Sioux Lookout – Ontario
Thursday, 23 February 2012, 11:59 AM
By Cal Kenny, Multimedia Producer, K-Net Services with Rob McMahon
A free online resource is now available for all community cable plant technicians. The website features forums about operating and maintaining a cable plant. It also features troubleshooting tips, videos and support.
The website was developed after two workshops held in November and December 2011. Organized by KO-KNET in Sioux Lookout, the workshops trained community technicians to set up and maintain local cable networks. The first workshop involved the KO communities, and had 10 participants. The second workshop grew to more than 40 people, and included people from First Nations across Northern Ontario. At the end of the workshops, participants received certification as community cable plant operators.
Participants at the cable plant operator training workshop in Sioux Lookout
The idea behind the cable plant workshops and website is to support local operators. Rather than hiring outside companies to take care of the technical requirements of a local network, community members manage it themselves. In this sense, the project supports a First Mile approach to technology development.
Cable plants are the ‘hub’ of a local network. They are the point where connections between a community and its link to the outside world are managed. They are also the local networks through which connections and data flow. This helps support community services, like health and education. For example, if a community has a local voice-over-IP phone network, telephone calls between houses in the community flow through the cable plant.
Cable plant operators are the trained technicians who make sure these networks work. They safeguard the important data that flows through digital networks. They help manage the community’s online connection with the world. They also help connect people inside the community to one another. Whenever someone is using Facebook or a health videoconferencing unit, watching NetFlix or taking an online course, they can thank their local cable plant operator.
- To learn more about cable plants, visit this free reference guide.
Cable Plant training workshop in Sioux Lookout
- Click here to see photos from the first workshop
- Click here to see photos from the second workshop
KO-KNET made available several training videos. These videos demonstrate different aspects of cable plant operations and maintenance. They are free for anyone to view and use.
If you have any questions about the cable plant website, or are interested in learning more about this work, send me an email.
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