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Nunavut backbone satellite network funding announced

Sep
15
2017
Nunavut backbone satellite network funding announced

The Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), the Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, announced that $50 million has been allocated to higher-speed satellite internet for all 25 communities across Nunavut as part of the $500 million ‘Connect to Innovate’ program. The funding has been allocated to Northwestel, the northern subsidiary of Bell Canada, which is also investing $73 million of its own funds to build a new Nunavut backbone satellite network by the end of 2019.

Northwestel will base its new Nunavut backbone on Telesat’s Ka-band satellite which is set for launch in 2018. The aim is to multiply available bandwidth for local government, business, health and education institutions approximately 20-fold, whilst tripling residential broadband users’ maximum speeds. Northwestel plans to enable open wholesale access to the backbone capacity for ISPs.

Northwestel internet in Nunavut

Northwestel’s current internet offering in Iqaluit offers varying levels of satellite connectivity starting from

  • $59.95 /month (up to 512 Kbps with a 2GB usage cap) where additional usage charges of $25/GB apply
  • up to its heavy users package which costs $179.95 /month (up to 5Mbps with a 50GB usage cap) where additional usage charges of $10/GB apply.

Northwestel’s phone service is required for internet packages and actual speeds experienced on the internet may vary.

Read Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) press release: Faster internet for Nunavut communities

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