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A lack of reliable and fast wireless infrastructure on campus in Nunavut Community Learning Centres (CLCs) in five remote communities (Rankin Inlet, Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay, Clyde River and Arviat) meant inadequate access to online academic resources for Nunavummiut, limiting economic and educational opportunities. Prior to receiving a CIRA grant, speeds were typically 5/1 Mpbs – a fraction of the minimum 50/10 Mpbs recommended by the CRTC – making any kind of online academic work nearly impossible.

To address this problem, Nunavut Artic College deployed upgraded wireless infrastructure which provides access to low earth orbit technology on campus. They also provided training and support to local IT staff and administrators to ensure they have the skills and knowledge needed to maintain and troubleshoot the wireless infrastructure.


Inuit students and community members at the CLCs, research centres and main campus buildings within all five communities now have upgraded internet access with unprecedented speeds of 200 to 500/50 Mpbs. The new connectivity at the Iqaluit campus was celebrated with a ribbon cutting, where people were able to connect to the new network for the first time. “Never ever before could we have had 60 people in one room connect to the WiFi at the same time,” says Jennifer Lane, Strategic IT Advisor at Nunavut Arctic College. “You just heard ‘wow’ in the crowd. It was so amazing.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a message of congratulations recognizing the milestone.

With improved internet speeds, Nunavut Arctic College has been able to join the National Research and Education Network, a high-speed satellite network that connects researchers and educators to databases, research tools, technology and colleagues around the world—advancing not just research partnerships and educational opportunities for all Nunavummiut but also allowing the rest of the world to learn from these communities.

By providing reliable and fast wireless connectivity, this project has contributed to the overall economic, social and cultural well-being of the people of Nunavut.



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College president Rebecca Mearns at the ribbon cutting ceremony. 



Photos courtesy of Nunavut Arctic College


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