The Government of Canada took another step towards providing affordable high-speed video, voice and data communications Friday with the announcement of a multi-million dollar investment in Markham, Ont.-based Redline Communications Inc.

Broadband fixed wireless systems provider Redline is an SME (small- or medium-sized enterprise) which employs 100 people.

Broadband fixed wireless technology plays a role in advancing the Government of Canada’s goal of making Canada the world’s most connected country, said Minister of National Defence and Markham MP John McCallum. “Small companies like Redline are among the leaders in developing new technologies that are moving Canada to the forefront in sectors of the knowledge economy that will create new jobs and opportunities across the country.”

The $4.6 million Redline investment is under the federal government’s Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) technology investment fund. TPC supports research, development and innovation within the private sector.

Specifically, the investment allows Redline to launch a research and development project for the creation a high-power point-to-point (PTP) wireless Ethernet bridge, and a high-power wireless point-to-multipoint (PMP) system, Redline said.

The initiative addresses “last mile” delivery challenges related to home and business. The initiative will focus on creating a wireless broadband access system based on a digital-encoding technology known as OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing) and will use newly Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure frequency bands, Redline said.

The solution tackles the fact that high-speed networks tend to “crawl” when they reach the last mile leading to computer systems in homes or businesses, Redline said, which has been an obstacle in expanding connectivity across the country.

In rural areas and other challenging environments, the technology surpasses current broadband alternatives in terms of reach, throughput, and reliability, Redline said.