Saturday, February 06, 2010

Canada - G7 tests Nunavut data networks

[cbc] Nunavut's limited telecommunications networks are trying to keep up with an influx of laptops and cellphones for this weekend's G7 meeting.

Northwestel, the primary telecommunications company in Canada's North, says it is boosting internet and cellular phone capacity in time for the two-day summit of international finance ministers and central bank governors, which begins Friday in the Nunavut capital.

The rush to ramp up telecommunications systems comes as some of the 100 or so national and foreign journalists covering the high-level finance meeting say their phones don't work in Iqaluit.

"Cellphones are not working," said Rita Lofano of the Italian news agency AGI. "I work for a newswire, so now I'm just thinking of how am I going to do. From the media point of view, it's a disaster."

Northwestel spokesperson Anne Kennedy said a company has been contracted to provide 80 prepaid cellphones for people whose phones are not compatible with Nunavut's cellular network, which is maintained by Northwestel for Bell Mobility.

G7 tests Nunavut data networks

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