Fibre-to-the-Home, LEO satellite, unlimited data at core of Northwestel’s applications to CRTC Broadband Fund

Whitehorse, YT, Oct. 8, 2019 - Northwestel has submitted its CRTC Broadband Fund applications, defining the company’s vision for bringing 50/10 Mbps Internet with unlimited data options to every community in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Canada’s northern-based telecommunications provider has proposed investments in next-generation technologies for the North, including Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Telesat’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to deliver on the CRTC’s objectives. Highlights of the company’s proposal, subject to funding approval by the CRTC, include:

  • Fibre-to-the-Home: Northwestel will install Fibre-to-the-Home in terrestrial-served rural communities, allowing the company to meet and exceed the CRTC’s universal service objective.
  • Fibre transport: New fibre transport will be built to Mayo, Ross River, Faro and Dettah.
  • Telesat LEO satellites: Northwestel has signed a memorandum of understanding with Telesat to deliver 50/10/unlimited data Internet to 32 satellite-served Northern communities using Telesat’s planned state-of-the-art LEO satellite constellation, projected to be available in 2023.
  • Unlimited data everywhere: In addition to investments in rural areas, **** Northwestel will upgrade its Hybrid Fibre-Coax (HFC) technology in the 5 communities that already exceed 50/10 Mbps speeds, in order to ensure every community has access to an unlimited Internet data option.

“We believe that distance should not be a limiting factor for northern Canadians. That’s why Northwestel is putting forward our vision for bringing high speed Internet to every community in Canada’s North,” said Northwestel President Curtis Shaw. “We know that broadband has the power to improve access to health and education, strengthen cultural connections and open up new regional economic opportunities in northern Canada. We look forward to the possibility of working with the CRTC to ensure every community shares in those benefits.”

“We support this project, which promises to make the Yukon the most connected jurisdiction in the country,” said Richard Mostyn, Yukon’s Minister of Highways and Public Works. “If approved this initiative will improve broadband access to all citizens, which is the foundation of a modern, diverse economy. With connectivity, Yukoners can continue to live, learn and work in their communities and that is the future of our territory.”

The CRTC has established a universal service objective for every Canadian to have access to 50 Mbps download speed, 10 Mbps upload speed and an unlimited data option. The Commission has established a five-year, $750 million Broadband Fund to help provide all Canadians with access to this level of service. Under Northwestel’s applications, 50/10 Mbps Internet service would be offered in rural communities at the same price as in the North’s larger urban centres.

Northwestel is northern Canada’s leading telecommunications provider, serving 96 communities throughout Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Northern British Columbia and Northern Alberta. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell.

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