Joe Hickey’s Journey: Bridging the Connectivity Divide in Rural Communities

In a world where connectivity is essential for progress and development, Joe Hickey has been dedicated to bridging the digital divide in rural communities. As the founder and visionary behind ROCK Networks, Joe has been making waves across conferences and media platforms, advocating for the importance of rural broadband, satellite, and other connectivity solutions. Let’s take a closer look at some of Joe Hickey’s notable conference appearances and media engagements, where he shares his insights and expertise on revolutionizing internet access for rural communities.

Conference and Media Appearances

Made in CA – ROCK Networks Bridging Gaps in Communications with Innovative, Future-Proof Communication Solutions (Dec. 2022)

Made in CA compiles a comprehensive list of Canadian products and services to empower consumers in supporting the local economy. By highlighting businesses that exhibit innovation, growth, and positive societal impact, the publication aims to accelerate the growth of Canadian small businesses and innovations. The article highlights Joe Hickey’s visionary approach to bridging communication gaps and the future-proof solutions offered by ROCK Networks. Learn More

Eastern Ontario Business Journal Podcast – Rural High-Speed Internet (July 2022)

The Eastern Ontario Business Journal is a publication that focuses on providing news, analysis, and insights about business activities, economic developments, and trends in Eastern Ontario. This podcast explores improving internet connectivity in rural Eastern Ontario, the challenges of bringing strong connectivity to remote areas, and how the pandemic has influenced this conversation in the past two years. Joe focused on the implications of rural high-speed internet for economic growth in Eastern Ontario. Learn More

Fiber Connect 2022 – Greenfield/Brownfield – Mapping ROI (June 2022)

Fiber Connect is an annual event held by the Fiber Broadband Association. The Fiber Broadband Association’s mission is to accelerate the deployment of fiber broadband networks to ensure digital equity and enable every community to leverage economic and societal benefits that only fiber can deliver. Joe joined a panel discussion titled Greenfield/Brownfield – Mapping ROI. Learn More

Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA)Education Session (May 2022)

The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) is an organization that represents municipalities in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. It serves as a platform for local governments to collaborate, share insights, and advocate for regional interests, working towards the advancement and development of communities in the area. Joe’s presentation covered rural broadband in Ontario. Learn More

Arctic Security Working Group Arctic Connectivity: Preparedness, Resilience, & Recovery (Nov. 2021)

The Arctic Security Working Group is a collaborative initiative that aims to address security challenges in the Arctic region. Through discussions, research, and cooperation, the group focuses on enhancing security measures, promoting stability, and addressing various issues affecting the Arctic environment and its communities. Hosted by the Joint Task Force North, Joe’s presentation was titled Arctic Connectivity: Preparedness, Resilience, & Recovery. Learn More

Indigenous Connectivity Summit How LEOs Can Provide a Viable Backhaul Solution for Community Networks (Oct. 2021)

The Indigenous Connectivity Summit is an event that focuses on addressing digital connectivity challenges faced by Indigenous communities. Through discussions, workshops, and collaborations, the summit aims to find solutions and promote equitable access to reliable internet and communication technologies for Indigenous peoples across various regions. Joe’s presentation was titled How LEOs Can Provide a Viable Backhaul Solution for Community Networks. Learn More

Broadband Bunch Podcast – How ROCK Networks is Ramping up Connectivity in Rural Canada (Sept. 2021)

The Broadband Bunch Podcast is a platform that features discussions, interviews, and insights related to broadband technologies, connectivity solutions, and their impact on various industries and communities. The podcast explores the evolving landscape of broadband and its significance for digital transformation and communication advancements. In this engaging podcast, Joe shared insights about Canada’s goal of having high-speed internet available to all Canadians by 2030 and how ROCK Networks is working to make that goal a reality. Learn More

Future Cities Canada – The Future Fix: Connecting Your Community to Broadband (Aug. 2021)

