As part of it’s COVID-19 response, Northwestel has submitted an “urgent” application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for temporary relief on residential Internet usage in the north.
Northwestel has proposed waiving any overage charges for customers exceeding their Internet usage caps during March and April in terrestrially-served communities (most communities in Yukon, NWT, northern Alberta and northern BC).
Northwestel has already began augmenting capacity to accommodate the expected increase in usage on its network.
In the remaining satellite-served communities, where it is not technologically possible to quickly increase capacity, Northwestel has proposed temporarily doubling internet usage caps.
This includes NWT communities such as Colville Lake, Gameti, Lutselk’e, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Samba K’e, Ulukhaktok, Wekweeti.
Northwestel has also proposed to create a new unlimited option in cable communities to come into effect in May once the waiver of Internet usage overage fees expires.
Northwestel’s proposal includes the CRTC freezing the subsidy for telecommunications in northern high-cost serving areas at 2019 levels to ensure adequate funding for northern telecommunications in this critical period.
All Northwestel’s terrestrial Internet packages and rates are regulated, and the proposed changes will only take effect with CRTC approval.