Nunavik Prepares for Increased Demand for Internet Bandwidth

Tamaani Internet will be upgrading the entire Nunavik network through a variety of technologies, including a submarine fiber cable network.By Sarah Rogers, Nunatsiaq News
August 17, 2020

Tamaani Internet said it’s too soon to say what the loss of some of Xplornet’s services could mean for broadband access in Nunavik.

In the meantime, the Kativik Regional Government–led internet service said it’s working to boost capacity in the region in anticipation of increased demand.

Xplornet Communications Inc. said last week that it has decided to end its use of Telesat’s Anik F2 satellite on Dec. 31, which could jeopardize internet service in both Nunavut and Nunavik.

Xplornet couldn’t say how many customers it serves in those regions but confirmed that it counts clients in most Nunavut and Nunavik communities.

Most of the customers serviced by Anik F2 fall under the coverage of the four other satellites used by Xplornet and will be transitioned to the company’s other platforms. But an estimated 15 per cent of clients would see their service discontinued by the end of the year.

Tamaani has in recent years run fibre optic cables to the homes of customers to help clear congestion on its network.

Its biggest endeavour will be upgrading the region’s entire network through a variety of different technologies, including a fibre optic network along the Hudson coast.

Alcatel Submarine Networks is installing the underwater fibre optic cable from Chisasibi to Puvirnituq this summer, with branches off into Kuujjuaraapik, Umiujaq and Inukjuak along the way.

Work to lay that fibre is currently underway and on schedule, Clement said.

Nunavik’s largest community, Kuujjuaq, will be connected by five new microwave towers to Schefferville, where the Naskapi First Nation is finalizing the installation of its own fibre optic network to southern Quebec.

The region’s remaining communities will get surplus satellite capacity until the time when the region can extend fibre optic to all 14 villages.

The new network is expected to be ready and in service by December 2021.

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