Future Cities Canada is a national initiative that brings together urban leaders, organizations, and communities to collaboratively address challenges and opportunities in creating more sustainable, equitable, and resilient cities. Their goal is to drive positive change and innovation in urban development across the country. This podcast is themed around the importance of reliable access to the internet in Northern and Indigenous communities, in which Joe discussed the roadmap to connect communities with broadband and its transformative impact on future cities. Learn More

Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) 2021 – Perfect Pitch Broadband Provider (Aug. 2021). Learn More

OneWeb Launch – Canada’s Unique Connectivity Challenges (July 2021)

OneWeb is a global communications company focused on providing worldwide broadband internet access through a satellite network and aims to bridge the digital divide by connecting remote and underserved areas to the internet. Joe discussed the specific challenges Canada faces in ensuring connectivity, especially in remote and underserved areas. Learn More

Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) 2020 – The Importance of Rural Broadband and Cellular for Rural Communities (Nov. 2020)

Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) is a provincial organization in Canada that represents and supports the interest of local governments across the province. This conference explored how community-owned broadband can bridge the connectivity gap and the economic growth strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador. Joe emphasized the pivotal role of rural broadband and cellular connectivity in fostering growth and prosperity in rural regions. Learn More

Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) 2020 – Community Broadband Networks (Aug. 2020)

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is an advocacy organization representing municipalities in Ontario, Canada, working to address local government issues and promote collaboration between municipal leaders. At this conference, Joe Hickey highlighted the significance of community broadband networks in ensuring equitable access to the Internet in rural areas. Learn More

Other Appearances

Apart from his dedicated efforts in advocating for rural broadband and connectivity solutions, Joe has also been an influential voice in various other critical domains. Through his participation in conferences and engagements, he has shared insights on diverse topics that impact communities and industries. Here are some notable instances where Joe has made significant contributions:

CTV Atlantic News – Nova Communications, a Division of ROCK Networks, Awarded Contract for School Bus Video Enforcement Solution Under the New Brunswick First Procurement Strategy and Action Plan (Aug. 2023)

In this news report, Joe discusses the installation and servicing of a video enforcement solution developed by Safe Fleet, which aims to improve school bus safety in New Brunswick. Learn More

National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Ontario – Next Generation 9-1-1 (Sept. 2021)

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) is a professional organization dedicated to advancing emergency communication and response services in the province of Ontario. NENA Ontario works to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of emergency call centers and systems to better serve communities during critical situations. This conference discussed the modern technology of the mandated NG9-1-1 system, and Joe shed light on the transition timeline to move from voice-only to digital, its challenges, and opportunities to help PSAPs get ready to meet CRTC guidelines. Learn More

Up Next

Don’t miss Joe’s upcoming broadband presentations.

Fiber Connect 2023 – Open-Access Community Broadband Networks are Revolutionizing Internet Access for Rural Communities Panel Discussion (Aug. 21, 2023).

Fiber Connect 2023 is an event session that highlights the transformative role of open-access community broadband networks in providing improved internet access for rural areas. The discussion brings together experts to explore how these networks are revolutionizing connectivity options and bridging the digital divide in underserved communities. Learn more.

EUCI Case Study, Northern Ontario – Open-Access Community Broadband Network Infrastructure Development and Deployment (Dec. 6, 2023)

EUCI is an accredited corporation that designs focused conferences and training courses for practicing professionals in the energy field as well as other industries, with the aim of keeping professionals up-to-date and equipped to do their best work through learning the industry’s best practices, current trends, and innovative solutions. Learn more.


Joe Hickey’s relentless efforts and dedication to improving connectivity in rural communities have positioned him as a leading advocate in the industry. From high-profile conferences to engaging media appearances, Joe’s mission to bridge the digital divide continues to inspire and transform the lives of those in underserved areas. As he joins the panel at Fiber Connect 2023, the future looks promising for rural communities seeking better internet access and opportunities for growth.

Contact us to book Joe for a conference or interview.

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Broadband & Wireless Networks, Emergency Services, Industry, Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1)