Government of Canada invests $6.9 million to improve high-speed Internet connectivity and affordability to over 9,800 homes in Nunavut

News release

May 28, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Nunavut communities to benefit from increased connectivity

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we rely on our connections. Now more than ever, Canadians across the country need access to reliable high-speed Internet to work, learn and connect with friends and family from home. Through the Universal Broadband Fund’s (UBF) Rapid Response Stream, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to connect all Canadians to the high-speed Internet they need.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface-Saint-Vital, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced $6.9 million in federal funding for Northwestel and SSi Micro to bring high-speed Internet to residents of Nunavut. These projects will improve Internet connectivity and affordability for over 9,800 underserved households in all 25 communities of Nunavut. Funding is being allocated as follows:

  • Northwestel: $1,993,286
  • SSi Micro: $4,992,716

The Universal Broadband Fund was launched in November 9, 2020. Projects funded under the now $2.75-billion program, as well as through other public and private investments, will help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.

Today’s announcement builds on the progress the Government of Canada has already made to improve critical infrastructure in Nunavut. 

Quotes

“Affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet service is an essential part of the daily lives of Nunavummiut and all Canadians and it critical to their success. Today’s investment will improve Internet capacity and affordability for the existing high-speed Internet service of over 9,800 households in all 25 Nunavut communities. These projects will help sustain jobs, improve access to health care and online learning services, and keep people connected to their loved ones. The Government of Canada has committed nearly $208 million to four connectivity projects in Nunavut, which will connect more households to better, faster Internet. We will continue to make investments like these to help connect every Canadian to the high-speed Internet they need.”
– The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface-Saint-Vital

“Today’s announcement will make Nunavut’s fastest Internet speeds more affordable for residents and businesses in four Nunavut communities right away. Northwestel home Internet customers in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Cambridge Bay and Arviat will see their bill go down by $20 a month starting this month. I want to thank the Government of Canada for its continued partnership in building a more highly connected north.”
– Paul Gillard, Vice-President, Business Markets, Northwestel

“This investment from the Rapid Response Stream allows QINIQ to bring more affordable and much-needed backbone capacity into Nunavut. While more work will need to be done, this is another key step to close the digital divide for the thousands of Nunavummiut who rely on QINIQ broadband. We are committed to accomplishing this and to delivering on Canada's Connectivity Strategy to further improve broadband services in the North.”
– Dean Proctor, Chief Development Officer, SSi Canada

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has committed over $208 million to four connectivity projects in Nunavut.

  • Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.

  • The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $2.75-billion investment designed to help connect all Canadians to high-speed Internet. Applications to the UBF were accepted until March 15, 2021, and are now being evaluated.

  • The UBF is part of a suite of federal investments to improve high-speed Internet. The suite includes the Connect to Innovate program, which is expected to connect nearly 400,000 households by 2023, and the recently announced $2-billion broadband initiative from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Associated links

Contacts

Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
Marie-Pier.Baril@cfc-swc.gc.ca
613-295-8123

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

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