QIMIRLUK is the Inuktitut word for “backbone”

THE QIMIRLUK SOLUTION enables delivery of high quality and affordable telecom services to remote communities, leveraging a shared backbone to southern Canada accessed through open gateway facilities in each community.

  • The Shared Backbone makes use of new high throughput satellites (HTS), with fibre when and where available.
  • The Open Gateway allows service providers in the community to co-locate equipment, share tower space, and access wholesale backbone capacity.
Bright Horizon



Quality broadband and mobile services are a necessity for every community, no matter how remote. The service speeds and capacity available must support all communications activities – whether making mobile phone calls, transferring large files such as mapping data or digital x-rays, conducting online research for a school project, or simply watching a movie with the family.

As the demand for capacity continues to grow, it becomes ever more vital for adequate telecoms backbone to connect all communities with the rest of the world, and be designed to meet growing demand into the future.

The Qimirluk solution is a holistic approach, leveraging significant investments by private sector and government to greatly enhance backbone capacity for the benefit of all in remote communities. Wholesale backbone capacity is made available to local service providers through an open gateway, allowing state-of-the-art

broadband and mobile services to be delivered to consumers, business and government.

This backbone can be delivered in the short-term via high throughput satellite (HTS). For redundancy, and to meet the growing demand over time, additional satellite capacity can be deployed.

In time, as fibre and/or microwave, or other satellite technology such as Low Earth Orbit (ie LEOs) become available to some communities, HTS capacity can be shifted to other communities sharing the backbone while still providing critical redundancy in the event of a fibre break. For a detailed review of this critical aspect, see Planning Backbone Redundancy for Nunavut Communities.

Significant long-term investments by the private sector and government will greatly enhance backbone capacity and establish open gateway facilities for the benefit of all in remote communities.

Shared Backbone



Central to the Qimirluk solution is the Open Gateway: state-of-the-art infrastructure in the community that serves as the vital hub linking local services to the backbone.

It is a point of presence where the shared backbone terminates and the last mile services start. It consists of various telecommunications infrastructure components (satellite, microwave antennas, and/or fibre connections), one or more container-sized units containing the electronic equipment to support the telecommunications infrastructure, backup power, the components necessary to manage the heating, cooling and safety of the equipment, as well as co-location facilities for alternative and competing local service providers (including SSi under the QINIQ brand).

In brief, the Open Gateway will:

  • Allow access to the shared backbone, delivered via satellite, and fibre in the future
  • Be installed in each community to provide co-location and tower space for equipment and antennas
  • Make backbone and gateway services available on a utility basis to all service providers, thereby ensuring fair rates, reduced costs and local competition support

Beyond the network infrastructure, essential to the Qimirluk Solution is the delivery of training programs with local partners to build vital local service and support jobs.

By leveraging SSi’s infrastructure expertise, network improvements and new facilities can be deployed quickly and cost effectively. All remote communities in Canada can be efficiently and rapidly addressed.

Qimirluk is a made-in-Canada solution that can be exported to underserved regions around the world. Canada can provide a global showcase, where broadband overcomes the barriers of distance and any community, no matter how remote, can benefit from and participate fully in the digital economy.

The Open Gateway serves as the vital hub linking local services to the backbone. Network improvements and new facilities can be deployed quickly and cost effectively.

Open Backbone



SSi has a solid track record of championing proper connectivity and competition for the North. For years, we have been advocating policies and approaches before governments and regulators to deliver higher quality connectivity, lower costs and a fairer, more competitive telecoms market.

The following timeline summarizes some of the key public policy measures leading to the launch of SSi’s Qimirluk Solution.



December, 2012

CRTC announces Holistic Review of Regulatory Framework for the North

Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-669. Press Release

May, 2013

SSi submission to CRTC

Intervention re: TNC 2012-669

April, 2015

CRTC announces Review of Basic Telecommunications Services

Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134

July, 2015

SSi submission to CRTC

Intervention re: TNC 2015-134

April, 2016

SSi presents at CRTC Hearing

re: TNC 2015-134. Presentation

December, 2016

CRTC Declares Broadband Internet a Basic Service

Press Release

February, 2018

SSi presents to House of Commons Committee. Presentation

September, 2018

CRTC announces details of Broadband Fund. Presentation

November, 2018

SSi presents to House of Commons Committee Presentation