First Mile Video: The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) Network

Tyendinaga – Ontario

Friday, 6 July 2012, 12:03 AM

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) Network is a First Nations owned, local broadband development project in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

Tyendinaga developed the MBQ Network to address the lack of local broadband infrastructure. Despite its location only 2.5 hours from Toronto, for years the community was served (via KO-KNET) with a single T1 line (1.5mbs serving approximately 250 computers). Connectivity services offered by incumbent telecommunication companies that serve nearby communities are relatively expensive, slow and unreliable.


The community spent a long time waiting for public funding. The Tyendinaga Mohawk Council decided to fund 100% of the network project. They are now rolling out a local fibre-to-the-home network, which they claim is the first-ever such First Nations project in Canada.

The importance of having access to sufficient network technology is important for the community to take part in public service initiatives such as eHealth, and to help the community stay competitive in the information economy.

In this video, Chief Donald Maracle discusses the history of the MBQ network. He also addresses the importance of the Government of Canada recognizing equal access as an important need in First Nations communities.

While construction of the MBQ network is almost complete, the project run into several challenges. These include vandalism, challenges with project vendors, and uneven community support for the project.

Local champions of the network believe that once it goes ‘live’, the MBQ fibre project will provide low-cost, locally-managed high-speed connectivity services, enabling the community to retain money, jobs and control.

Invert Media

This video was produced by Jennifer Wemigwans of Invert Media. Invert Media is a 100% Aboriginal-owned media production company, dedicated to producing media projects from indigenous perspectives. For more information, check out their website.

Find out more

Visit Tyendinaga’s website
Learn about the Tyendinaga Mohawk Council