«Delivered to | Northern Communications Information Systems Working Group c/o Government of Yukon Delivered by | Nordicity Date | Foreword The Project ...»
Activity 3.3 With support from the Selection Advisory group the Broadband Implementation Task Force will assess proposals based on Eligibility Criteria that will include each regional project’s preferred operational model, the core stakeholders’ fnancing structure, and guidelines for local community and Aboriginal participation (e.g., First Mile specifc). Eligibility Criteria will also refect the pan-territorial mandated service standards established in the Ensuring Quality Communications Report and its related fnancial costing analysis – (See Chapter 2 and Chapter 3).
These mandated technical specifcations will comprise the following elements – as defned and explained in relevant sections of the Ensuring Quality Communications Report.
Suggested action steps based on the eligibility criteria include:
1 Ensure that proposals comply with each regional project’s particular operational model, fnancing structure, and guidelines for community and Aboriginal participation.
2 Ensure that proposals comply with mandated technical requirements and timelines (as discussed in Chapter 2 of this report), including guiding principles such as the NCIS-WG’s 4A’s: e.g., accessible, afordable, adequate and adaptable communications infrastructure.
3 Determine the least cost technology solution that meets mandated standards (See Table 3 below for summary and Appendix 2 for detailed specifcations).
Table 3 : Minimum Service Standards
4 Milestone: Select Winning Proposal and Proceed to Project Commencement.
Repeat steps 2.1 to 3.3 as required for each regional project initiative.
Because the regulatory environment is presently uncertain and may be for some time, the Task Force’s funding base should not be held contingent upon it. Nevertheless, the Oversight committee serves a liaison role to keep the Task Force informed of any pertinent regulatory considerations.
Activity 4.1 As the regulatory context is pan-territorial, the Oversight committee should report directly to the Task Force – at large, while advising particular regional project leads (via Project Gating and Implementation committees, required).
Suggested action steps for this committee to accomplish would include the following
1 Clarify possible inclusion of broadband in future CRTC basic service objectives.
2 Check with federal agencies with signifcant responsibilities and/or presence in the Territories.
EVALUATION OF UTILIZATION AND BENEFITS
THE TASK FORCE SHOULD PLAY A LONG TERM ROLE IN THE EVALUATION OF PROJECT IMPACTS
AT THE COMMUNITY, USER GROUP, AND TERRITORIAL LEVELS.As regional projects become implemented and transition to operational service infrastructure the Oversight committee takes on additional responsibilities to coordinate the long term evaluation of utilization and benefts and any potential issues including environmental impacts.
The Oversight committee is intended to be pan-territorial in scope, but it requires an interface with territorial groups that have access to relevant data and research opportunities.
Activity 4.2 For each region the long-term evaluation should be led by the relevant territorial governments and their particular user groups – which will have direct access to core data required for assessing the performance of new infrastructure services.
These regional groups should then report to the Oversight committee so that it can synthesize regional fndings into a pan-territorial perspective for Task Force members (including federal ofcials).
It is suggested that the following action step be taken to establish an evaluation framework:
1 As a preliminary step, an evaluation framework consisting of key data sets and performance indicators should be established – as illustrated in the table below.
These data sets could be compiled from the territorially led Implementation committee activities (e.g., Engagement and Selection advisory) discussed earlier under the implementation of regional projects (as discussed above). Initially the Task Force’s territorial leads will be measuring how their respective regional projects have contributed service improvements over the status quo. Chapter 2 of this report provides baseline measures of currently unmet bandwidth needs in each of the Territories. When regional projects transition to operational service infrastructure, the evaluation of utilization and benefts becomes the focal task to assess to what extent new infrastructure overcomes current limitations and continues to adapt to future demands.
Recommended action steps for conducting the required evaluative research and measurement
include the following:
2 In order to measure uptake of applications by key stakeholders and corresponding usage patterns, it would be essential to ensure data capture as part of the contractual arrangements with the operator and or end user (e.g., Health, Education, Public Safety, etc.). Privacy and security concerns must be adequately satisfed in any data capturing arrangements with private sector operators.
3 Other performance indicators could include the NCIS-WG’s 4A’s of accessible, afordable, adequate and adaptable communications infrastructure. The resulting data could serve both to better understand the interface of connectivity and user behavior but also inform policymakers in understanding and building the business case for connectivity requirements to meet future user needs. Acquiring a sufcient understanding of these qualities would require robust multi-stakeholder engagement through surveys, focus groups, and other mechanisms, led by the territorial government’s and their relevant user groups.
4 At the macro level, the economic impacts of enhanced connectivity in the territorial economies, in terms of jobs and spending as well as externalities such as language and culture retention, literacy rates, education and health outcomes should be measured on a periodic basis. This would require access to contextual data at the level of social surveys and census instruments.
