CRTC seeks input on improving Far North telecommunications

Public’s commenting period open until October

The CRTC opened a public consultation process this week, inviting comments on how to improve telecommunications services in the Far North, such as Telesat Canada’s satellite earth station in Iqaluit, seen here. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Nunavummiut have the chance to share their thoughts on how to improve internet services in their communities.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission launched its second phase of feedback-gathering Wednesday.

“We need to collaborate with people living and working in the Far North to ensure they have a similar level of service as the South,” Ian Scott, chairperson and chief executive officer of the CRTC, stated in a news release.

During the first phase of consultation, the CRTC heard residents want affordable, reliable telecommunication services like video conferencing, the release noted.

Now, the agency wants to know specifically how it can improve internet and phone services.

It also wants to know how it could make services more competitive. In Nunavut, for example, a select few companies, like Northwestel, have a monopoly, which can lead to high monthly service rates.

Still, Nunavummiut have complained of regularly experiencing slow and unreliable internet, which got worse amid the COVID-19 pandemic when many were working and studying from home.

In May, the territorial government pledged $17.2 million to a fibre-optic project that aims to bring high-speed internet to Iqaluit, Kimmirut and Kinngait in 2025.

Information about the CRTC’s consultation is available online in Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun and comments can be sent to the CRTC up until Oct. 6 through an online form, the CRTC’s consultation website, in writing or by fax.


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(17) Comments:

  1. Posted by Starlink on

    I would say that we should invest in private enterprise such as Starlink. They aim to service the North in 2023. Once Starlink arrives, watch NorthwesTel/Bell magically upgrade their services and internet plans.

    • Posted by Chalk on

      Yes. This comment is absolutely, 100% accurate. I highly recommend people put down deposits for Starlink. Even if it’s just to get out of the abusive business relationship we have with Northwestel.

      • Posted by Inuk from Nunavik on

        We in Nunavil hate our internet provider too ‘ TAMAANI’ .

    • Posted by Southerner in the North on

      A change of rulers is the joy of fools.

      • Posted by Chaz on

        Sorry, I didn’t realize our internet options were “ruled” by anyone. Competition is healthy for consumers. Encouraging people to test out different options isn’t foolish. Perhaps you’ve been a southerner in the north so long that you feel like people up here should just shut up and put up with being treated like crap while paying way too much money for lackluster service. Inuit and “southerners in the north” alike deserve better service than they receive, and they shouldn’t be criticized for trying out different options when they come along.

        • Posted by Southerner in the North on

          Geez. Angry much?

          My point is that changing from one private sector provider to another private sector provider is merely changing who is going to screw us over.

          What about ditching the private sector entirely?

  2. Posted by Starlink on

    Why not follow Quebec’s agreement with Starlink?

    • Posted by Living in Nunavik Quebec on

      The Quebec initiative is obviously an election sweetener and only applies to those that are in a Starlink serviced region of Quebec anyone north of that latitude with no service is not eligible. However many of us here have ordered starlink and wait. As for the fibre optic option, it is good but will take time to connect all of us, as for other ISP’s they are expensive and technologically years behind and will continue that way as the satellites that service the north are old and the new ones are not even launched yet.

  3. Posted by articrick on

    Starlink will not be a “One size fits all” solution, take a look on YouTube of installation, maintenance, customer premise. A person living in a multiplex will not have the option of installing and maintenance on a shared building. High power bills for heating the dish all winter.

  4. Posted by George on

    Unfortunately, it will be many years before Starlink is available to any community north of the arctic circle.

    • Posted by jin on


      • Posted by George on

        We’ll see.
        Southern Alaska has service now, but in Canada service has only reached the central parts of the provinces. But, hey, slap down your $600 and get on the two-year waiting list if you like.

        • Posted by Nunalink on

          The down payment for the waitlist is $129 and refundable, not $600. SpaceX has contracts with the military and funding for rural broadband, so they are obligated to cover the arctic. What remains to be seen is how soon that’ll happen, but they do have deadlines within the next few years if they want the government funding. Starship should increase the delivery speed significantly if they can start to use it soon.

    • Posted by 2025 on

      Starlink will be in operation in the Arctic in 2025.

  5. Posted by Fibre on

    For Nunavut, connect to Greenland’s fibre optic cable and soon to be Nunavik’s, Kivalliq can connect to Manitoba’s fibre.
    With satellite the life span is short and weather can create problems.

    Fibre is the way to go, Canada needs to catch up to the rest of the world, isolated countries around the world have been connected to fibre long ago.

  6. Posted by Ian on

    Canada stops at north of 60

  7. Posted by Schoolio on

    Schools will never know if their internet capability is improved. The wifi passwords are controlled by the unreachable IT/Helpdesk. This is gospel


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