms.
STARLINK LESSONS LEARNED?
The loss of the Starlink satellites cost the company millions of dollars. The company elected to launch, even though the space weather community warned about the effects of a geomagnetic storm. For years now, solar physicists have been warning about the effects of space weather. Most satellite companies pay attention to reports from such places as the Space Weather Prediction Center. If they get enough warning ahead of time, they can take steps to protect their equipment. Astronauts on the ISS can take shelter until the storm passes. And, power companies and others can follow forecasts of such storms so they can take whatever action is needed in the event of a strong event.
Solar physicists continue to study these solar outbursts in hopes of coming up with a foolproof prediction system. At the moment, when something erupts from the Sun, we get notifications from a fleet of satellites. Those give us minutes to hours of “heads-up” time to prepare for the worst. NASA and other agencies continue to improve solar studies and prediction methods so that companies launching satellites to low-Earth orbit can take steps to protect their investments.
As part of its commitment to provide the unconnected and under connected communities with access to reliable and high-speed internet, Mage Networks has announced that residents of Brookville and Campbellville areas of Rural Milton now have access to fast and reliable high-speed internet.
Much to the delight of residents of the rural and remote community, MagiNet solution provides 100 Mbps for both download or upload speed and unique Guaranteed Streaming Bandwidth™ with no limited data at the lowest possible cost.
Mage Networks is committed to connecting everyone everywhere. Dr. Sayed-Amr El-Hamamsy, President and CEO, stated, “Our MagiNet™ technology is ideally suited to meet the broadband needs and demands of the Halton Region”. According to El-Hamamsy, internet has become a part in our day-to-day lives, required for work, hospital, banking, school, shopping, entertainment, and staying connected with friends and family.
Dr. El-Hamamsy further noted that there are continuing plans to reach residents in Lowville, Carlyle and Kilbride in Spring and Summer of 2023. MagiNet™ is a hybrid combination of fiber and innovative wireless technology, which means that with multiple backhaul points and its novel network design, users experience the best quality connection, regardless of their location.
“At Mage, we constantly optimise our network to ensure that obstacles like tress, building or weathers do not impact the signal strength and customer continues to have access to fast, reliable high-speed internet.”
According to Dr. El-Hamamsy, “We believe that internet should be accessible no matter where you live, because we understand the hardship that lack of internet causes, and we knew we could solve the problem.”
The installation of the network has begun in the Brookville and Campbellville areas, so residents can immediately begin to sign up while residents in Lowville, Carlyle and Kilbride can look forward to connecting to the high-speed internet in the coming months.
Mage provides services in Long Plain First Nation in Manitoba, Bragg Creek, Foremost and Redwood Meadows in Alberta and Rural Milton in Ontario.
Rural communities to benefit from increased connectivity to high-speed Internet
Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, together with the Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta, announced nearly $500,000 in funding for Mage Networks to bring high-speed Internet to 280 households in West Bragg Creek, Alberta.
The Government of Canada, through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), is taking action to get people living in rural and remote communities connected to high-speed Internet. This is following how the covid-19 pandemic has transformed how we live, work, learn and do business, and now more than ever, Canadians across the country need reliable high-speed Internet to access services, supports and opportunities.
This project is part of an existing agreement between Alberta and Canada. On March 9, 2022, both governments announced a historic partnership to invest up to $780 million to provide all Albertans in rural, remote and Indigenous communities with access to high-speed Internet. The governments of Canada and Alberta will continue to announce projects selected under this agreement over the coming months.
The announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward making sure that 98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026. The governments of Canada and Alberta recognize the important role access to high-speed Internet will have in the post-pandemic economic recovery. Collaborating to provide better Internet services to Albertans living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities will help create jobs and contribute to the economic growth of the entire province.
“We need to close the connectivity gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of Alberta has access to reliable high-speed Internet. Today’s announcement of nearly $500,000 in federal funding to connect 280 households in West Bragg Creek is a milestone for Albertans. Investments like these from the federal government and the private sector are helping to create jobs, improve access to health care and online learning services, and keep us connected to our loved ones. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments like these to help achieve our national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030.” – The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“Today’s announcement is about making life better for the people of West Bragg Creek. For rural Albertans, access to high-speed Internet will lead to the creation of new jobs and businesses that will benefit families, local businesses and workers across the province. The project announced today by Mage Networks will improve high-speed Internet connectivity for up to 280 households. This funding brings us one step closer to closing the connectivity gap for rural Albertans.” – The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
“I am pleased that this funding from the federal government through the Rapid Response Stream of the Universal Broadband Fund will help connect more Albertans in the community of West Bragg Creek to reliable high-speed Internet. Every investment in rural broadband connectivity is an investment in the success and sustainability of our rural, remote and Indigenous communities in Alberta, and moves us one step closer to achieving our goal of universal connectivity. I look forward to announcing more projects as part of the Alberta broadband strategy in the near future.” – The Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta
“The residents of West Bragg Creek have lived without proper Internet service for far too long due to the mountainous, forested terrain of the region. In an increasingly digital era, this investment will ensure that every resident can actively participate in Alberta’s growing economy from the comfort of their home, and enjoy all the services that fast and reliable Internet provides.” – Miranda Rosin, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Banff-Kananaskis
“The grant from the Universal Broadband Fund will greatly improve the Internet service in West Bragg Creek, Alberta. Mage Networks appreciates the recognition from the Government of Canada that its innovative MagiNet™ solution is a key component to bridging the digital divide for all Canadians. This Alberta technological innovation provides a maximum speed of 100 Mbps for both download and upload, and when combined with Mage’s unique Guaranteed Streaming Bandwidth™, will significantly enhance our customers’ user experience. I am delighted to have Mage be a part of the expansion of broadband access in rural Alberta made possible by the Universal Broadband Fund.” – Dr. Sayed-Amr El-Hamamsy, President and CEO, Mage Networks
The project announced today is receiving nearly $500,000 in Government of Canada and Government of Alberta funding to bring high-speed Internet to 280 households in West Bragg Creek, Alberta.
Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.
The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $2.75 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.
On March 9, 2022, a Canada-Alberta broadband partnership was announced. Under this agreement, approximately 200,000 households across Alberta will be connected to broadband thanks to an investment of up to $780 million, co-funded equally by both levels of government.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $450 million in connectivity projects in Alberta.
Residents of Campbellville to benefit from increased connectivity to high-speed Internet
Through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), the Government of Canada is taking action to get people living in rural and remote communities connected to high-speed Internet, by investing over $750,000 in funding for Mage Networks to bring high-speed internet to 357 rural households in Campbellville, Ontario.
Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, made the announcement.
The announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward making sure that 98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026. As we work to rebuild from the pandemic, the Government of Canada will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Canada for everyone.
Quotes “We need to close the connectivity gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of Ontario has access to reliable high-speed Internet. Investments like this one in Campbellville help create jobs, improve access to health care and online learning services, and keep us connected to our loved ones. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments like these to help achieve our national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030.” – The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“This grant from the Universal Broadband Fund will greatly improve Internet service in the region. Mage Networks appreciates the recognition from ISED that our innovative MagiNet solution is a key component in closing the digital divide for all Canadians. This Canadian technological innovation provides a maximum speed of 100 Mbps both down and up and, when combined with Mage’s unique Guaranteed Streaming Bandwidth, will significantly enhance our customers’ user experience. I am delighted to have Mage be a part of the expansion of broadband access in Ontario made possible by Universal Broadband Fund support.” – Dr. Sayed-Amr El-Hamamsy, President and CEO, Mage Networks
“Access to Internet has never been more important. That is why our government is collaborating with Mage Networks in this project and contributing to the $1.1 million in combined funding to bring reliable high-speed Internet access to over 300 homes in Campbellville. Affordable high-speed Internet access is an essential service in this day and age, and this investment reinforces our government’s commitment to connect 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030.” – Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport
“We learned from the pandemic that many people need the ability to work or attend school from home, access government services remotely, or shop online. Fast, reliable high-speed Internet is necessary to keep us connected as individuals and as a community, no matter where you live, work, play or study.” – Gordon Krantz, Mayor of Milton
Quick facts Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload. The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $2.75 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030. The UBF is part of a suite of federal investments to improve high-speed Internet. Find out more on the High-speed Internet for all of Canada page. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $843 million in connectivity projects in Ontario.
Long Plain First Nation, Manitoba—March 3, 2021. The Long Plain First Nation and Mage Networks today announced the beginning of construction of a data pipeline project that will connect over 400 members of the Long Plain First Nation to high-speed internet.
Access to high-speed internet long ago moved from being a nice-to-have to being an essential tool for business, communities, governments and educators. “This past year has shown all Canadians just how important it is to be able to connect to the internet—for shopping, for school, for banking and a host of other issues,” said Long Plain Chief Dennis Meeches. “This is a fact of life that many indigenous communities across Canada, including Long Plain First Nation have had to deal with because our communities had never been connected to the web.”
Calgary’s Mage Networks entered into a joint venture with the Long Plain First Nation through its Arrowhead Development Corporation in 2020 in order to plan and develop a data pipeline network on Nation’s territory at Long Plain Reserve No. 6 that will see over 400 residents gain access to internet access with upload and download speeds of at least 100 mbps.
“Mage Networks is very excited to be able to partner with the Long Plain First Nation to be able to develop and deploy this critical technology infrastructure for the members of Nation” said Dr. Sisso El-Hamamsy, President and CEO of Mage Networks. “Our MagiNet™ technology is perfectly suited to a project like this one at Long Plain First Nation, it provides for a data pipeline that can provide access to each residence on the Nation without the need for and cost associated with fibre installation to each building.”
The network will use data pipelines in a series of short hops, where the locations are strategically selected to distribute the data from central locations. Those data pipelines which are designed specifically for each network and can include fibre and wireless components, carry multiple signals in multiple directions, intelligently choosing whichever routes will avoid obstacles and interference with other data pipelines. The data automatically zips on and off wired and wireless connections to maximize efficiency.
Final network planning is almost complete and construction and installation of the network is expected to begin this month with residents being able to access high-speed internet within the next several weeks.