Communications technology is essential in the north and, given the vast geographic differences, is a unique challenge. ACL partnered with NorthwesTel and the National Aboriginal Services Company (NASCo) to form ARDICOM in order to become the Government of Nunavut’s supplier for the project. NASCo’s shareholders are Nunasi Corporation, the Denendeh Development Corporation, Inuvialuit Development Corporation and the Yukon First Nations Development Corporation. The goal of the government was to encourage private industry develop a high-speed, two-way digital communications network linking 58 northern communities, with connections beyond the north. It was important that the successful bid be from a company that was Inuit owned. ARDICOM was awarded the contract in 1997.