Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut February 08, 2013 - 3:28 pm

Qiniq announces higher-speed internet across Nunavut

SSI responds to Northwestel’s broadband gambit

SAMANTHA DAWSON

The Qiniq internet service in Nunavut, operated by the SSI Group, announced the addition of two new higher-speed internet plans Feb. 7.

The two new packages, branded as “Atii Plus” and “Atii Pro,” are offered within all 25 communities in Nunavut and “not just the three largest centers targeted by our competitor’s new DSL plans,” a Qiniq news release said.

The Atii Pro plan, which costs $369.95 a month for Nunavut residents, offers download speeds that burst up to 2.5 Mbps, with a 30 GB usage cap.

The Atii Plus plan, which costs $129.95 a month, offers download speeds that burst up to 2 Mbps, with a 15 GB monthly cap.

That’s the plan Qiniq expects most customers will likely upgrade to.

William Ingarfield, manager of internet services for the company, said the more expensive Atii Pro plan is tailored more to small businesses or hamlet offices than to individual customers. 

But overall, the increase in bandwidth is a good thing, he said.

“It’s going to provide people with a little more usage and speed, it’s just a little bit more of everything, really,” he said.

The most important aspect of Qiniq’s new services is that they’re offered to all Nunavut residents, not just residents of Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay and Rankin Inlet, Ingarfield said.

The company said that “in a satellite-served market where ‘broadband for all’ is our top priority, we can only hope that our competitors eventually take the same all-inclusive approach and offer all their services in every community, instead of targeting only the largest and leaving the smallest out in the cold.”

“We’re definitely offering the same package all across the North here for everyone,” Ingarfield said.

“We’re just excited that we’re able to upgrade things here for everyone. We know everyone is always looking for an increase in bandwidth and speed,” he said.

The new plans are upgrades from the Atiigiallak plan, which cost $80 a month, and offered download speeds that burst up to 1.5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 384 Kbps.

The new plans are comparable to Northwestel’s Nunavut Pro, which offers 2.5 Mbps with a “free data transfer” of 20 GB, for 129.95 a month.

Northwestel’s Nunavut Ultra offers 5 Mbps with a data cap of 30 GB, for 179.95 a month.

In June, 2012, SSI announced the Qiniq network was installing significant upgrades across the territory.

At that time, they introduced the Atiigiallak plan, with tripled usage caps and download speeds up to four times faster.

In the past eight months, SSI has significantly improved the broadband service available to Nunavut residents,” Jeff Philipp, the CEO of the SSI Group.

“Speeds and caps for the average consumer are five times what they were this time last year with a minimal price increase,” he said.

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