Additional capacity for Qiniq's growing user base
The subscriber take-up on the Qiniq network has been much greater than originally anticipated. Instead of 2000 northern subscribers as predicted in the orignal 9 year funding agreement, there were 2000 suscribers after just 9 months! And by 2008 there were 4,000 subscribers, with an estimated 7000 by 2013. The Qiniq 2000+ component of the Infrastructure II project supports the Qiniq network’s growing user base. This includes hardware upgrades in all 25 communities, completed in December of 2009, and additional satellite capacity.
While Qiniq 2000+ addresses the increase in the subscriber base, but does not address the issue of speed to each consumer (in the original business plan, the basic $60/month account offered burst speeds of 256 kb/s down and 96 kb/s up). In December 2009, SSI increased the download burst speed on this basic account to 384 kb/s. While the hardware upgrades to the Qiniq network for Qinis 2000+ in part enabled SSI to offer an increased download burst speed on the basic account, this was an initiative taken by SSI separate from Qiniq 2000+. The speeds of the current Qiniq system were set in 2005 (first investment round) and do not qualify as broadband under the terms of the Harper Government’s broadband strategy, which was announced in July 30, 2009.
Beginning in 2008-2009, $9.33 million in additional funding was provided by Canada and matched by SSi Micro to cover usage in the Qiniq network beyond the initial 2,000 subscribers covered in the original business plan. Network upgrades in all 25 communities began that summer and were completed by December of 2009. The investment ended on March 31, 2013.
Currently, support for the Qiniq network comes from the Broadband Canada program and flows directly from Industry Canada to the network operator.