🇨🇦 New company plans for faster internet in Nunavut

May 2, 2023

Inuknet looking to provide faster internet for territory’s businesses and organizations

Inuknet Communications Inc. is a partnership between Qikiqtaaluk Corp.-owned Panarctic Communications and Galaxy Broadband Communications. The new company aims to provide faster internet to businesses and organizations through low-earth orbit satellite internet. (Photo by David Lochead)

By David Lochead, Nunatisiaq News

An Inuit-owned telecom company introduced itself to Nunavut on Thursday.

“We are excited about the opportunity that this partnership will bring to Nunavut,” said Harry Flaherty, president and chief executive officer of Qikiqtaaluk Corp.

Inuknet Commmunications Inc. is an internet service provider aiming to be the leader of telecommunications services in the North.

Its goal is to use low-earth orbit satellites to provide faster and more reliable internet for businesses and organizations in Nunavut’s 25 communities.

The company is formed by Panarctic Communications, which is owned by Qikiqtaaluk Corp., and Galaxy Broadband Communications.

“This, to us, is a perfect marriage,” said Rick Hodgkinson, president and chief executive officer of Galaxy Broadband.

Flaherty emphasized this will be a cloud-based internet service, meaning it’s a service that stores data on internet servers instead of a hard drive.

Inuknet is hoping to be ready by Sept. 30 in all 25 communities, Hodgkinson said.

Doug Harvey, the vice-president of business development and marketing at Galaxy Broadband, said Inuknet is looking at plans that will offer 50 megabits per second per download and 10 megabits per second upload speed, which is the federal government’s standard for high-speed internet.

Another plan the company is looking at is a package of 100 mbps per download by 20 mbps per upload.

The starting price for a package will be $890 a month, Harvey said.

The reason Inuknet will keep to business offerings and not residential internet is because satellite technology is not yet at a point where it can deliver the high-speed standard and low latency at an affordable price.

“It’s not quite there,” Hodgkinson said.

The company is using low-earth orbit technology because, according to Flaherty, the territory needs to look at the solutions that are already available for faster internet, instead of waiting for fibre-optic internet.

“You hear that fibre-optic internet is the answer for everything,” he said.

“Well, I could just say that we don’t have fibre-optic [internet]. You probably aren’t going to see it [here] in five years. Probably not going to see it in 10 years.”

The key, Flaherty said, is to use low-earth orbit satellites as the foundation for higher-speed internet, and then “go beyond.”

This article was produced by Nunatsiaq News.

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