Watch your internet usage, Nunavik residents told

“We’re using all that we can”

Tamaani technicians at work in Kuujjuaq. With the recent launch of the federal government’s $1.75-billion Universal Broadband Fund, the KRG plans to apply for $5 million from the Rapid Response Stream fund to put toward increased internet capacity in the region. (File photo)

By Sarah Rogers

The Kativik Regional Government is asking its internet customers to watch their usage as the region continues to struggle with outages and limited bandwidth.

Users across the region have experienced slow and next-to-no bandwidth in recent months.

At the source of the issue is the fact that the KRG’s Tamaani Internet is fed via the SES-2 satellite, which means more limited bandwidth than with fibre optic cable, and the organization is using almost all the available capacity.

Tamaani internet has over 3,500 residential customers who share a limited bandwidth pool, with download speeds of 1,200 Mbps, the KRG’s Daryl Combden told regional council meetings on Monday, Nov. 23.

Combden encouraged customers to prioritize internet use for household members who need bandwidth for work or studies, to turn off devices that aren’t being used, and to opt not to watch film and TV in high definition.

“The network is being used to the max,” Combden told regional councillors.

“Each device you have will slow down your internet a little bit more. We’re using all that we can.”

With the recent launch of the federal government’s $1.75-billion Universal Broadband Fund, the KRG plans to apply for $5 million from the Rapid Response Stream fund to increase internet capacity in the region.

Tamaani is already planning a major bandwidth boost across Nunavik that should be in place by 2022, with the construction of a new underwater fibre optic cable from Chisasibi to Puvirnituq underway. Kuujjuaq will connect to Schefferville’s fibre optic network via microwave towers, while the rest of the region’s communities will get increased satellite capacity.

The KRG is applying to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Universal Broadband Fund to pay for various parts of that project.

In the meantime, Tamaani has freed up 50 Mbps of bandwidth for its residential customers that was initially dedicated to health authorities, which will offer customers in Kuujjuaq some increased capacity, Combden said.

“Tamaani is currently engaged in discussion with a satellite provider for additional bandwidth for its network but at this time, it is too premature to say how much additional capacity we will obtain or when we will actually get it,” Combden said.

Combden said the KRG is keeping its eye on the possibility of eventually using Telesat’s low-earth-orbit satellite constellation, though the federal government has said that service won’t be available to northern communities until 2022.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Same old story on

    This story repeats itself over and over, as thou it’s a new story. It’s the same old story. Next year , and years to come, we’ll hear that story again, our children will hear that story. The internet in Nunavik is not worth talking about. There’s even a worsening of the services as time goes. Yes, our kids are growing up with a new internet word, loading. It’s loading, it’s always loading, but rarely gets loaded.

  2. Posted by Northern user on

    Many of us have paid for the higher speed and additional downloads per month and almost never received what we are actually paying for. When will Tamaani be issuing rebates for that? Without us having to use our time to call or email and requesting it!! Look at your files and give us rebates for o better reflect the bandwidth we are actually receiving!!

  3. Posted by Johnny Smiler on

    The directorship of tamaani needs a independent review and an audit. Also needs a review of its payroll for local agents which is 1000. Every 3 months but never on time not ever actually 4 times a year yet they work more than head office.

  4. Posted by If this then that on

    Listen to the message: if we as customers must watch how much internet we use, then shouldn’t that be a green light to us as customers to get a discount, or reduce payments, if we are to reduce our usage. This don’t make sense to is that message without following up on the price. KRG. You owe Nunavik customers a big refund, if you ask me.

  5. Posted by Free internet on

    Give us all free internet until which time there will be good internet. Make it free at this time, because it’s no good anyway, and we as customers will be there to pay when it’s good, that’s a good deal for all.

  6. Posted by Minnie Abraham on

    I agree with if this then that:

    Even as being employed by KRG, we are still paying high cost price for a very cheap modems barely receiving good signals, I pay a modem for a computer since KRG fibre optic is only good for hand held gadgets.

    I get to pay $183.00 a month.

    Why are we so paying high, when the system is poorly functioning?

    And the workers are hard to reach by phone, it’s always answering machines, no receptionist!

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