The report, produced for an agency of the working group, found that Internet and communications capacity in the North is rapidly being outstripped by the demands of increasingly web-dependent bureaucrats, businesspeople and individuals. It concludes that significant public investment is required to bring networks up to speed.
“Arctic residents must have reliable, affordable communications infrastructure to engage in 21st-century opportunities,” says the report. “Many communities' long-term survival will depend on it.
“If Canada wants vibrant Arctic communities, efforts must be made to improve their attractiveness to the people who live there.”
Those communications networks are already falling behind.
The government of Nunavut bought new digital cameras to produce photos for driver's licences. But the photo files were too large for local email systems and so must be loaded onto memory sticks and flown to Iqaluit for processing.