Oana Spinu, executive director of the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation, claims that “market forces alone are insufficient to guarantee that there’s adequate telecommunication services in the territory,” which also results in an affordability issue. “What’s happening now is that providers are competing for subsidies and not customers and we’re left with parallel regulated monopolies.”
Speaking at the CRTC’s hearings on broadband internet, Spinu has three recommendations for Nunavut:
1) Nunavut’s internet service be subject to regular reviews to prevent it from falling behind the rest of Canada.
2) Fibre is essential as a long-term solution, a solution requiring high upfront capital costs, but lower maintenance costs in the long term.
3) Local involvement and local accountability, as none of the telecommunication service providers operating in the North are located or headquartered in Nunavut.
Nunavut is Canada’s largest territory spanning more than two million square kilometres with little population density. Only three businesses, Northwestel, Qiniq and Xplornet Communications Inc., currently provide internet services in all of Nunavut’s communities.