All Nunavut residents deserve the same level of telecommunication services and any approach that would see some services only available in some communities is incomplete, inadequate and inequitable. In fact, that is the approach taken in Southern Canada, and the disparity of services there has been a challenge to rural and remote communities since the inception of Internet services in Canada.
NBDC has since its creation advocated for service party, or equitable services, in all Nunavut communities. The population in Nunavut is more evenly spread out than in other parts of Canada’s North and the three largest communities still account for only a third of the territory’s population. According to the 2011 census, the community with the greatest population growth between 2006 and 2011 was Repulse Bay. With an astounding 26.3% increase in population (compared to Iqaluit’s relatively modest 8.3%). In fact, 12 communities posted double digit population growth since 2006 – and the regional capitals were not among them. Quite simply put, Nunavut’s population is more evenly spread out between all 25 communities, as is the territory’s population growth. The trend that sees smaller communities growing at a faster rate than larger centres is unique to Nunavut. In other jurisdictions, smaller communities are getting smaller, and urban centres are growing (a global phenomenon known as deruralization). Nunavut needs our own policies and solutions to meet our own unique challenges.
Service parity is also important for internal cross-subsidization which makes service provision in the smaller markets/communities economically viable. That means that a company providing service in all 25 communities can take profit generated in the larger markets/communities to help cover the cost of providing service in the smaller markets/communities