Here’s how a vast submarine cable involving Norway could improve internet service in Inuit communities

Madeleine Redfern, left, and Peder Nærbø chat at a recent meeting in Happy Valley Goose-Bay. (Rafsan Faruque Jugol / CBC)

An undersea network stretching from northern Canada to Norway could pave the way for significantly better internet connectivity in Inuit communities, and open the possibility for data centers under construction in Labrador to export their power. treatment.

The proposed network, which would link Nunavut and Nunatsiavut, the Inuit lands of northern Labrador, is being developed by CanArtic Inuit Networks and Bulk Infrastructure Inc.

“We now have a project to interconnect the northern region with the Atlantic Canada region,” said Peder Nærbø, president of Bulk Infrastructure, in an interview with CBC Radio. Labrador morning.

“So it can be used as a critical infrastructure” for broadband connectivity, he said, while also providing services to the “large data center industry… growing rapidly. [that requires] more and more renewable energies.

The proposal addresses two areas: poor internet connections in remote communities, as well as the growth of data centers. These centers are cheaper to operate in colder climates, and the local hydropower supply in Labrador also allows potential data centers to be marketed as more environmentally friendly.

The proposed network is divided into two projects.

The SednaLink cable will connect to the Leif Erikson submarine fiber-optic cable that runs along Happy Valley Goose-Bay. (Madeleine Redfern / Google Earth)

CanArtic’s SednaLink cable will run from Sheshatshiu in central Labrador through Nunatsiavut to Iqaluit in Nunavut, spanning a total of 1,904 kilometers.

If successful, this project would be the first fiber optic cable linking the two regions of Inuit Nunangat. It will link Makkovik, Postville, Hopedale, Natuashish, Nain and the Voisey’s Bay mine before connecting to Iqaluit.

Phase 2 of the SednaLink cable would be routed to the High Arctic, extending an additional 2,960 km.

Big Land Networks, a Labrador-based Internet service provider, is also expected to play a role in providing connectivity to these Labrador communities.

“Coming to Labrador, Nunatsiavut has given us the opportunity to meet potential partners like Big Land Networks as we seek to develop relationships with local internet providers,” said Madeleine Redfern, COO of CanArtic. Inuit Networks, in an interview with Labrador morning.

LISTEN | Find out what a submarine cable proposal could mean for Labrador and other Inuit regions:

Labrador morning8:18Submarine cable connecting Inuit Nunangat

An undersea network connecting Nunavut, Nunatsiavut and Norway is offered by CanArtic Inuit Networks and Bulk Infrastructure Inc. 8:18

The southern portion of this cable will merge with Bulk Infrastructure’s submarine fiber-optic cable, which the company calls Leif Erikson after the legendary explorer. The cable would connect an area near Happy Valley-Goose Bay with a terminal 4,200 kilometers in Norway.

Bulk Infrastructure also hopes to get its end of the cable inland to Quebec.

Improving internet connectivity is crucial for Inuit Nunangat, according to Redfern.

Madeleine Redfern, COO of CanArtic Inuit Networks, holds up a piece of submarine cable. (Submitted by Madeleine Redfern)

In Iqaluit, a state of emergency was declared on October 12, after fuel contamination made the local supply unsuitable for drinking.

According to Redfern, as the news arrived, local internet connectivity was poor due to inclement weather conditions, which delayed the news spread to the community.

“The need for good connectivity is absolutely necessary during a state of emergency to get information from authorities,” said Redfern, former mayor of Iqaluit.

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