The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has disbursed $39.7 million from the Broadband Fund to bring high-speed internet to 28 remote communities in Northern Ontario, Northern British Columbia, and, for the first time, in Nunavut.
The CRTC said that municipalities, residents, businesses, and non-governmental organizations in Nunavut submitted letters to the commission emphasizing how high-speed internet will improve access to education and healthcare, while helping to preserve Inuit culture and language.
“We know how important high-quality internet and cellphone services are to every aspect of peoples’ daily lives,” said CRTC chairperson Vicky Eatrides. “Today marks a significant milestone, with the CRTC helping connect all communities in Nunavut to high-speed internet service for the first time.”
SSI Micro Ltd will be tasked to deliver satellite internet service to 11,405 households in 25 communities in Nunavut.
Keewaytinook Okimakanak is the other recipient of that funding, designated to maintain satellite internet connectivity in 182 households in two First Nation communities in Northern Ontario.
Additionally, the CRTC is also providing more funding to Northwestel’s Yukon Fibre project, which was selected as part of the Broadband Fund in August 2020 and included 24 communities in Yukon. The project will now be expanded to bring fibre-based internet services to Atlin, a small community in northern British Columbia.
The CRTC says it continues to assess applications and will make more funding announcements in 2024.
To date, the Broadband Fund, launched in 2019 to connect the underserved rural, remote and Indigenous communities across Canada, has committed over C$300 million to improve high-speed internet and cellphone services in more than 230 communities.