02 november 2012

Eye on the Arctic – The Digital Divide in the North


Photo courtesy Rachael Petersen

The plans of a Canadian company to build a fibre-optic network stretching from Asia to Europe through the Northwest Passage has been making headlines in Canada this week.

Currently, in places like Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, internet service is provided by satellites. Bandwidth is limited and costs are high.

Arctic Fibre Inc.’s 15,000 kilometre project has been heavily discussed on social media for the improved service it would be able to provide some of Canada’s Arctic communities.
However, some northern residents and commentators say that a long-term solution needs to be found so that all of Canada’s remote northern communities are better served.

To better understand some of these issues, we caught up with Thomas J. Watson Fellow Rachael Petersen. Petersen studies indigenous technology use and spent time this year in the community of Igloolik, Nunavut where she worked with Isuma TV, an interactive online network featuring Inuit multimedia content.

She recently authored a blog post titled “Decolonizing the digital North: why Inuit need better broadband, now.”

Eye on the Arctic’s Eilís Quinn reached Rachael Petersen this week in Ecuador.

Related Links:

Decolonizing the digital North: why Inuit need better broadband, now, Global Native Networks

Isuma TV

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