More than $270 million for a fibre optic project in Nunavut

More than $270 million for a fibre optic project in Nunavut
More than $270 million for a fibre optic project in Nunavut

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced nearly $272 million in funding for a fibre optic project in Nunavut.

It is to deliver high-speed Internet to four communities in the territory by connecting them with an undersea cable approximately 1,300 kilometres long. Currently, Internet in Nunavut is provided by satellite.

The investment, announced Thursday, follows a request for funding from the territory submitted to the Broadband Fund of the CRTCwhich subsidizes telecommunications projects in underserved areas of the country.

Given the challenges and significant costs associated with installing fibre in Nunavut, as well as the potential for the project to enable future fibre deployments in the region, the Commission considers that the funding requested for this project is necessary.indicates the CRTC in his decision.

The project Kivalliq to Baffin Connector Project aims to connect Coral HarbourKinngait, Kimmirut and Iqaluit by an underwater telecommunications cable that will reach Salluit, Nunavik.

This community is part of the Eastern Arctic Undersea Fibre Optic Network (EAUFON), a submarine cable project initiated by the Kativik Regional Government with the aim of connecting all Nunavik communities to fibre optics.

essential public facilities in these communities, including schools, health care centers and community learning centers”,”text”:”The project will connect more than 80 essential public facilities in these communities, including schools, health care centers and community learning centers”}}”>The project will connect more than 80 essential public facilities in these communities, including schools, health care centers and community learning centers.said the CRTC in a press release.

According to CRTCthe construction of the project is expected to last three years.

In its decision, the CRTC also indicates that the announced funding for the project will be conditional on support from the Inuit territorial organization Nunavut Tunngavik.

This condition has also created divisions within the CRTC. NTI must be meaningfully consulted prior to approval of this application in accordance with its constitutional rights and its rights under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.wrote the advisor of the CRTC Claire Anderson, in a note included in the decision.

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All 25 communities in Nunavut rely on satellite Internet connectivity.

Photo : Radio-Canada / Matisse Harvey

In an email exchange, the territorial Department of Community and Government Services said it has ten days to review and assess next steps before providing a formal response to the CRTCsaid ministry spokesperson Gregory Bélanger in a written statement.

The Ministry recognizes and appreciates the continued support of the CRTC as we work to improve broadband access across the territoryhe continues.

In June 2023, the Government of Nunavut submitted another funding request to the CRTC for its Katittuq Fibre Optic Project, which aimed to deploy an undersea fibre optic cable between Newfoundland and Baffin Island to improve Internet network connectivity in Iqaluit and Kimmirut.

However, the territorial government subsequently cancelled the project’s tender, citing inflationary pressures.

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