The Centre for the North released Telecommunications and Broadband Connectivity: Mapping the Long-Term Options for Canada's North, a report on northern connectivity.
NBDC is pleased with the report as it echoes many of the concerns and recommendations NBDC has been voicing for a number of years:
- The time is now: The current level of funding expires in 2016 and, arguably, does not even meet the current needs of Nunavut users. Several reports have come out over the past few years identifying the gaps and the urgency in having a holistic plan for northern telecommunications.
- Broadband is an essential service: Canada’s regulatory framework and basic service objectives for Northern telecommunications must adapt.
- Need for shared network infrastructure with government users as anchor tenants: this was a key recommendation as far back as the 2002 Nunavut Broadband Task Force report yet it is still not fully adopted.
- Inuit participation in network ownership and service delivery: NBDC pioneered the Community Service Provider model where predominantly Inuit-owned businesses act as the local contact for Qiniq. Since Qiniq was launched, these businesses accross Nunavut have earned close to $6 million in commissions. For some time NBDC has been examining the approach to telecommunication services in Greenland. NBDC believes there is great potential for Inuit birthright corporations to have a more active role in the telecommunications sector.