Huawei Technologies Canada has announced that it is partnering with Ice Wireless and Iristel to provide broadband access to over 70 remote communities across Canada by 2025; all of which are remote communities within the Arctic, Newfoundland and Labrador, and northeastern Quebec.
Announced during a press conference in Ottawa on Monday, Huawei Canada’s vice-president of corporate affairs, Alykhan Velshi, said that communication infrastructure is a necessity that these communities do not currently have.
“Few companies are capable of providing custom-tailored solutions to the far north — fewer still, I think, are willing to do so. But we recognize how important connection is to people’s lives,” said Velshi in the press conference. “It is the foundation of communication and commerce. Everyone deserves to be connected.”
This is not Huawei Canada’s first foray into providing technology to remote communities, as this comes on the heels of last month’s announcement that it was partnering with Ice Wireless to provide 4G LTE service to Inuvik, a community in the Northwest Territories. While it was stated those services would be up and running by the end of June 2019, it is unclear if that was achieved.
Of course, this announcement did not come without the usual controversy that accompanies Huawei in North America, as reporters at the press conference still prodded them with questions about the trust issues between the company and Canada.
But Velshi said that the company is trying to rebuild that trust, and only time and effort can do so.
“Trust is built over time,” said Velshi. “If you go to our office in Kanata or you go to our office in Markham, this perception that it’s sort of Dr. Evil’s lair and we’re toiling away at the latest world-ending scheme is false. It’s a bunch of engineers solving engineering problems.”