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Press Release -- July 25th, 2013
Source: Arctic Fibre


Toronto, Ontario-  July 25, 2013 –  The dream of faster, more affordable and reliable broadband telecommunications to Canada’s North will move one step closer to reality in mid-August as Arctic Fibre Inc. begins its physical landing site surveys at seven locations across Nunavut and one site in Northern Quebec.

Starting August 19th in Iqaluit, a seven-person survey team comprised of Arctic Fibre’s environmental advisor, AECOM Consulting; telecom engineering firm, WFN Strategies; community liaison consultant, Madeleine Redfern; TE SubCom marine surveyors, and Arctic Fibre staff will visit the Nunavut communities of Iqaluit, Cape Dorset, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay.

Madeleine Redfern, President of Ajungi Arctic Consulting, stated, “At each community the Arctic Fibre team will meet with elders, hamlet mayors and council members, Community and Land Resource Committee members, local hunters and the public to ascertain the most appropriate location to land the backbone cable.” She added, “Potential subcontractors for civil works will also have an opportunity to present their credentials to the Arctic Fibre team who are committed to creating as much local participation as possible.”

“Arctic Fibre has undertaken extensive desk top marine and terrestrial surveys which reflect the normal cable landing factors such as tides, currents, seabed conditions, and proximity to terrestrial telecom facilities,” said Douglas Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of Arctic Fibre Inc.

“However, we want the benefit of the local communities’ expertise with regard to ice conditions and the most suitable location away from anchorages and any environmentally-sensitive areas and habitat. That’s why we will be holding consultative meetings in each community, as well as physically examining the various landing site options and alternative routings across the Boothia Peninsula from Taloyoak to Lord Mayor Bay.”

The  site visit times and community meetings are tentatively scheduled as follows, with any changes due to weather conditions or technical factors being posted in the local media, community centres, and post offices.

Community                                        Date                      Time                      Location

Iqaluit Site Visit                               Mon Aug 19th     1500 hrs               Apex Bay (near Hudson’s Bay outpost)

Iqaluit Meeting                                Mon Aug 19th     1800                       Hotel Arctic

Cape Dorset                                       Tues Aug 20th     0930                       Cape Dorset Beach

Cape Dorset Meeting                    Tues Aug 20th     1200                       Hamlet Office

Hall Beach Site Visit                       Tues Aug 20th     1715                       Hall Beach

Hall Beach Meeting                        Tues Aug 20th     1800                       Hamlet Office                  

Igloolik Site Visit                             Wed Aug 21st     0930                       Igloolik Beach  

Igloolik Meeting                              Wed Aug 21st     1200                       Hamlet Office                  

Cambridge Bay Site Visit              Thu Aug 22nd      0900                       Beach opposite DND Cambridge Bay

Cambridge Bay                                 Thu Aug 22nd      1800                       Hamlet Office  

Gjoa Haven Site Visit                     Fri Aug 23rd         0900                       Gjoa Haven ramp south side

Gjoa Haven                                        Fri Aug 23rd         1200                       Hamlet Office

Taloyoak Meeting                           Fri Aug 23rd         1500                       Hamlet Office                  

Taloyoak Site Visit                          Sat Aug 24th        1800                       Spence Bay

The specific schedule and any revisions will be posted on the company’s website: announced on local radio and posted around the community. 

A separate site visit to Deception Bay in Nunavik, Northern Quebec, will follow the Nunavut excursion to ascertain the viability of building a spur off the backbone to meet the bandwidth requirements of mining companies in the area.

The determination of the cable landing locations and Boothia Crossing route will form part of the company’s submissions to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) and the Nunavut Planning Commission (NPC).  Approvals from NIRB and NPC are prerequisites to the issuance of an International Submarine Cable Landing Licence from the Minister Responsible for Industry Canada.

Arctic Fibre submitted its licence application to Industry Canada last October but finalization of the survey schedule required ice clearance at all landing points. The finalization of landing site locations will enable Arctic Fibre to refine its undersea routes and undertake the detailed marine studies later this year and with the bulk of the work being completed in 2014. The scheduled in-service date for the $620 million backbone network between London and Tokyo is December 2015.

By combining an Arctic broadband network in the same cable sheath with a trans-continental link between Asian and European financial centres, Arctic Fibre can build a backbone network serving half of the population of Nunavut without government subsidy.

In February the Company submitted a $237 million proposal to Industry Canada which would extend the fibre cable to 23 additional northern communities with the assistance of nine microwave hops.  This secondary network expansion, which would require some form of government support, would ensure the provision of  virtually unlimited bandwidth to 98% of the combined Nunavut and Nunavik population, thereby supporting both economic and social development, while contributing significantly to Canada’s nation-building in its Arctic region.

For further information:

Douglas Cunningham                                     Madeleine Redfern

Arctic Fibre Inc.                                                 Ajungi Consulting

416 905 6263                                                       867 979 1167                         

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