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Nunavut Benefits from New Broadband Services

22 September 2010 

Iqaluit, Nunavut, September 22, 2010 – Public organizations and other groups across Nunavut now have access to a state-of-the-art corporate tool for desktop audio-video conferencing and can more easily transfer mega-files via the Internet, taking better advantage of the available bandwidth. These new broadband services are made possible thanks to a partnership between the governments of Canada and Nunavut, the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC), and the operator of the QINIQ network, SSi Micro Ltd.



The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Member of Parliament for Nunavut, Minister of Health and Minister Responsible for the North, along with Darrell Ohokannoak, Chairman of NBDC, and Jeff Philipp, President of SSi Micro Ltd., announced that the audio-video and file transfer services constitute a combined capital and bandwidth investment of $15.6 million between 2009 and 2012. The Government of Canada’s contribution is $7.8 million, which is matched by SSi and customer revenue.



“The Government of Canada is supporting improved broadband service in communities across Canada,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “The services being launched today will improve connectivity and provide Nunavut residents with greater access to public services in areas like education, culture, and e-commerce.”



The Government of Nunavut has provided $1.5 million to support NBDC’s core operations since its inception in 2003. Specific to this project, the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Economic Development & Transportation committed $250,000 in matching funds for project management and communications over the past two years.



“The Government of Nunavut is committed to improving connections to our communities and supporting community-based, sustainable economies,” said Economic Development & Transportation Minister Peter Taptuna. “This project will do just that. We are pleased this funding will improve access to our bandwidth and the rest of the world.”



“The launch of these innovative new broadband tools represents the collective action of a broad range of people and organizations, and is in direct response to the needs expressed by the Nunavut public,” said Mr. Ohokannoak. “They significantly enhance our ability to share vital corporate data, to offer distance training and education, to hold cost-effective meetings without traveling, and to maintain our language and culture”.



“SSi Micro is thrilled to be the company that takes Nunavut to the next broadband level,” said Mr. Phillip. “These tools are all cutting-edge technology, robust and adapted to satellite-served communities. As we begin a new decade, Nunavut’s broadband future has never been brighter.”

Today’s launch of services marks the second major initiative of a larger four-year financial commitment, totaling $21.6 million, made by the Government of Canada in August 2008 to improve broadband service in Nunavut over the period from 2009 to June 30, 2012. The first was the upgrading of the QINIQ network announced in December, 2009.



(see http://www.infc.gc.ca/media/news-nouvelles/csif-fcis/2009/20091203iqalui...)

The new products Q-File and Meet Online Enterprise are available to the public starting today. For more information see www.qfile.ca and www.qiniq.com/meetonline.



The federal funding for this project, defined by NBDC as Infrastructure Phase II, comes from the National Satellite Initiative (NSI) under the National Priority category of the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), and is provided through a contribution agreement with the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC).



NBDC is a not-for-profit federally registered corporation whose members represent community, private sector and citizen interests to ensure that reliable affordable access to broadband services is delivered by the private sector in every Nunavut community.



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For further information on the Government of Canada’s infrastructure investments, visit www.creatingjobs.gc.ca. To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

For further information on the National Satellite Initiative: www.broadband.gc.ca/pub/media/nsi_prog_des.html

For further information on the QINIQ network: www.qiniq.com

For further information on NBDC: www.nunavut-broadband.ca

For further information on SSi Micro: www.ssimicro.com

For further information on Economic Development and Transportation: www.edt.gov.nu.ca



Contacts:



John Babcock Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities 613-991-0700

Infrastructure Canada

613-948-1148

info@creatingjobs.gc.ca



Matthew Illaszewicz

Economic Development and Transportation

Government of Nunavut

867-975-7818

millaszewicz@gov.nu.ca



Oana Spinu

Acting Executive Director

NBDC

867-979-0575

oana@qiniq.com



Charlotte Walker

Public Relations and Marketing

SSi Micro

867-669-7500

charlotte_walker@ssimicro.com