Nunavik gets $123M for better high-speed internet

Getting entire region up to speed would take until at least 2025, says telecommunications adviser

A view of some of Tamaani’s infrastructure in Kuujjuaq. Nunavik is receiving $123.9 million to improve Tamaani’s high-speed internet service across the region. (File photo by Looee Emataluk)

By Jeff Pelletier

Nunavik will receive $123.9-million for improved high-speed internet service, with the money coming from the federal and Quebec governments and Kativik Regional Government.

The funding was announced Tuesday in a virtual press conference with federal parliamentary secretary for rural economic development Stéphane Lauzon and Quebec Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafrenière.

KRG vice-chair Lucy Kumarluk and Dan Pellerin, a telecommunications special adviser for KRG and Tamaani, also spoke about the project.

Currently, internet service provider Tamaani’s fibre optic network is centred around Nunavik’s lower Hudson Bay communities, including Whapmagoostui, Kuujjuarapik, Umiujaq, Inukjuak and Puvirnituq. It is connected to Eeyou Communications Network in Chisasibi.

Lafrenière said the money will get more northern Nunavik communities connected to the network. He said some will also be used to upgrade internet service in Kuujjuaq and the Ungava Bay coast.

Lafrenière said he hopes this makes it possible for Nunavimmiut to use the internet for online essential services, and at the same speed as people living in the south.

“I saw with my own eyes how important it was in terms of education, in terms of justice and health,” he said, speaking in both English and French.

“I’m sure this announcement today will really change the quality of life for people in Nunavik.”

Kumarluk said the upgrade will be welcomed by Nunavimmiut. She said better internet will meet the rising demand for digital services in the region, and make it possible for household networks to support the connection of multiple devices.

“The KRG appreciates the confirmed financial support of governments toward reducing the digital divide that separates Nunavik from the rest of Canada,” she said.

“Access to high-speed internet should not be hindered by the remoteness of communities, and we look forward to someday having equal access for all 14 Nunavik communities.”

Attaining equal access across Nunavik will take time. Pellerin said it could take at least three years for that to happen.

He said the lower Hudson Bay coast communities will be the first to be connected. Next year, work will be done in Akulivik, Ivujivik and Salluit to get them connected.

Pending supply issues, work in Kuujjuaq and the remaining communities will start in 2024.

“In my little dream world, I would like to have it all done tomorrow but that’s not going to happen,” Pellerin said. “We don’t have a specific timeline, but if it could be done by 2025 that would be ideal.”

 

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(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by Cyber Surfer on

    Lucky your government worked to get this when there’s federal funding available to improve telecommunications for rural and northern areas.
    Our GN doesn’t seem to be doing much for Nunavut.

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    • Posted by 867 on

      I’m guessing you’ve never been to nunavik? Their internet is probably 100x slower than that of any community in nunavut. So slow that it probably takes a full day to download a 30-minute netflix episode. So, yeah, it’s all the GN’s fault 🙄

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        • Posted by Peter on

          Half the population of Nunavut is in the east, this would free up a lot of bandwidth for the rest of Nunavut and making the internet faster.
          GN get this done!

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          • Posted by still here on

            i was pretty sure cgs in nunavut was given 90 million dollars in funding a while back to increase our internet capabilities, i may be in correct, but if i am not what happened to all that money?

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            • Posted by I’ll tell you on

              It’s the GN, there is way too many incompetent senior officials working at the GN, if the cost of bringing finger to Nunavut is 90 million the GN will make that it will cost double if not more, with mismanagement, delays and so on.
              We see this happen so many times.

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      Except for the fact that the GN is working to bring fibre-optic cable to Nunavut by 2025 … but yeah beside that they aren’t doing anything to address the problem.

  2. Posted by Northern Guy on

    So no new investments in additional bandwidth? Improving the overall connectivity of the system and adding more communities onto a platform with no new bandwidth is a recipe for slower poorer internet connectivity. Even a third grader is smart enough to figure that out.

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    • Posted by john on

      “investing” in bandwith is not the issue. We need to install the physical infrastructure first.

  3. Posted by Elon Musk is the Man on

    Krg was supposed to connect lower 4 communities by Dec 31st but never managed to do so. They don’t know what there doing. Its false hope that they bring. Its funny how there not blamed because everyone starting getting starlinks because everyone wants to be connected to high speed internet. Easily I can say $250 000 brought to elon musk. Poor KRG, they should subsidize major telecoms instead of doing it their own.

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  4. Posted by Kuujjuaqs fault on

    If Kuujjuaq doesn’t have fibre optic cable, none of nunavimmiut will not have it.

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