Community Connections and Manitoba E-Association Inc. (MB E) are pleased to announce the successful rollout of an e-Communities “Pilot” strategy into Southwestern Manitoba. The two organizations have recently completed an Internet Protocol (IP) Video Conferencing solution throughout Southwestern Manitoba.
The strategy included providing one Personal Video Conferencing Unit into approximately 40 communities in Southwestern Manitoba. MB E has also strategically placed units in a number of other locations with partners to allow for a line of communication including our Satellite Office in Brandon, MB.
This project was paramount with the previous (Wheat Belt Region) and most recent announcements (Parkland Region and Northern Manitoba) of Broadband services throughout Manitoba. This initiative served as a "Pilot Project" to allow for communities to use Broadband and Applications as they are meant to be used.
The entire goal was to provide a practical approach (IP-Based Video Conferencing Units) so that the region could benefit from economic development initiatives while remaining competitive throughout the province, in Western Canada and all of North America. With new innovative and/or technology-based opportunities arising in Manitoba, we would like to ensure that communities within Southwestern Manitoba have an opportunity to be part of such significant milestones.
A better linkage with other communities, businesses, First Nation communities, non-profit organizations and CAP sites are complementing other efforts that are currently being accomplished in Manitoba through Community Serving Organizations (CSO’s). Maintaining communication with other organizations and governments is a priority for non-profit organizations and rural communities. Progressive rural communities are continuously searching for opportunities that will allow them to become self-sustaining, minimize unnecessary travel expenses, provide a better line of communication with others outside of the community. A cost-effective solution that will assist in minimizing various modes of travel would address this vision. This project is and will continue to do just that.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) niche markets are becoming evident throughout Manitoba and with the opportunity for expansion of the broadband infrastructure; it is providing an opportunity to develop expansions projects into rural Manitoba. Providing this unique equipment into the region will improve the learning opportunities for the youth, provide a communication tool for the Municipal & Aboriginal governments, economic development practitioners, business entrepreneurs and CSO’s. In addition, this equipment is complementing the current Broadband infrastructure and will in-turn assist in closing the digital divide in rural and remote communities within Southwestern Manitoba.
This opportunity has also opened other avenues such as assiting in community marketing, e-health and program delivery to schools (e-Learning). This concept was not just beneficial to the economic sector here in Southwestern Manitoba but is especially important to the healthcare system. The cost of ambulances and unnecessary trips to the hospital are becoming a nuisance and an inconvenience to those living in rural Manitoba. Having the technology in place, assists in some cases, to minimize any unnecessary costs and travel required to visit other communities for amenities and/or other reasons. It is also important to note that this technology enhancement could also significantly increase our chances of increased social, economic and environmental possibilities. We are hoping that the various RHA's will start using this equipment to interact with each other.