The Human Network
A Truly Human Network
For all of the advanced technology in our Network, the most interesting part might be the human network that makes it run. Our one-of-a-kind model involves contracting and training something we call Community Services Providers.
Typically a local business owner or long-time resident, a CSP acts as SSi’s representative in a community. She will sign up new users, provide basic technical support, and generally look after the local client base. As compensation, CSPs receive 20 per cent of the local revenue stream for the services they sell and support.
Not only do CSPs ensure SSi has local representation, they also provide insight into each community. CSPs also help predict future trends in broadband use and allow SSi to better meet its customers’ demands. Our Nunavut market is unlike any other in the world. It has an incredibly high number of young people and great discrepancies in terms of household income. Also, 85 per cent of its residents are Inuit. Therefore it’s important we understand the language, culture and desires of our Nunavut customers.
The QINIQ CSP system provides a number of benefits within Nunavut. Each year the system provides $1 million in total income to CSPs. Considering the high unemployment rates in many Nunavut communities, this money is remarkable. The system also helps Nunavummiut build successful IT-based businesses.
The CSP system is also great for QINIQ customers. With an on-the-ground representative, customers get immediate attention to basic problems. This eliminates the need to wait for a representative to fly in from Yellowknife or Ottawa to receive technical support.
Meet some of our CSP's
Bob & Sarah have been involved with bringing Internet to the community of Sanikiluaq since 1998. They launched the first dial up service in the community and later got involved in the Nunavut Broadband Task Force to recommend new ways to use Internet services in Nunavut.
Bob and Sarah have been staunch supporters of bringing affordable, reliable, fast Internet to ALL of Nunavut since 1998. They have been the community service providers in Saniqiluaq for the QINIQ service since its inception. Bob is the manager of two Inuit owned companies:
Soapstone Artists of Sanikiluaq is an online Internet store that provides information and online shopping for Inuit soapstone carvings and other artwork. Sanny Internet, is Sanikiluaq's local ISP offering sales and technical support. Local customers can sign up for QINIQ broadband Internet services here.
Darrell has been an integral player in bringing Internet services to the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut since 1997. He was one of the principal people who started Polarnet eleven years ago, delivering dial up internet services to residents and businesses in Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk, Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak and Kugaaruk. Today Polarnet is the CSP for QINIQ in four Kitikmeot communities. Darrell manages and trains staff in these communities to act as the CSP in their respective communities.
A life long resident of Cambridge Bay, Darrell sees a huge potential for Broadband to help Nunavummiut improve ways of communicating - including VoIP, videoconferencing, and various forms of real-time communication. Darrell has been actively involved in bringing new service to the Kitikmeot region since the early 90s. He recently negotiated for Polarnet to be the Globalstar Dealership reseller for satellite phones.
Darrell is the the chairman of the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation (NBDC). They recently announced a $21 million investment from the federal government for satellite bandwidth for the next 5 year and for the development of new services requested by Nunavummiut.
Richard has been working in the IT industry since 1998 when he started working for Polarnet providing dial up internet services and support to local residents. Today, Richard is the Assistant Manager at Polarnet. He has been providing customers in Cambridge Bay with QINIQ broadband services since early 2005.
Richard was born and raised in Cambridge Bay. He and his wife feel that broadband has brought a lot to the North. They value the ability to utilize VOIP and video technologies to stay in touch when Richard is traveling away from home. Richard is able to stay connected to his kids in a much more personal way, making the journey much easier. He notes that keeping in touch with family around Nunavut is also more affordable and families tend to connect with one another a lot more often.
Richard takes advantage of the internet in his off time, and appreciates the conveniences of online shopping. When items are not available locally, having the option of finding what you need online and comparing prices is so much easier today than it was before broadband became available.