The Kenora District Services Board selected Pickle Lake as the first community to participate in the ‘Connecting the Kenora District’ project. The project aims to connect up to 3,000 residents with access to the internet through SpaceX’s Starlink.
The federal government funds the program in coordination with the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KDSB).
Pickle Lake is is located 530km north of Thunder Bay, and is Ontario’s northernmost community that has year-round access by road. It is estimated that 800 to 900 homes in the community do not have access to the internet.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, these community members struggled to stay connected with family, and children found it hard to keep up with peers via remote learning.
The program covers 90% of the upfront costs associated with installation and acquiring the Starlink kit. However, if households struggle to pay the remaining 10%, the district will work with them to find a solution.
To be eligible residents need to:
- Rent or own in Pickle Lake
- Have applied for a Starlink internet kit on or after May 20, 2021
- Finally, residents need to have no access to the internet or have low-quality internet access.