Mapping the Long-Term Options for Canada’s North: Telecommunications and Broadband Connectivity

The Conference Board of Canada, 85 pages, August 1, 2013
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What’s happening in Canada’s North when it comes to telecommunications and broadband connectivity? This latest report from the Centre for the North takes a detailed look at the situation.

Document Highlights

Mapping the Long-Term Options for Canada’s North: Telecommunications and Broadband Connectivity provides an overview of connectivity in Canada’s North. The benchmarking exercise finds that an average North Canadian consumer pays $139 per month for a basic basket of services, including a basic cell phone plan (~200 local anytime calling minutes), a home phone with long distance (~400 North American minutes), and high-speed Internet access (= 1,500/384 kilobits per second). By comparison the average Nunavut consumer pays $171 per month for a similar basket of services.

The report also explores two regional case studies that foreground the disparate drivers and challenges shaping critical connectivity infrastructure in Canada’s inhabited Arctic and Northern boreal forest regions and a third case study examines the unique connectivity requirements of Canada’s growing presence and responsibilities in the circumpolar North. It concludes with a series of recommendations to enhance Canada’s Northern connectivity landscape.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

  • Methodology

Chapter 2—A National Connectivity Profile for Canada’s North

  • Northern Canada’s Satellite Dependency
  • Northern Residential Access: Aboriginal Versus Non-Aboriginal Communities
  • The Socio-Economic Context Behind Northern Connectivity

Chapter 3—Northern Connectivity Scenarios and Case Studies

  • Scenario 1: Charlie the Inuit Artist and Producer Lives and Works in the Arctic
  • Scenario 2: Tim Is an Itinerant Mining Technologist in Canada’s “Ring of Fire”
  • Scenario 3: Sandy Is a Coast Guard Officer in the Circumpolar North
  • Canada’s Inhabited Arctic: A Closer Look at the Basis of Charlie’s World
  • Canada’s Boreal Forest Zone: A Closer Look at the Basis of Tim’s World
  • Circumpolar Uncertainty: A Closer look at Sandy’s World

Chapter 4—Comparative Analysis of Lessons Learned

  • Next-Generation Networks in Canada’s North—Threats and Opportunities
  • Regulating Northern Telecommunications in an All-IP World
  • Shared Infrastructure for Shared Services
  • Varieties of Aboriginal Inclusion
  • Governance
  • Complemetary Needs Shape the Northern Connectivity Landscape
  • High Costs Have Forced Trade-Offs Between Northern Needs

Chapter 5—Final Observations and Recommendations

  • Recommendations

Appendix A—Bibliography

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