SSi Micro built the QINIQ network infrastructure from 2004 to 2005, under contract to NBDC. The building of the QINIQ network was as much a financing challenge as a logistical challenge. The logistics of building the network, and the work to put the financing in place in a short time frame meant that SSi and NBDC had to work with a wide range of governments, organizations and municipalities to successfully build and launch the QINIQ network.
SSi won the NBDC competitive bid to build both the satellite backbone and the last mile service in all 25 Nunavut communities. SSi had one year to complete the build in all 25 communities to meet federal funding conditions. With build costs in excess of $10,000,000, NBDC worked to obtain matching funds and new contributions from various levels of government while SSI built the state-of-the art broadband network.
Key activities included:
- Engineering site survey in 10 smallest communities;
- Completion of SSi-NBDC network agreement;
- Finalizing financial support for build with funders, investors and network operator;
- SSi: Design and installation of satellite dishes in 15 communities, last mile equipment in 25 communities;
- SSi: Completion of network billing system, network management system, modem distribution and tracking system;
- NBDC-Nunavut Power Corporation agreement finalized lease and acquisition agreement portion of satellite dishes;
- NBDC organized support for testing modems via CSPs;
- Negotiation and implementation of funds for bandwidth for QINIQ with Infrastructure Canada’s National Satellite Initiative;
Preparation for official launch in Rankin in May 2005, followed by launches in communities all over Nunavut throughout 2005.
All communities had satellite and wireless infrastructure installed, with the same 2.5 wireless service in all 25 communities.
Investment into the QINIQ network was provided by:
- Industry Canada, Government of Canada (BRAND Program – equipment/installation);
- Infrastructure Canada, Government of Canada (National Satellite Initiative - bandwidth);
- Atuqtuarvik Corporation equity investment and loan (equipment);
- Nunavut Business Credit Corporation loan (equipment, modems);
- SSi investment agreement (equipment);
- Hamlet contributions toward 2.5 GHz wireless for all communities (22 communities);
- Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Government of Canada (2.5 GHz wireless);
- Department of Community and Government Services, Government of Nunavut (2.5 GHz wireless);
- Kakivak Association (provided a loan guarantee necessary for BRAND sign-off)