In this regard the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC) and its related Task Force (NBTF) one model of the multi-faceted approach required to evaluate long-term changes. The NBDC regularly gathers information about network quality (over Qiniq) to satisfy its reporting requirements as a federal National Satellite Initiative benefciary. With federal and territorial funding support the NBDC has also commissioned several important connectivity reports to satisfy its broadband development mandate, including: Nunavut Fibre Optic Feasibility Study, and An Assessment of the Socioeconomic Impact of Internet Connectivity in Nunavut, both in 2012. In 2012 the NBDC also struck a new Task Force to help Nunavut stakeholders develop a consensus the Territory’s pressing connectivity infrastructure issues. It is
5 The Oversight committee should take a multi-faceted approach to synthesize the fndings of each territorial group for the purposes of long term reporting to Task Force stakeholders.
5. BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATIONAdequate funding for implementation and stakeholder engagement would have to be made available on a recurring basis from the federal and/or territorial governments – to ensure fnancial stability.
The NCIS-Working Group has been given the tasks of reviewing this report and making recommendations to the various agencies and government departments involved. In the scenario that the Working Group accepts the conclusions of the report, it would be logical, as part of the overall recommendations, that they would also address funding for the committee processes and structures described in this chapter, staring with the Oversight committee.
The committee structure and processes proposed here will be in place for multiple years and correspondingly multi-year funding will be required to complete the tasks described.
6. CONCLUSIONIn this Chapter we have proposed a system of recommended activities for implementation and stakeholder engagement in the near and long terms. The system provides a plan for going forward based on the foundational work of the NCIS-WG, and the collaborative ethos it has inculcated. Going forward requires a mandate to fund and oversee new Arctic communications infrastructure. This mandate must be sufciently strong to establish a joint federal and panterritorial commitment to Arctic communications by enabling sustainable funding, innovative solutions, and a Broadband Implementation Task Force capable of undertaking the work that needs to be accomplished. Moreover, going forward implies a long-term Task Force presence to assess and understand how current and future infrastructure meets Arctic standards and addresses requirements of accessibility, afordability, adequacy, and adaptability. This Chapter suggests activities by which the ongoing development of Arctic communications infrastructure can meet the evolving needs of northern governments, communities, and their constituents with sufciently allocated resources.
Auyuittuq National Park, Nunavut
Chapter 6: Conclusions and Recommendations In this chapter, we outline the key conclusions and recommendations - with a brief description of the corresponding lines of evidence to show how these were developed.
In order to demonstrate that a sustainable, long-term connectivity solution for the Territories is
feasible, we set out to develop the following deliverables:
Minimum recommended service standards for user groups and bandwidth capacity requirements for communities across the Territories.
Costing of infrastructure corresponding to minimum bandwidth requirements for specifc communities as well as territorial roll up of costs;
A sustainable fnancial model for enhanced connectivity;
Economic and socio-economic benefts of enhanced bandwidth; and, Practical ‘way forward’ pathways for implementation and engagement of stakeholders.
1. DEVELOPMENT OF RECOMMENDED MINIMUM SERVICE
STANDARDS AND BANDWIDTH CAPACITY REQUIREMENTSMinimum recommended service standards by user category were identifed ranging from residential to health and social services. The standards were developed by applying a Dynamic Optimization Model that considered the range of current applications in use (e.g., video conferencing, emailing, etc.) and simultaneity of usage of applications in each category.
As expected, minimum speed requirements varied greatly from 2 Mbps for public works user category to 11 and 16 Mbps for high priority, front-line education and health services respectively (see Figure below). Overall, we found that a minimum speed of 9 Mbps download and 1.5 Mbps upload (referred to as the 9 Mbps bandwidth – see Table below) is required to meet current needs of users in the communities.
The minimum connectivity levels recommended in this report are signifcantly higher than those currently available to users in most communities and CRTC’s aspirational target of 5 Mbps.
These recommendations represent revisions and improvements to the 2011 Arctic Communications Infrastructure Assessment Report (‘ACIA Report’) titled A Matter of Survival – Arctic Communications Infrastructure in the in the 21st Century by Imaituk Inc.
for Northern Communications Information Systems Working Group, This report identifed the size of various user groups in the 75 communities and corresponding broadband connectivity user needs which in turn became the recommended goals and standards.
User categories as established in the ACIA report were used in this study.
Based on national and global trends, we also concluded that bandwidth requirements for the user categories would continue to increase at a very aggressive rate throughout the study period.
Figure : Applications versus Service speed Five key service standards for Northern Connectivity were considered and goals were recommended for all except reliability - as described in the table below.
Aggregate minimum bandwidth requirements were identifed for each of the 75 communities in the three Territories. The community calculations were based on bandwidth calculations by user category, mapping of the network platforms, contention ratios as well as occupational and population data sourced from the ACIA report (see Chapter 2). These aggregate bandwidth requirements by community are the prerequisite for the establishing the costing of the three service delivery platforms: fbre, satellite and microwave – and in turn, the least cost infrastructure solution for each of the 75 northern communities.
For reference purposes, an average minimum bandwidth speed per community was calculated for each of the Territories. We concluded minimum bandwidth requirements needed to be adjusted upwards signifcantly – from 147% for Nunavut to 463% for Yukon (see Table below).