Through a partnership between KIA (Kitikmeot Inuit Association) and SSI Micro they have teamed up to launch a network of radio stations in Canada’s high arctic on the Northwest Passage. These stations are connected through satellite based internet services using virtual clustering to allow local servers to be accessed locally, save considerable costly bandwidth and enhance the user experience.
The pilot project was launched July 9th and was timed to coincide with KIA’s 40th Anniversary. Nodes of the KRN were deployed in Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk, and Ottawa, and were used to broadcast a live FM broadcast and Internet stream of Nunavut Day Music Festival held in Cambridge Bay. The success of the project paves the way to expand the project to all Nunavut communities.
“This is a classic example of how the extreme reliability and cost-efficiency of Linux is an excellent fit for Northern data networks,” says Bob Miller of Computerisms, a long-time promoter of Linux and Open Source Software. “It is perfectly suited to running in environments with scarce hardware and network resources, and requires a minimum of maintenance so is ideal for hard-to-get-to geographic locations.
KIA’s primary purpose for initiating the KRN project is as a language preservation tool. Communities will work with Inuit Language speakers to create a library of media, including language lessons, oral history, and contemporary information. OpenBroadcaster online media library function will be used for long-term storage of this media, where radio station programmers in any community can schedule it for broadcast for years to come. The KRN nodes in Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk will be used to broadcast daily shows in the Inuinnaqtun and Inuktitut dialect in the two communities.