The AEC Infrastructure: Telecommunications Working Group presented their work product, a report named «Arctic Broadband – Recommendations for an Interconnected Arctic», at the AEC side event at Arctic Frontiers conference Tuesday 24 January 2017. This is the first work product presented by an AEC Working Group, and the first comprehensive Arctic broadband report.

AEC Chair Tara Sweeney says she is proud of the work that the group has put down.

“It is my hope that these recommendations add value to the ongoing discussion of broadband deployment in the Arctic, and serve as a tool for policy makers, investors, researchers and communities to come together for sustainable polar growth.”

The report explores how each Arctic state defines broadband, and the goals each has established for broadband deployment, as well as the overarching societal benefits of broadband.

The document also discusses the challenges that must be considered and surmounted in order to expand broadband in the Arctic, and both funding options and past, current and proposed broadband deployment projects are explored.

Chair of the AEC Infrastructure: Telecommunications Working Group, Robert McDowell, comments:

“The recommendations provided in this report are the result of a true collaborative effort among the business community within the eight Arctic states. Together, local Arctic residents and expert broadband advisors have combined their knowledge to establish a comprehensive strategy for the deployment and adoption of broadband in the far north – a first of its kind.”

Among the goals and recommendations included in the report are examples of potential legal, regulatory, and business practice reforms and strategies that the private sector, NGOs and local, indigenous, provincial, and national governments could undertake to facilitate deployment.

McDowell concludes:

“It is my hope that this document marks the beginning of increased broadband access in the Arctic, and encourage continued work in the field of broadband deployment throughout the circumpolar north.”

Read the report here.

Read the AEC press release here.