Xplornet to extend service to internet customers in Nunavik, Nunavut
“It is crucial for government to work with us to put a better solution in place in the near future”
Xplornet says it will extend internet service for customers in Nunavut and Nunavik into 2021.
In August, the company announced it would be retiring the use of one of its satellites—Telesat’s Anik F2—on Dec. 31, jeopardizing internet service for a number of its customers in both Nunavut and Nunavik.
Many of those customers were slated to be transitioned onto Xplornet’s other platforms, but a smaller number would no longer have access to the company’s bandwidth.
But this week, Xplornet customers in the North received notice that they will be able to continue with the same services.
“Xplornet came to an agreement with Telesat to continue limited services on the Anik F2 satellite in order to avoid ending services for customers without other Internet options,” said Steven Van Groningen, spokesperson for Xplornet Communications Inc.
Xplornet couldn’t say how many customers it serves in Nunavut and Nunavik, but said the company counts clients “in just about every community.”
Anik F2 was launched in 2004 with a projected lifespan of 15 years, so Xplornet said it still has concerns about its capacity limitations
“We are seeking a longer-term solution with the Government of Canada and the territorial governments to ensure these customers will have service options past the lifespan of Anik F2,” Van Groningen said.
“We have extended our use of Anik F2 to ensure that customers who did not have any other options would not lose internet access. That is why it is crucial for government to work with us to put a better solution in place in the near future.”
Many northern regions across the country that rely on satellite-fed internet are struggling with the same issues.
Nunavik’s Tamaani Internet, the region’s main provider, said it’s using almost 100 per cent capacity on its existing satellite.