High-speed internet: Nunavut’s best investment yet?

“The greatest infrastructure breakthrough in the territory’s history”

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Despite Nunavut’s numerous infrastructure shortfalls, the 2005 Economic Outlook says the installation of Nunavut’s high-speed internet system may be Nunavut’s best investment yet.

“[O]ver time the $10 million spent to bring broadband infrastructure to every community in Nunavut might one day be viewed as the greatest infrastructure breakthrough in the territory’s history,” their report says.

Until now, broadband internet was, in most communities, reserved for use by government. But now that access to a high-speed network is available to everyone for about $60 a month, Nunavut will change rapidly.

“More than anything, this is an investment in Nunavut’s children. As in every other jurisdiction in Canada, young people in Nunavut will embrace the Internet, changing their lives forever,” the report says.

The consultants say broadband internet could foster the following long-term changes:

Nunavummiut will develop a new perspective on the world, and as their expectations rise, will demand more of the government and its services;
Nunavut-based organizations will be forced to improve their websites, creating opportunities for web designers, programmers, computer technicians, and translators;
Commerce will be affected in various ways: banking will improve, and businesses will have new advertising opportunities, but retail businesses will be threatened also by competition from online shopping.

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