Representatives from satellite company Telesat are in Iqaluit demonstrating a faster broadband internet network.

The company has partnered with Northwestel for the two-month trial taking place at the Iqaluit Centennial Library.


Telesat’s corporate headquarters is shown in Ottawa. The company says it has the technology to bring high speed internet to Arctic communities, but it needs a $120 million commitment from government.

Paul Bush, Telesat’s vice-president of development, compares access to high speed internet with access to power, water or sewage.

"If you want to keep the youth, if you want to keep being economically viable, if you want to sell our services, if we want to have people invest, then part of the infrastructure isn’t just roads, part of the infrastructure is actually broadband."

Bush said the company has the technology to bring this to the communities; it just needs the cash for its Arctic Communications Infrastructure Initiative.

The satellite company is willing to invest $40 million, but says it needs a 10-year commitment of $120 million from the governments of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Ottawa.