Friday, July 26, 2013

Arctic Fibre Begins Nunavut Route Surveys:Dream of Arctic Broadband One Step Closer To Realit

Arctic Fibre

The dream of faster, more affordable and reliable broadband telecommunications to Canada’s North will move one step closer to reality in mid-August as Arctic Fibre Inc. begins its physical landing site surveys at seven locations across Nunavut and one site in Northern Quebec.

Starting August 19th in Iqaluit, a seven-person survey team comprised of Arctic Fibre’s environmental advisor, AECOM Consulting; telecom engineering firm, WFN Strategies; community liaison consultant, Madeleine Redfern; TE SubCom marine surveyors, and Arctic Fibre staff will visit the Nunavut communities of Iqaluit, Cape Dorset, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay.

Madeleine Redfern, President of Ajungi Arctic Consulting, stated, “At each community the Arctic Fibre team will meet with elders, hamlet mayors and council members, Community and Land Resource Committee members, local hunters and the public to ascertain the most appropriate location to land the backbone cable.” She added, “Potential subcontractors for civil works will also have an opportunity to present their credentials to the Arctic Fibre team who are committed to creating as much local participation as possible.”

“Arctic Fibre has undertaken extensive desk top marine and terrestrial surveys which reflect the normal cable landing factors such as tides, currents, seabed conditions, and proximity to terrestrial telecom facilities,” said Douglas Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of Arctic Fibre Inc.

“However, we want the benefit of the local communities’ expertise with regard to ice conditions and the most suitable location away from anchorages and any environmentally-sensitive areas and habitat. That’s why we will be holding consultative meetings in each community, as well as physically examining the various landing site options and alternative routings across the Boothia Peninsula from Taloyoak to Lord Mayor Bay.”

The site visit times and community meetings are tentatively scheduled as follows, with any changes due to weather conditions or technical factors being posted in the local media, community centres, and post offices.

Community Date Time Location

Iqaluit Site Visit Mon Aug 19th 1500 hrs Apex Bay (near Hudson’s Bay outpost)

Iqaluit Meeting Mon Aug 19th 1800 Hotel Arctic

Cape Dorset Tues Aug 20th 0930 Cape Dorset Beach

Cape Dorset Meeting Tues Aug 20th 1200 Hamlet Office

Hall Beach Site Visit Tues Aug 20th 1715 Hall Beach

Hall Beach Meeting Tues Aug 20th 1800 Hamlet Office

Igloolik Site Visit Wed Aug 21st 0930 Igloolik Beach

Igloolik Meeting Wed Aug 21st 1200 Hamlet Office

Cambridge Bay Site Visit Thu Aug 22nd 0900 Beach opposite DND Cambridge Bay

Cambridge Bay Thu Aug 22nd 1800 Hamlet Office

Gjoa Haven Site Visit Fri Aug 23rd 0900 Gjoa Haven ramp south side

Gjoa Haven Fri Aug 23rd 1200 Hamlet Office

Taloyoak Meeting Fri Aug 23rd 1500 Hamlet Office

Taloyoak Site Visit Sat Aug 24th 1800 Spence Bay

The specific schedule and any revisions will be posted on the company’s website: announced on local radio and posted around the community.

A separate site visit to Deception Bay in Nunavik, Northern Quebec, will follow the Nunavut excursion to ascertain the viability of building a spur off the backbone to meet the bandwidth requirements of mining companies in the area.

The determination of the cable landing locations and Boothia Crossing route will form part of the company’s submissions to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) and the Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC). Approvals from NIRB and NPC are prerequisites to the issuance of an International Submarine Cable Landing Licence from the Minister Responsible for Industry Canada.

Arctic Fibre submitted its licence application to Industry Canada last October but finalization of the survey schedule required ice clearance at all landing points. The finalization of landing site locations will enable Arctic Fibre to refine its undersea routes and undertake the detailed marine studies later this year and with the bulk of the work being completed in 2014. The scheduled in-service date for the $620 million backbone network between London and Tokyo is December 2015.

By combining an Arctic broadband network in the same cable sheath with a trans-continental link between Asian and European financial centres, Arctic Fibre can build a backbone network serving half of the population of Nunavut without government subsidy.

In February the Company submitted a $237 million proposal to Industry Canada which would extend the fibre cable to 23 additional northern communities with the assistance of nine microwave hops. This secondary network expansion, which would require some form of government support, would ensure the provision of virtually unlimited bandwidth to 98% of the combined Nunavut and Nunavik population, thereby supporting both economic and social development, while contributing significantly to Canada’s nation-building in its Arctic region.


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