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High-speed Internet comes to Nunavut as new satellite network launched


September 17, 2018  


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Northwestel today launched its new high-speed broadband satellite network serving Nunavut. Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital and largest community, is the first to have the high-speed network commissioned, and all 25 Nunavut communities will have access to the network in the coming months.

Northwestel’s Tamarmik Nunaliit network provides up to 20 times more capacity to Nunavut communities than the company’s previous generation C-Band satellite network.

The network harnesses Telesat’s recently launched Telstar 19 VANTAGE ka-Band satellite, which uses high-throughput spot beams to deliver significantly more Internet capacity to remote communities.

Northwestel president Curtis Shaw acknowledged the importance of partnerships with Telesat, the government of Nunavut, and the federal government in making the Tamarmik Nunaliit project a reality. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) contributed $49.9 million to the open access satellite backbone network through the Connect to Innovate program.

“Nunavummiut are entitled to the same level of vital infrastructure as their fellow Canadians,” said Lorne Kusugak, federal minister of community and government services.

“I am pleased to see this investment to raise Internet access within the territory and I will continue to advocate for increased broadband and connectivity with our partners across the country. Our people and our economy depend on it.”

Using the new open access network, Northwestel will offer 15 Mbps Internet packages — three times faster than what is currently available — beginning next month. The new 15 Mbps service will include 100 GB of monthly usage, for $129 per month.

The new 15 Mbps service will be available in Cambridge Bay, Arviat and Rankin Inlet by the end of the year and in all Nunavut communities in 2019.


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