Nunavut Schools to Benefit from Improved Internet Access

Iqaluit, Nunavut, February 14, 2012 – Public schools across Nunavut now have access to improved Internet enhancing students' ability to include online learning in educational curricula from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

This new broadband service, providing dedicated bandwidth and satellite capacity, is made possible thanks to a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Government of Nunavut, the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC), and SSi Micro Ltd, the operator of the QINIQ network.

"The Government of Canada has consistently supported improved broadband service in communities all across Canada and nowhere is connectivity more important than across the North," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. "I am delighted that this important service will provide Nunavut students and their teachers with greater access to online educational tools."

The classroom connect project includes an investment by the Government of Canada of up to $2.1 million. The Government of Nunavut has committed $1.8 million to support NBDC's core operations since its inception in 2003 and will allocate 12.5 megabits per second (Mbps) of satellite bandwidth to classroom connectivity as well.

"The Government of Nunavut is committed to improving tools that support the education of our youth," said Premier Eva Aariak, Minister of Education. "Improved internet speed means better access to information, more opportunity to share ideas and a greater chance of success."

"The launch of this very important broadband service is a direct response to the needs expressed by the Nunavut public and represents a significant milestone in Nunavut's ability to educate its children," said Darrell Ohokannoak, President of NBDC. "Teachers can now use the Internet to embellish their classroom methods, and students can reach out beyond books and videos to the rest of the world."

"SSi Micro is excited to be the company whose innovative technology is making all of this possible," said President Jeff Phillip. "Our network in Nunavut has grown considerably over the past six years, and we are extremely proud to deliver this much needed Internet access to the schools."

Today's announcement is part of a $21.6 million commitment made by the Government of Canada in August 2008 to improve broadband service in Nunavut. Federal funding for this project comes from the National Satellite Initiative under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, and is provided through a contribution agreement with the NBDC. The Government of Nunavut's Department of Economic Development and Transportation has committed $375,000 in matching funds for project management and communications over three years.

NBDC is a federally registered not-for-profit 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 to every Nunavut community.

For further information on the Government of Canada's infrastructure investments, visit Infrastructure Canada.

For further information on the QINIQ network:QINIQ Network

For further information on NBDC: Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation

For further information on SSi Micro: SSi Micro

For further information on Department of Education: Nunavut Department of Education

Contacts:

Pierre Floréa
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
613-991-0700

Wende Halonen
Department of Education
Government of Nunavut
867-975-5624
whalonenedu2@gov.nu.ca

Oana Spinu
Executive Director
NBDC
867-979-0575
oana@qiniq.com

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

Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

Backgrounder

Nunavut Broadband

The Government of Canada is providing a total contribution of $21,601,175 to the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC) to increase satellite capacity, produce new bandwidth management tools and upgrade the existing QINIQ 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

In December 2009, $9,331,129 of the total federal investment was designated to purchase increased satellite capacity to support up to 6,800 subscribers on the QINIQ network. As well, $750,000 applied as a capital expense to upgrade QINIQ network hardware. (See: ARCHIVED - Investments in Broadband Infrastructure Allow for Inclusive Internet Access across Nunavut)

In September 2010, an additional $7.8 million of the total federal investment was dedicated to deliver the new bandwidth services of Qfile (previously referred to as Time Shift) and Meet Online Enterprise. (See: ARCHIVED - Nunavut Benefits From New Broadband Services)

Today's announcement provides much-needed broadband support for education – dedicated satellite capacity that will improve Internet connections for Nunavut classrooms. A pilot project involving six schools (two from each region of Nunavut), with the full cooperation of the Government of Nunavut, ran from January to June 2010, for the purpose of establishing a typical classroom Internet usage profile. Based on the success of this pilot, NBDC worked with the Government of Nunavut to provide service to all 43 schools in 2011.

The full project details can be obtained at Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation.

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