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An aerial photo of Devon Island, Nunavut, seen through the window of an airplane.

Devon Island, Nunavut. Photo: L. Thomas

The ACIA Report

The Arctic Communications Infrastructure Assessment (ACIA) identifies the issues and challenges facing governments and service providers in ensuring the Canadian Arctic is properly connected for the benefit of Arctic citizens and all Canadians.

The ACIA report is a 195 page print document, and can viewed or downloaded in full or by chapter in pdf form, from this website.

The ACIA Website

This companion website to the ACIA report provides the first few paragraphs of each section of the report. More text in the print version is indicated with an ellipse in brackets [...] throughout the site. Each chapter can be easily viewed online as a pdf.

Detailed maps listing communication services are available via the website, in the 'Maps' section. The website also includes the ACIA predictive bandwidth model, to enable users to calculate future bandwidth needs based on changing parameters.

Sovereignty, Emergency Response, & Development

The Canadian Arctic must have reliable communication networks to establish and maintain Canada's sovereignty. Emergency responders must have excellent communications on the land, on the sea, and in communities to rapidly respond to both natural and man-made disasters in the Arctic, particularly with the effect of climate change and increase in traffic and resource development.

Communities Must Connect

Sovereignty, development, and emergency response rely heavily on the existence of the 75 Arctic communities that dot the Arctic landscape, stretching from the Yukon-Alaskan border to Baffin Island and up to the North Pole, accounting for over 1/3 of Canada's land mass. Canadians are becoming more reliant on communication services in every aspect of their lives, and the Arctic is no exception. The 100,000 Arctic residents who populate Canada's three Arctic territories must have reliable, affordable communications infrastructure to engage in 21st century opportunities—the long term survival of many Arctic communities depend on it.


The Assessment tables a series of recommendations for consideration by security and emergency response agencies, federal and territorial policy makers, regulators, government departments, government procurement officers and service providers. Recommendations aim to meet future communications needs in light of the existing communications infrastructure, geographic and economic realities of the Arctic.

Communications: A Matter of Survival

Communications for maintaining sovereignty and emergency response is a fundamental requirement in the Arctic. So too, is the need for 21st century communication services for Arctic communities—it is a matter of survival.

Imatiuk Logo Prepared for the Northern Communications & Information Systems Working Group by Imaituk Inc.
Report funded by Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
Site by Manoverboard.
© Government of the Northwest Territories 2011.