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10. Strategy Forward

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10.1 Introduction

Clearly, the 10 recommendations in Chapter 9 of this Assessment represent a far bigger set of tasks than members of the Northern Communications and Information Systems Working Group can achieve alone.

However, NCIS-WG's role is to provide a forum for discussion and development in the field of communications in the Arctic. NCIS-WG members can play a key role in assisting many other players within government and the private sector to move the agenda forward […]

"Close collaboration with other government departments will be the key to success in ensuring communications pathways, and shared applications will permit sharing of key information in the interests of pursuing our respective missions and mandates."Major Michael O'Donnell, Department of National Defence, Canada Command

10.2 Role of NCIS-WG Members

The purpose of the NCIS-WG is to develop an understanding of communication capabilities in the North, assets that are available, identification of communications deficiencies and redundancies, and development of a timeline to address concerns/issues.

The NCIS-WG also aims to provide a forum for mutual discussion and development in the field of communications in the Arctic. The research, meetings, and collaboration required between governments and service providers in order to produce this Assessment has been an important first step in working toward addressing communications infrastructure concerns and issues […]

10.3 Who Develops an Arctic Communications Infrastructure Strategy?

The decision to solve the communications challenges in the Arctic is a political decision outside of the scope of the NCIS-WG mandate. Sharing the findings of this report may help to move the agenda forward at the political level.

If territorial and federal policy makers decide that modern communications infrastructure is a fundamental requirement for the survival of communities across the Arctic, the next step is determining how to make it happen.

Other countries have taken these steps in the development of their strategies to connect their populations, and the Arctic would benefit in having a well-thought out strategy, distinct from a national strategy. Key steps (as outlined in Chapter 8) include:


10.4 Investment Plan

It is clear that communications infrastructure in the Arctic will require more public money to support its development and evolution. An investment plan will need to be developed, making the rules and regulations for public support clear for service providers, public investors and government procurement officers to avoid a haphazard approach to communications development […]

10.5 Backbone infrastructure options evolving too

Just as recent innovations in consumer products like the iPad or BlackBerry Playbook, or services like Facebook have changed the way consumers connect, recent improvements in backbone infrastructure products also offer new and better ways to connect communities, and people on the land.

There are many examples of current and potential future initiatives in backbone development of relevance to the Arctic. Some of these are included here for reference […]

10.6 NCIS-WG Next steps

The NCIS-WG members may consider these steps:

Whatever actions the NCIS-WG takes, there is significant momentum built from the production of this Assessment. It is hoped that resolutions to the issue of communications infrastructure can continue to move forward with the vision and efforts of the people involved in the NCIS-WG, and the many stakeholders who want to be part of the solution.

This Arctic Communications infrastructure Assessment report is published online at in an effort to make the data and findings widely available to all Arctic stakeholders. […]

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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.