Telecommunications in Greenland

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Radio Upernavik, the local radio station in Upernavik, Greenland. Photo by Kim Hansen, 2007.

Telecommunications in Greenland include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Greenland has, by law, only one service provider for telecommunications and the Internet, TELE Greenland, which is fully owned by the Greenlandic Home Rule government.[1] TELE Greenland provides switched telephone and data, land mobile communications, and VHF and MF shore-to-ship communication.[2] This type of monopoly is not uncommon in Greenland.

Radio and television[edit]

KNR Headquarters in Nuuk

The state broadcaster is Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa (KNR, Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation), which provides one television and one radio service nationwide.[3] Both broadcast in Greenlandic and Danish. Administered as an independent public corporation by the Greenlandic government, KNR has a seven-person board and management committee. They employ 100 people and are funded publicly and by advertising.[4]

A few private local TV and radio stations are also available as are Danish public radio rebroadcasts.[5] An umbrella organization in Greenland, known as the STTK, operates local radio and TV stations throughout the country.[citation needed] There are also American Forces Network stations, operated by the United States Air Force.

Greenlanders owned an estimated 30,000 radios and 30,000 television sets, as of 2002.[6][dated info]


There are adequate domestic and international telephone services, provided by cables and microwave radio relay. The system was totally digitized in 1995. The Greenland Connect submarine cable provides connectivity to Europe via Iceland and to North America via Newfoundland.[8] TELE Greenland first used satellite communication in 1978 and currently uses 15 satellite earth stations (12 Intelsat, 1 Eutelsat, and 2 Americom GE-2), all over the Atlantic Ocean.[5]


  • Greenland has a single Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  • The country code for top-level domains is: .gl[5]
  • There are 15,645 Internet hosts which places Greenland 123rd in the world (2012).[5]
  • 37,442 people or 64.9% of Greenland's population were able to use the Internet (2012).[9][10]
  • There were 11,117 fixed broadband subscriptions placing Greenland 146th in the world with a 19.4% penetration rate ranking Greenland 50th in the world (2012).[9][11]
  • There were 2,803 mobile broadband subscriptions placing Greenland 144th in the world with a 4.9% penetration rate for 111th ranking (2012).[12]
  • Greenland has been allocated 16,384 IPv4 addresses, less than 0.05% of the world's total or 284 addresses per 1000 people (2012).[13][14]

Internet censorship and surveillance[edit]

Further information: Internet censorship in Denmark

As a territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland has a democratically elected home-rule government whose powers may encompass all matters except foreign and national security affairs, police services, and monetary matters. Greenlanders have the same rights throughout the kingdom as other citizens.[15]

The Danish government places no restrictions on access to the Internet and there are no credible reports that e-mail or Internet chat rooms are monitored without appropriate legal authority. Authorities continue to employ an Internet filter designed to block child pornography. In no known cases did the filter affect legitimate sites. The Danish Constitution provides for freedom of speech and press with some limitations such as cases involving child pornography, libel, blasphemy, hate speech, and racism, and the government generally respects these rights in practice.[15]

In April 2013, the registrar for the .gl domain unilaterally voluntarily suspended resolution of, intended to be a new primary Domain Name for the famous Bittorrent search engine The Pirate Bay.[16] This caused transient inconvenience to some File Sharing Internet users.


  1. ^ Tele-Post: Kalaallit Nunaat Nunarsuup Qeqqani
  2. ^ "TELE Greenland A/S", Telecommunication Development Bureau, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 17 December 1997. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  3. ^ Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa (KNR): Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation.
  4. ^ "About KNR", Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa (KNR): Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation, 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Communications: Greenland", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 3 December 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  6. ^ Jenny B. David, "Greenland Press, Media, TV, and Newspapers", Press Reference, 2002. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  7. ^ Dialing Procedures (International Prefix, National (Trunk) Prefix and National (Significant) Number) (in Accordance with ITY-T Recommendation E.164 (11/2010)), Annex to ITU Operational Bulletin No. 994-15.XII.2011, International Telecommunication Union (ITU, Geneva), 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  8. ^ "The marine cable: Greenland Connect", TELE Greenland. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  9. ^ a b Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012", Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  10. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  11. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  13. ^ Select Formats, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  14. ^ Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  15. ^ a b "Denmark", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 22 March 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  16. ^ "New Pirate Bay Greenland Domains (About to be) Seized". TorrentFreak. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 

External links[edit]