Nunavik’s Fiber Optic Project has Begun

Puvirnituq Village is getting connected. (Photo: Raphaël Joanisse-Clément/Wikimedia Commons)

Puvirnituq Village is getting connected. (Photo: Raphaël Joanisse-Clément/Wikimedia Commons)

The Alcatel Submarine Networks cable ship arrived off Puvirnituq shore in Northern Canada on August 6.

Canada: As reported by Nunatsiaq News, crews have begun laying the first portion of Nunavik’s underwater fiber network off the Hudson Bay coast. Alcatel Submarine Networks, the French firm with the contract to lay the fiber, arrived offshore from Puvirnituq on its cable ship, the Ile D’Aix, on August 6.

When finished, the Eastern Arctic Undersea Fibre Optic Network will extend northward from Chisasibi, Quebec, with spurs connecting to Kuujjuaraapik, Umiujaq, Inukjuak and Puvirnituq. The Ile D’Aix is scheduled to head to Inukjuak on August 22, then onto Umiujaq September 2 and Kuujjuaraapik September 12, before sailing to Chisasibi to finalize the installation at the end of September.

The electronics installation and testing will happen in November, while the high-speed activation is set for December. The Kativik Regional Government’s Tamaani Internet estimates the new network should help free up about 25 percent of Nunavik’s satellite capacity to other communities.

Also read

The company - who are overseeing the operation - is also looking for funding to extend the fibre network to the rest of region. Earlier this year, the CRTC’s Broadband Fund allotted $36.3 million to help extend that new undersea fibre network north from Puvirnituq to four more communities: Akulivik, Ivujivik, Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq, as well as Nunavik’s two mine sites.

Next, the regional government is eyeing more government funding to connect Quaqtaq, Kangirsuk, Aupaluk, Tasiujaq, Kangiqsualujjuaq and Kuujjuaq. In the meantime, Tamaani has secured $29 million to build a terrestrial fibre link between Kuujjuaq and Schefferville, Que., to connect to that community’s fibre optic network.