ARCHIVED - Investments in Broadband Infrastructure Allow for Inclusive Internet Access across Nunavut

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Iqaluit, Nunavut, December 3, 2009 – Residents in communities across all of Nunavut will soon benefit from significant improvements to their QINIQ Internet services, thanks to a collaboration between the Government of Canada, the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC), and SSi Micro, operator of the QINIQ network.

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Minister of Health, along with Darrell Ohokannoak, Chairman of NBDC, and Jeff Philipp, President of SSi Micro, announced that the $1,500,000 upgrade to the QINIQ network will be completed on December 11th. The Government of Canada invested $750,000 to introduce the latest technology, as part of a larger federal commitment of $21.6 million. SSi Micro matched the Government of Canada's $750,000 contribution. As part of this project, Canada and SSi Micro are also investing $18.5 million to purchase satellite bandwidth.

"Our Government, under the leadership of Stephen Harper, recognizes that investments in infrastructure will create jobs, stimulate our economy and improve social standards," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This upgrade will provide Nunavut residents with even better access to the Internet for banking, education, public health and businesses purposes."

"The completion of these innovative upgrades means that Nunavut residents in all 25 communities will be able to move more data, yet keep the same price for basic QINIQ services," said Mr. Ohokannoak. "SSi's new technical set up is allowing them to save significantly on satellite bandwidth costs, and they are passing the savings onto Nunavut residents."

"As an innovative company on the leading edge of broadband technology, SSi Micro is very pleased to be the private sector force behind the QINIQ network," said Mr. Phillip. "Many people don't realize it, but QINIQ is a world class model of satellite wireless broadband connectivity, and we are very proud of it."

The original 2005 investment only supported 2000 subscribers, but with the immense popularity of QINIQ, the number of subscribers quickly surpassed the available investment, and caused network slow downs. This additional investment supports the steadily growing subscriber base projected to reach 6800 subscribers by June 2012, and ensures more consistent, faster and reliable service for everyone.

The upgrades and additional bandwidth are the first direct results of a larger four-year financial commitment made by the Government of Canada in August 2008 to improve broadband service in Nunavut between 2009 and 2012.

The federal funding for this project comes from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF) as part of the National Satellite Initiative (NSI) and is provided through a contribution agreement with the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC).

NBDC is a not-for-profit federally registered corporation whose members represent community, private sector and citizen interests to ensure that reliable affordable access to broadband services is delivered by the private sector in every Nunavut community.

For further information on the Government of Canada's various infrastructure programs, please visit: www.infrastructure.gc.ca and www.creatingjobs.gc.ca

For further information on the QINIQ network: www.qiniq.com

For further information on NBDC: www.nunavut-broadband.ca

For further information on SSi Micro: www.ssimicro.com

Contacts:

Chris Day
Press Secretary
Office of Canada's Transport and Infrastructure Minister
613-991-0700

Infrastructure Canada
613-948-1148

Patrick Doyle
Executive Director/CEO
NBDC
867-979-0575
doylepe@qiniq.com

Charlotte Walker
Public Relations and Marketing
SSi Micro
867-669-7500
charlotte_walker@ssimicro.com

Backgrounder

The Government of Canada is providing a total contribution of $21,601,175 from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF) to the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC) to increase satellite capacity, produce new bandwidth management tools and upgrade the existing network, for the benefit of 25 communities:

  • Artic Bay (Nanisivik)
  • Arviat
  • Baker Lake
  • Cambridge Bay
  • Cape Dorset
  • Chesterfield Inlet
  • Clyde River
  • Coral Harbour
  • Gjoa Haven
  • Grise Fiord
  • Hall Beach
  • Igloolik
  • Iqaluit
  • Kimmirut
  • Kugaaruk (Pelly Bay)
  • Kugluktuk
  • Pangnirtung
  • Pond Inlet
  • Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island)
  • Rankin Inlet
  • Repulse Bay
  • Resolute Bay
  • Sanikiluaq
  • Taloyoak (Spence Bay)
  • Whale Cove

Of this total amount, $9,331,129 is designated to the purchase of increased satellite capacity and $750,000 to QINIQ network upgrades.

The full project is known as Infrastructure Phase II and details can be obtained on NBDC's Web site at: www.nunavut-broadband.ca/movingForward.htm

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