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«Delivered to | Northern Communications Information Systems Working Group c/o Government of Yukon Delivered by | Nordicity Date | Foreword The Project ...»

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The diference between Nunavut and the other 2 Territories is the presence of microwave networks for some communities for the later Territories.

These download speed should not be compared with territorial household averages which include fbred communities as download speeds in those communities that currently have fbre are much higher. For example, the advertised download speeds in Whitehorse - on fbre - are 50Mbps.

GDP Impacts The three Territories face very unique societal and geographical obstacles when implementing broadband and pricing structures. GDP growth was calculated by adjusting the benchmarking studies to the unique economic and broadband circumstances in the three Territories. An increase in broadband penetration was found to result in an increase of GDP dollars. Also, an increase in broadband speed impact was a key factor and was found to result in an increase in GDP dollars. In short, if this report’s starting point of 9 Mbps download speed (1.5 Mbps upload) standard is adopted, the North is expected to experience a notable increase in GDP over the 2016-2023 period.




As Figure illustrates, the additional GDP is cumulative and includes the impacts of the previous year until 2023. There is a steady growth in GDP accumulation in the frst few years of implementing the broadband plan. Once the 9 Mbps target has been reached in 2019 for Yukon, NWT and for Nunavut, in 2020, the growth in broadband penetration declines in the model to a more natural path to steady state penetration and the GDP growth becomes more modest in growth.

Figure : Cumulative Additional GDP from broadband connectivity, territorial economies, $ millions, 2016-2023 49.9 48.5 46.5 44.1 41.1 31.6 29.8 28.9 27.7 26.2 24.3 21.6 18.7 23.3 12.8 22.8 22.1 11.0 21.2 17.3 6.6 13.1 8.9 4.5 Source: Nordicity estimates NWT would obtain the greatest cumulative GDP impact: $294.2 million to its economy over the 2016-23 period. In comparison, the Yukon economy would gain a cumulated $174.9 million and the Nunavut economy, $133.1 million. On average, broadband would add $14.8 million in GDP on an annual basis to the Nunavut economy, – while Yukon and NWT broadband would add $19.4 million and $32.7 million of GDP per year respectively.

Table 3 : Total GDP impact, by Territory

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One of the main issues in measuring broadband’s impact on GDP is the difculty in isolating the broadband impact from the overall impacts from general Information and Communications Technology (‘ICT’). Brookings Institution and Criterion Economics’ research suggests that growth in GDP resulting from ICT improvements does not yield particularly clear results and likely has a level of inaccuracy in the results that prevents the data from being taken at ‘face value’. This may be due to the di fculties in isolating the ‘broadband-specifc efect.’ In summary, while the research on broadband’s efects on GDP is not defnitive, the results do point to a positive relationship between broadband adoption and penetration, on the one hand, and GDP growth, on the other – a relationship which is not necessarily explained by other economic factors.

Employment Using Statistics Canada data for GDP and annual growth in employment to estimate the number of jobs created for every $1 million dollar increase in provincial GDP, the employment range impacts are presented in Figure, for all three Territories. The analysis indicates that between 2016-2023 the forecast of broadband penetration and improvements in download speeds is expected to generate between 68 and 220 new jobs in the Yukon economy. The employment impact in Northwest Territories is expected to be 109 to 238 new jobs and the employment impact in Nunavut is expected to be 72 to 178 new jobs. In total, therefore, the expansion of the Ibid.

broadband services in the North (in accordance with the forecast in this analysis) is expected to create between 249 and 636 new jobs in the North between 2016 and 2023.

Figure : Overall Employment Maximum and Minimum projections, 2016-2023 45.0 40.0 35.0 30.0

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Source: Nordicity estimates Fiscal Impact In addition to GDP and employment economic impacts – discussed above - in this section we consider potential fscal impacts. This type of impact is especially pertinent in the evaluation of investment decisions by the territorial governments.

Determination of fscal impacts requires the determination of the quantum of tax revenue generated by broadband’s associated economic impact in each of the Territories for the four taxation categories – as identifed in the table below. The fscal impact was calculated using 2009 tax ratios and the GDP impacts calculated in the economic model.

The personal income tax calculation also required additional data to calculate the portion of wages and salaries that comprise each Territory’s GDP. This was also done using 2009 data in order to preserve the comparability of data. Overall, the NWT government would see the most tax revenue attributed the economic impact of broadband, at $22.3 million, while the Yukon and Nunavut governments would see $9.86 million and $5.45 million in tax revenues, respectively.

The net changes in tax revenues from 2016-2023 are outlined in the table below. Personal income taxes would comprise the greatest portion of tax revenues generated since wages and salaries also comprise the bulk of GDP for each Territory.

In total, broadband would generate $37.61 million in tax revenues for all the Territories between 2016-2023.




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Impact on Resource Development While resource development is often cited as the motor for economic development in the Territories, potential increases in economic and social prosperity from enhanced connectivity would also beneft resource development. As mentioned above, economic growth spurred on by access to improved connectivity would increase the attractiveness of doing business in these remote areas. As reports from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board conclude, current infrastructure defcits are serious impediments to economic activity, adding to the costs of doing business and increasing the logistical challenges to development in the area Investment in new infrastructure that can provide enhanced service standards would not only attract further resource development but would also beneft the community – in terms of accelerating job creation, procurement opportunities and increasing opportunities to build public-private partnerships.

