NBDC developed the Community Service Provider (CSP) model to ensure local businesses and organizations could successfully be local Internet providers that also provided support to the public to get connected – the majority of whom had never had Internet access. With input from a wide range of players, the model ensured local businesses received an economic benefit in the provision of services while encouraging a rapid take-up rate in all communities.
One of the four major thrusts of NBDC is to enable local companies in every community to deliver local broadband services.
NBDC held a conference in February of 2004 with SSI Micro and various potential ISPs, community groups, hamlets, retailers, and coops to provide input on ensuring a successful local model. Ideas and activities from the conference followed:
- Participants advised on a proposed structure, task list and financing arrangements for community-based ISPs and/or agents (subsequently called CSPs);
- Participants recommended that local providers could be organizations from the public or private sector, may be Inuit organizations, or may be hamlets or coops;
- Key ideas from the conference included pre-payment of accounts, no hidden additional fees, same price in every community, same wireless services in all communities, support for collecting cash payments from the public (particularly in the 22 communities with no banks), assisting the public to get online to learn how to do online payments etc;
- NBDC coordinated the resources needed to assist the existing ISPs to evolve to the new service and to establish new CSPs where existing ISPS did not exist;
- NBDC negotiated revenue sharing agreement between CSPs and SSi, including the development of a plain language CSP agreement;
- NBDC issued a call for Expressions of Interest from local companies across Nunavut to become CSPs for the new network;
- NBDC conducted an evaluation of submissions and selection of local Community Service Provider in all 25 communities.
The QINIQ network launched with 22 independent Community Service Providers in 2005, the majority Inuit owned businesses. Because of the local presence of CSPs and the ease of hooking up, the take up rates exceeded all predictions. Since the launch in 2005, there has been negligible turnover in local CSPs, as many of the same CSPs continue providing services in their community into 2013. Current CSPs can be found at www.qiniq.com and selecting each community on the map.
NBDC board, staff, SSI Micro and various potential ISPs, community groups, hamlets, and coops worked together to develop this successful model.
Conference and follow up CSP model development was funded by:
- Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Government of Canada
- Government of Nunavut Department of Sustainable Development (EDT)