Galaxy Broadband Communications Inc. will offer satellite internet services to businesses in Nunavut starting in March. The company stated its goal is to have service in all 25 communities by the end of the year. (Photo courtesy of Galaxy Broadband Communications Inc.)

Ontario firm signs $67M deal to provide satellite internet to Nunavut businesses

Galaxy Broadband Communications Inc. wants to offer service in all territory communities by end of year

By David Lochead

Nunavut’s internet options continue to grow.

Galaxy Broadband Communications Inc. has struck a $67-million deal to provide satellite internet service to businesses in the territory.

The Ontario-based communications company announced the deal Feb. 1.

It’s a partnership with OneWeb, which provides the satellites.

OneWeb uses low-orbit satellites to provide internet to people in remote areas, similar to Starlink. But Galaxy Broadband will focus on internet for businesses, organizations and governments in Nunavut.

That service is expected in Iqaluit by March, said Doug Harvey, vice-president of business development, sales and marketing for Galaxy Broadband, in an interview with Nunatsiaq News.

“It just made sense for us to be able to lock up that bandwidth and deliver this service,” he said.

The company aims to have all 25 Nunavut communities in service by the end of the year.

Galaxy Broadband already offers satellite internet to mining companies, such as Agnico Eagle, so expanding further North was the next step, said Harvey.

He said low-orbit satellites provide connections less latency, which is the amount of time an internet connection lags.

OneWeb satellites have a 140 millisecond latency, while before low-orbit satellite internet was available in Nunavut, latencies were closer to a 650-millisecond range.

This will be better for work features, such as virtual meetings, according to Harvey.

“That’s going to make a big difference,” he said.

Galaxy Broadband has reached out to federal, territorial and municipal governments, Harvey said, however he declined comment on those discussions.

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by Tucker on

    What a joke! Who is getting greased on this one? For $67M the nunavut government could buy 2 starlink systems for every man, woman and child in the territory!

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    • Posted by oh ima on

      you did

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  2. Posted by Tired of Wasting Money on

    Instead of constantly looking for expensive half measures why do we not aim to physically connect ourselves to the rest of the country?

    How are mainland communities not even connected to the rest of the country? Greenland has cables, Svalbard has cables, the Falkland Islands have cables. What is wrong with us?

    The common retort is always bUt MaH pOpUlAtIoN DeNsItY. Finland is a northern nation with very low population density … and 96% penetration rate for broadband internet. Ours is 93%. Seems ok right? 90% of our entire population lives within 100 miles of the US border. Embarrassing

    We should all look at Finnish Data plans and be profoundly embarrassed by our own glaring lack of capability.

    True north strong and free my ass.

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    • Posted by Brian Willoughby on

      There are a few advantages to LEO communications is that it uses Radio frequencies and above to connect through our atmosphere. Given that Radio frequencies travel at slightly less than the speed of light, this is much faster than light through glass fibers.
      The Oneweb satellites are 1200 km up, and the signal must also come down at an earthstation where it is connected to the internet. A fiber does not take a direct route either, but is faster for short leaps but at some distance Oneweb is faster, because glass transmission is one third slower.
      LEO satellite providers have the added advantage of more secure communications, with companies providing servers at the edge of the providers network. In the case of Starlink only three groups can see your packets, Your local network, Starlink and your host provider (Like Microsoft or Google).

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      • Posted by Southerner in the North on

        So radio waves, which travel slower than the speed of light, are faster than light travelling at the speed of light through an optical fibre? Your comment makes no sense.

        Are there certain conditions when data travelling via radio wave might be transmitted to its destination more quickly that data travelling by optical fibre? Hypothetically, yes, but fibre will faster, offer more bandwidth and be more reliable, in general.

        • Posted by Brian Willoughby on

          Radio waves and light waves travel at the same speed in a vacuum, or other medium. What I meant to say is that both travel a slightly less than the speed of light in atmosphere.
          Yes, the speed of both are reduced by the density of the medium, my point being that the speed of transmission in glass is 2/3 the speed in atmosphere.
          Remember these are complex concepts, I am trying to explain and introduce other factors at play. Wikipedia is a wonderful resource.

      • Posted by alex on

        I hate to say it, but fibre optics has near limitless bandwidth as opposed to any type of radio frequencies. Second, security wise, you can intercept open air communications much easier than any close cable system, especially one that does not use electromagnetic fields, aka Fibre. Next, companies in the south have direct routes to microsoft, google, their buildings, just like this would…..if it is a requirement they do it. You can go around the planet using the fibre routes surrounding the planet nearly as fast as it takes the RF signal to reach that 1200km satellite……LEO has the advantage that you do not need the infrastructure to link it terrestrially yes, but to say Radio waves are faster than Quantam physics, using light is the worse take ever. Economically it makes sense, but if we didnt have that as a hurdle, fibre optics would out perform any type of Radio Frequency, electromagnetic communication in all aspects.(speed, bandwidth etc).

    • Posted by Brian Willoughby on

      It is not fair to compare Finland and Canada due to the differences in coverage areas, and topologies. Canada is 30 times larger, and part of that has rugged mountains.
      I do not disagree with your off topic comment, but you must use arguments that are defendable.

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      • Posted by John K on

        This is pretty much the exact kind of response they mentioned.

        That’s kind of impressive.

  3. Posted by The Power on

    I guess they want Nunavut to pay for the new satellite? 67M is a lot of money.

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  4. Posted by Brian Willoughby on

    This story is hard to grasp as it was poorly written. What I can glean from the story is that an Ontario Company, Galaxy Broadband, has entered into a contract with Oneweb, for 70 Million dollars. Galaxy Broadband intends to use Oneweb’s service as a link between local users and the internet. I think that the intent of this is to compete with the Oneweb service Northwestel will provide, for local users and businesses and the Nunavut government. Oneweb and Northwestel signed an agreement in Aug 2021. Oneweb has not deployed their full constellation yet.

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  5. Posted by modern times on

    how is the expense compared to Starlink? what is stopping a business from just paying the purchase fee for the dish from star link and paying the monthly fee for 1TB for service from Starlink? I can see the current providers, Bell, NWTel, etc, losing alot of business from the current up and coming. Where’s the incentive? can they compete with startlink, offer as much data, at a less expensive rate? that, i’d love to see. id hook up with them as long as they can compete with the new LEO service covering the globe.

  6. Posted by Cyber surfer on

    We need fibre instead, so far I am not impressed with starlink, can’t do zoom or anything livestream, so many disconnections and offline.

    Fibre is the way of the future.

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