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In Appendix 4, Detailed Economic and Social Benefts Assessment, the economic and socioeconomic benefts of several connectivity projects in other best-practice jurisdictions that share similar characteristics (broadband starting points, demographics, geography, etc.) are discussed to provide context for this study and its fndings.


While not easily quantifed, the socio-economic impacts of improved connectivity in the North nevertheless tell of the positive impacts and efciencies that can occur as a result of achieving improved connectivity.



Education Better broadband connectivity in the Northern schools would improve distance education services that rely on video-conferencing and high-bandwidth for access to course materials.

Improved connectivity can also help with learning and searching for pedagogical resources.

For example, the ACIA report found that the lack of broadband infrastructure in remote communities in the North increases the cost of education. That report describes the enormous positive infuence broadband can have on public expenditures and the obvious benefts to children and students.

Though not exhaustive, some of the education benefts of broadband infrastructure include:

Enabling children to remain in their home community to complete their education, greatly increasing their chances of graduating. The benefts to the individual, society and government when children are educated are signifcant and long term ;

Enabling a wider array of professional development opportunities for educators and adult learners – as seen, for example, in CanNor’s Northern Adult Basic Education Program8 ; and, Facilitating the collection and analysis of greater amounts of student data to more accurately track student performance 8 A close examination of some of the benefts that broadband infrastructure has on education reveals not only useful guiding principles for policy makers to consider when reforming educational policy, but also where cost savings may be introduced in tandem with these policy changes.

Small- and Medium-sized Businesses Reliable network connections and video-conferencing, etc. are key functions required for businesses in today’s market. In order for small and medium sized businesses to compete, broadband access needs to be of equal quality with the rest of Canada and the world. When these businesses experience slow access or Internet outages due to unreliable networks, this can translate into thousands of dollars lost. Under current connectivity constraints, businesses located in the North may miss deadlines for submitting a proposal for projects due to a downed network, for example, thus hindering their competitiveness in their market.




Enhanced and more reliable connectivity would provide a ‘level playing feld’ for small and medium businesses to compete efciently with their southern counterparts. For example, both retailers and consumers would beneft from more reliable networks, faster transaction speeds and new digital wallet services enabled by advanced telecoms networks. There would also be more opportunity for Internet-focused employment like web designers or online businesses since entry into these markets would no longer limited by connectivity. With opening up of the marketplace and access to the rest of the world with improved connectivity, businesses would be able to develop new lines of business, develop markets in southern Canada and globally. 8 Finally, enhanced connectivity would attract new businesses to the north, increasing employment opportunities for northerners and providing increased choice and lower prices for consumers.

8 Katz, R. for the ITU. (2012). “The Impact of Broadband on the Economy: Research to Date and Policy Issues”. Accessed May 16, 2013 from: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/treg/broadband/ITU-BB-Reports_Impact-of-Broadband-on-the-Economy.pdf Healthcare




Average per capita healthcare expenditure (2012 estimates) are much higher in the Territories:

Yukon ($8,916), Northwest Territories ($9,853) and Nunavut ($13, 250) than the Canadian average $5,948. Similarly, the portion of GDP spent on healthcare is higher in the Territories.

Broadband connectivity - when combined with e-health technology - can play a large role in bringing these costs down for the Territories and closer to the national average. Studies commissioned by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (‘CIHI’) indicate that technology can reduce healthcare costs in the medium and long run. Specifcally, enhanced broadband could improve healthcare access while simultaneously reducing transportation costs and improving the speed and quality of care. For example, diagnoses in rural communities can be done quickly and efciently by enabling video-conferencing and diagnostic image sharing between healthcare professionals and between patients and their healthcare providers.

Similarly, video conferencing can be an efcient tool to provide a portion of the continuous education needs of health care professionals. Reliable broadband networks are also a prerequisite for cloud based e-health record systems that are critical for health authorities in developing comprehensive, accurate and standardized health data e-health data are critical to ensure efcient accounting, tracking public health issues and sharing of information amongst professionals. Broadband networks would also enable the development and dissemination of video-based public health information on topics pertinent to the North (e.g., addiction services).

Government Enhanced connectivity – and the improved communications and innovations enabled by it – would greatly support the Government of Canada’s Northern Strategy and its four priority areas


of (i) exercising Canada’s Arctic sovereignty; (ii) protecting Canada’s environmental heritage;

(iii) promoting social and economic development; and (iv) improving and devolving Northern governance.

Improvements in exercising Canada’s sovereignty would include:

Improved remote sensing equipment such as: icebreakers, fsh and wildlife tracking systems; and, Reduction in search and rescue response times, and enhanced collaboration with Arctic neighbours.

Improvements in protecting Canada’s environmental heritage includes:

Modernizing communications equipment used to monitor the impact of the changing climate on environmentally sensitive lands in the North.

Improvements in promoting social and economic development include:

Enhancing the appeal of the North to investors;

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