Satellite service provider Telesat announced it will invest $40 million in Arctic infrastructure to expand broadband services in the NWT, Nunavut and Yukon, a quarter of what is estimated necessary to bring Northern infrastructure up to speed.
“Our Arctic Communications Infrastructure Initiative will more than double the communications capacity serving the Arctic, provide urgently needed network redundancy in every northern community and put in place the long term funding required to ensure this modern and robust network is in place for at least the next 10 years,” said Telesat’s VP of business development, Paul Bush.
Bush made the announcement last Thursday at the Northern Lights trade show in Ottawa, responding to recommendations made in the 2011 Arctic Communications Infrastructure Assessment (ACIA) report, which outlined gaps and shortcomings in Northern communications infrastructure.
One of the report’s recommendations was to “ensure there is a redundant connection into every Arctic community to avoid gaps in the provision of essential communication services.”
The Ottawa-based company, which has been doing business in the North for 40 years, estimated the total cost of meeting the requirements outlined in the ACIA report at $160 million for the next decade. Its $40 million investment will go towards satellite bandwidth and ground segment upgrades.
“Telesat looks forward to working with other interested parties to ensure that those living and working in the North have access to a state-of-the-art robust and broadband communications infrastructure,” Bush said.
Along with the announcement, Telesat’s proposal was formally submitted to the co-chairs of the working group that led to development of the ACIA report.