Isn’t NBDC really Qiniq?

The short answer:

No, NBDC is not Qiniq. NBDC is a not-for-profit advocate and community champion that initiates and manages projects, leveraging federal investments in broadband services delivered through the private sector. Qiniq is a Nunavut-wide network operated by SSI Micro which won a competitive bid process NBDC initiated in 2003 to provide internet access in all 25 Nunavut communities. NBDC worked to secure the initial government funding and debt financing to get the Qiniq network built and operating but NBDC does not operate the network and does not generate any revenue from the network.

The long answer:

NBDC was established in 2002 to secure funding from the Government of Canada to set up Internet infrastructure in all Nunavut communities. In 2003, NBDC conducted a comprehensive needs analysis and wrote a business plan to submit to Industry Canada’s BRAND (Broadband for Rural and Northern Development) Program. As part of the business planning process, NBDC ran a public RFP and SSI Micro was selected to build and operate the network, as they submitted the lowest-cost bid to provide services. All financing was secured by the spring of 2004, and Qiniq was launched in the summer of 2005.  User uptake was wildly successful and Qiniq reached the 9-year user projections after just 9 months. In 2008, NBDC signed a second funding agreement to support, among other things, the growing Qiniq user base.

Over the period 2003-2016, NBDC will have managed over $66 million in broadband investments in Nunavut, coming predominantly from the federal government, debt financing organizations and the private sector. 

Other things you might want to know about NBDC:

  • NBDC is governed by a volunteer board of Nunavut residents from across the territory
  • The majority of our  over 70 individual members are Inuit, as required in our bi-laws;
  • The majority of our board members are Inuit;
  • NBDC relies on government funding to operate and to carry out projects and receives no revenue from these projects;
  • NBDC is vendor and technology neutral, meaning it does not specify a technical solution to answer a defined need as stated by the public;
  • NBDC uses public RFPs to select private sector parties to deliver solutions to challenges identified by its membership.