Our Story

SSi – Our Northern Roots Story

SSi’s CEO and President Jeff Philipp is the son of Sieg Philipp, who moved to Canada from East Germany in 1956. In 1962 he settled in Fort Providence, NWT. In 1963 he met and married Memoree, their adventure in both family and business would forever change the landscape of this small indigenous community that they had fallen in love with.

SSi is a family owned company which began in the small Indigenous community of Ft. Providence, NWT. SSi is named after the family business.
The Snowshoe Inn ~ Est. 1965, which is still running strong.

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Let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Brilliance, innovation, commitment to community.

1980 – A Young Jeff Philipp
A young Jeff Philipp was developing a passion for computers. Always on the lookout for the latest and fastest models, he became the go-to guy in Fort Providence, NWT. And started making connections in the world of computers and technology

1990 – SSi Micro was born. Aptly named with a nod to the family business

  • A small computer store opened in Ft. Providence
  • Business grew quickly. Jeff decided SSi should focus on retail
  • Gateway was the #1 brand in the market. The problem (opportunity) was there were no retailers

Undeterred, Jeff flew to the Gateway head office in Iowa to meet with the president Ted Waite whom he convinced to make SSi Micro, Northern Canada’s “international Gateway distributor”.

SSi Micro Logo

1995 – SSi Yellowknife is established

  • Our young entrepreneurs opened a retail outlet and training lab
  • Internet service was added to the retail mix
  • Quickly, SSi was the largest dial-up Internet provider in Yellowknife
  • Internet sales grew overnight – to the significant benefit of Northern consumers
  • The competition believed SSi would fail. Thanks to brilliant software development, SSi proved everyone wrong
  • Within a year, SSi was the largest dial-up Internet provider in Yellowknife
SSi Building

1998-1999 – Satellite ~ we can do that!

SSi built its first satellite network connecting the five communities of the Kitikmeot region of western Nunavut. It was a complicated challenge, and SSi’s first foray into satellite technology. A year later SSi links Sakku Corp.’s existing Kivalliq satellite network to SSi’s network. A communications success for SSi and the North!

Local Training was necessary to train Community Service Providers (CSPs) to deal with customers and resolve potential problems. All students passed the course. Most were Inuit.

Satellite Dish Install

2000 – SSi’s Mesh Satellite Network

SSi installs a satellite network in nine communities served by the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC).

This new “mesh” satellite network was the first of its kind in Canada and fifth in the world, winning SSi the Next Generation Solution Award at the Canadian Information Productivity Awards (CIPA) in 2000.

2001 – Satellite in Ottawa was established

A satellite antenna dish was installed in Ottawa giving SSi independent control over northern communications services and network operations.

Satellite Dish Install

2003-2004 – Caring Internationally

  • SSi built a 12-site satellite network in Zambia and Kenya to provide reliable communications for Care International’s remote teams
  • An earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused a devastating tsunami in Indonesia. SSi put all other projects on hold, sent a team and equipment overseas, and installed an emergency satellite broadcast system in Banda Aceh and Jakarta. This remains one of SSi’s most important and rewarding initiatives.
Caring Internationally

2005 – SSi launched SSi QINIQ

Qiniq (Inuktitut word for “search”) was the first broadband network to serve all 25 Nunavut communities. The QINIQ service was so successful that it doubled Industry Canada’s 5-year projection of 2000 subscribers in the first 9 months. Partnership agreements with the Government of Canada have continued to support the growing uptake of QINIQ services by Nunavummiut.

Qiniq Logo

2006 – Broadband Internet for the North

SSi launched the Airware network in 30 Northwest Territories communities, bringing broadband internet to most residents for the first time ever.

2009 – Robust Connectivity for the Government

SSi was selected by the Government of Nunavut to design, deploy, maintain and operate its Wide Area Network, ensuring robust connectivity for all government departments. In twelve short years, SSi had firmly established itself as a leader in the satellite broadband market.

2011 – A new SSi office in Ottawa!

SSi built a state-of-the-art ground station teleport and network operations centre in Ottawa.

Kanata Building

2013 – SSi partnered with Cisco Canada and Connected North

This partnership allowed the first ever delivery of 2-way video conferencing science sessions into northern classrooms. A giant leap for Northern education and healthcare. SSi donated satellite bandwidth to make this project possible.

Connected North

2015-2018 – 4G-LTE SSi undertook a major upgrade to the Qiniq network in Nunavut, investing $75 million to deploy state-of-the-art 4G-LTE and 2G-GSM broadband wireless technologies in all 25 communities.

2003-2004 – SSi partners with Canada C3 Expedition

SSi made communications history by delivering high-speed internet aboard the Canada C3 Expedition vessel as it sailed across the Arctic, enabling vital communications through the sharing of data, videos and live broadcasts to millions of Canadians.

C3 Polar Prince

2018 – SSi Mobile

SSi undertook a major upgrade to the Qiniq network in Nunavut, investing $75 million to deploy state-of-the-art 4G-LTE and 2G-GSM broadband wireless technologies in all 25 communities. millions of Canadians.

SSi Mobile Logo

2019 – SSi Energy is introduced.

Passionate about solving the issues of high heating and energy costs in remote and northern communities, SSiE is a natural fit. Remember, the Snowshoe group of businesses have been off-grid since 1973.

SSi Energy Logo

SSi TODAY – SSi fights for fair competition

  • Is a leader in providing effective and affordable communications services to remote areas.
  • Provides a competitve alternative in small and underserved communities.
  • Has championed the cause for fair pricing and open competition in the northern communications market.
  • Has taken steps in the regulatory area to ensure northern consumers benefit from competitive choice and the best of communications services.

Empowering Communities
Through Passion-Driven Solutions

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