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The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada. Part of their work is advocacy for improved connectivity and access for the 634 First Nations in Canada, as many First Nations communities lack access to the 50/10 Mpbs speeds mandated by the CRTC. The AFN determined that a coordinated First Nations approach is required to advocate nationally to address digital access gaps and improve connectivity levels across First Nations. They created the First Nations ICT Network, bringing together information and communication technology experts to identify and advance solutions in support of First Nation connectivity.


The network connected virtually to discuss the ongoing advocacy work of the AFN and provided expertise and insight into the barriers, experiences and initiatives around connectivity that could be raised to First Nations leadership. Three reports were produced, including one that addressed First Nations rights to spectrum access and ownership and its impact on connectivity. This understanding of spectrum rights will better support AFN’s contributions to the policy dialogue regarding the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada New Access Licensing Framework, Changes to Subordinate Licensing and White Space to Support Rural and Remote Deployment initiative.


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