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Nuvitik Fibre Networks Arctic subsea cable

Nuvitik Arctic NetworkNuvitik’s objective is to build subsea cable fibre infrastructure in Canada’s North, linking all Arctic communities with state-of-the-art fibre technology. In Canada’s north, internet is slower and more expensive than anywhere else in the country and Nuvitik fibre aims to address this Digital Divide.

The CRTC has set new target speeds for broadband Internet access across Canada* of at least:

  • 50 Mbps for downloads (data being downloaded from the Internet, including files, web sites, pictures, music, and movies)
  • 10 Mbps for uploads (data that is being sent to the Internet)

and yet broadband speeds in Nunavut, Nunavik and Northern Labrador are falling well below these target speeds.

State-of-the-art Nuvitik fibre technology

Capable of potentially unlimited bandwidth, Nuvitik’s Arctic subsea cable network will be laid offshore of the Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Ungava Bay and into the Arctic Ocean and up Davis Strait. The Nuvitik cable design is the only solution with redundancy loops. The cable is not continuous into every shore station but designed as a backbone with branching units to the shore station to prevent a single break rendering the cable inoperable.

The cable itself will be an armored submarine cable that will have 8 pairs of strands. For this type of fibre-optic cable, data need be transmitted only in one direction on a strand (simplex). The Nuvitik network is designed as a repeated system, where repeaters boost the optical signal at every 100 kilometres. In a repeated system, the loss of a shore station does not incapacitate the network. The Nuvitik fibre cable network with DWDM technology will provide 10Gbit/s wavelengths with a design capacity of up to 64 waves per fibre pair. This world-class internet performance will multiply current satellite data rates by at least 1000. As the demand for bandwidth grows, the cable capacity may be increased with the use of more pairs and modulations.

A short open-water season in the region dictates implementation planned over a two-year period: Spring-Fall Year 1 and then Spring-Summer Year 2, ready for service by Fall Year 2.

* June 2017, CRTC Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission