In remote communities across Canada, there is a critical digital infrastructure deficit, with satellite-served communities being the most disadvantaged. Where most consumers in the south enjoy reliable, robust and affordable Internet connectivity, many remote communities are underserved and live with the impacts of a serious digital divide:
- Residents and businesses are isolated and struggling to be part of the digital economy.
- Essential government services such as education, health, justice, environment and public security are severely constrained.
- Key industries cannot advance without proper communications infrastructure.
- Economic and social development is impeded by high-cost capacity shortfalls and lack of competitive choice.
Until recently, Government broadband programs and contracts for communications services have been short-term and uncoordinated. The Qimirluk solution is a holistic approach that calls for substantial long-term investments by Government and the private sector to greatly enhance backbone capacity and to establish shared gateway facilities in the communities. This will significantly improve service and reduce costs for consumers, business and government.
Where most consumers in the south enjoy reliable, robust and affordable Internet connectivity, many remote communities are underserved and live with the impacts of a serious digital divide.
Canada’s North and Mid-North comprise an area that covers over half the landmass of the entire country. The region includes over 150 communities and 450 aboriginal reserves, 89 of which have been identified by the CRTC as “satellite-dependent” and another 109 as virtually “disconnected”.
However, the North and Mid-North is also a region with significant activity: by government, the resource sector, and transport, military and emergency services. The demand for broadband capacity has been growing steadily year-by-year, but cannot be met with the current infrastructure and resources, further exacerbating the digital divide with the south.