Communities across Nunavut will benefit from faster Internet

News Release

Nearly $50 million will improve high-speed coverage from Kugluktuk to Pangnirtung

This press release is also available in Inuktitut.

September 14, 2017 – Iqaluit, Nunavut – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Canadians in all 25 Nunavut communities will be able to do business online, participate in distance education and search for jobs online thanks to a Government of Canada investment in high-speed Internet worth nearly $50 million.

The funding was announced by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, during a visit to Iqaluit, one of the communities that will benefit from this funding.

The funding is being allocated through Connect to Innovate, a federal program that provides underserved communities with Internet access.

This program allows Canadians in every region of the country to participate fully in the digital economy, seize new business opportunities, and connect with friends and family around the world.

The funding will be allocated to Northwestel, a regional telecommunications service provider. This federal investment will attract an additional $73 million from Northwestel, which will build the backbone satellite network needed to make higher-speed Internet available in every community across Nunavut.

This funding is part of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.


“Internet access is now an essential part of everyday life. Canadians go online for education, health services, entertainment and shopping. Faster Internet connections allow Canadians to innovate. It allows them to get the skills and training they need to qualify for well-paying jobs. The smallest businesses, no matter where they are located, can participate fully in the global marketplace and achieve global scale in a flash with faster Internet service. We can no longer consider high-speed Internet a luxury.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“This major investment, as part of the critically important Connect to Innovate program, will provide exciting new opportunities for education, health care and economic development in all 25 Nunavut communities. By the end of 2019, schools, health centres, and service providers across Nunavut will have access to broadband speeds significantly faster than those available today. As northern Canada’s communications leader, Northwestel is very pleased to play a key role in ensuring the people of Nunavut have access to more advanced broadband infrastructure and services.” 

– Curtis Shaw, Chief Operating Officer, Northwestel

Quick Facts

  • The $500 million invested under the Government’s Connect to Innovate program focuses on building the digital backbone of high-speed Internet networks. Backbone networks are the digital highways that move data in and out of communities. These highways carry large amounts of data that are essential for schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to function in a global and digital world.

  • Connect to Innovate will also fund “last-mile” connections to households that don’t have Internet speeds of at least five megabits per second.

Associated Links


Follow the Minister on Twitter: @MinisterISED

Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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