Greenlanders flock to the Internet

greenland-flagGreenlanders are hooking up to the Internet in droves since the Greenland Connect sea cable was connected to the island on 24 March. Within the first month of its operation, Internet use jumped 25 percent.

Sermitsiaq reports Tele Greenland’s new ADSL Premium service is particularly popular, luring hundreds of customers with its faster speed and larger capacity for downloading at a single set rate. In anticipation of a big increase in their Internet customers, Tele Greenland has already approached the government and asked it to lower rates by 35 million kroner.

If the government agrees to help make Internet access more affordable, the lower rates will take effect on 1 June. Tele Greenland wants to use 30 million kroner to reduce its rate per megabyte, and the remaining five million kroner to reduce installation and subscription prices.

Greenland currently has 12,300 Internet users, a small number in most countries. But the rapid increase in Internet use is causing Greenland’s postal service, Tele Post, to lose out. SIKUnews reports that between 2001 and 2008 the sale of postage stamps fell by up to 38 percent and the overall amount of post delivered dropped by the same percentage.

The decline in traditional postal services is slowly eroding Tele Post’s profitability, suggesting that one day Greenland’s snail mail may be forced into extinction. But for now, the island is enjoying its new connectivity to the World Wide Web.

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