By Arctic Fibre

Arctic Fibre has successfully completed the identification of seven cable-landing points across Nunavut as part of its 15,700 km subsea fibre optic network through the Northwest Passage between London, England and Tokyo, Japan.  The Arctic Fibre project also enables the construction of a local broadband network that can serve the 52% of Nunavut’s population living in communities adjacent to the backbone network.

During the past week, a seven-person team consisting of Arctic Fibre staff, AECOM environmental consultants, civil works contractor Ledcor Industries, network design engineer WFN Strategies, Ajungi Consulting, and TE SubCom travelled 4,150 miles to visit the communities of Iqaluit, Cape Dorset, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay.

Information sessions and consultations were well attended, with representatives of the federal and territorial governments, hamlet councils, Hunters and Trappers Associations, Community Land and Resource Committees, Kitikmeot Inuit Association, Qikiqtani Inuit Association, local businesses, telecommunications carriers and local residents.

“In most instances, we were able to confirm the engineering studies Arctic Fibre has undertaken over the past two years,” said Douglas Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of Arctic Fibre.  “However, we obtained input and local knowledge from residents that led us to modify our landing locations in Cape Dorset, Igloolik and Taloyoak to spots better suited to avoid ice scour, wave action and not interfere with local activities.”

Arctic Fibre also modified its terrestrial crossing of the Boothia Peninsula based on the physical inspection by two of its surveyors, supported by local guides.  The revised route will now parallel the northwest shorelines of Middle and Angmaluktok lakes before rising through the hills and entering Lord Mayor Bay.

Arctic Fibre will now submit its landing plans to all appropriate bodies, and seek approvals for a subsea marine survey in 2014 that will be one of the most comprehensive ever undertaken in Nunavut waters. Company officials will also work with the appropriate agencies to ensure that its network does not interfere with any historical or archeological sites. Installation of the cable is expected to be undertaken in 2015.

In Cambridge Bay, the Arctic Fibre team met with the Honourable Keith Peterson, Nunavut’s Minister of Finance, who described the challenges he faces with Nunavut’s existing telecommunications infrastructure.  “Minster Peterson relayed to us his frustration of being one of the only elected officials in the country unable to fully participate in a recent video conference with Canada’s Minister of Finance. The installation of the Arctic Fibre network will enable all Nunavummiut and levels of government to be full participants in video conferencing, and much more,” said Cunningham.

Arctic Fibre seeks Government of Canada financial participation for a secondary network that can be constructed off the backbone that will serve 98% of the combined Nunavut and Nunavik population.

Mr. Cunningham stated, “We are convinced that, with Federal support, this project can become a cost-effective and vital cornerstone of Canada’s expanding arctic infrastructure.  The potential return on investment for Canadian northern governance, scientific research, economic development, health care, education, emergency response and national security is substantial, and cannot be matched. We look forward to working with Industry Minister James Moore and his cabinet colleagues on this important national initiative.”

For further information please contact: Douglas Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer, Arctic Fibre Inc., (416) 613-6263 [email protected] or Madeleine Redfern, Ajungi Consulting Group, (867) 979-1167  [email protected] or Sarah Nelson, Marketing Director, Arctic Fibre Inc., (289) 635-2279 [email protected]