NorthwesTel presents modernization plans to CRTC

by Andrew Roach on June 18, 2013

Over the past year or so, the CRTC has put a major emphasis on ensuring that residents living in the Far North are able to benefit from the same communications infrastructure as those in more urban areas.

To do this, NorthwesTel has presented their modernization plan to the regulator in order to show how they plan to upgrade the region over the next decade or so.

While the upgrades are necessary to the region, the wireless carrier has stated that it would cost $233m to implement the plan over the next few years.

NorthwesTel have been the dominant telecom operator in the Far North for many years but the BCE owned firm has come in for criticism in the last few years for their dated set-up and poor coverage throughout the region.

In NorthwesTel’s plans, it would see a marked improvement on the amount of modern communication features that are taken for granted in many of the bigger cities further south.

This would include the amount of 4G coverage increased significantly in the region with 83 communities able to benefit from the connection rather than the 16 towns that currently have a 4G set-up.

Alongside that, 96 communities in the area will also receive stronger network coverage with faster internet speeds and boosted calling options available for users to benefit from.

When discussing their plans, NorthwesTel believes that their ideas will help citizens in the Northwest Territories get to grips with all the latest option that are popular in many larger cities. These thoughts were underlined by NorthwesTel CEO Paul Flaherty who told the press that “when it comes to telecommunications, our customers are really no different than any other Canadians. They have the same needs and want the same products as anyone else.”

“They want to use the latest and greatest smartphones. They want high-speed Internet, Skype and YouTube, not just on their desktop, but also on their tablet,” he added.

But the investment will certainly be a costly one should it be given the go-ahead as NorthwesTel have estimated the cost of their plans to be around $233m.

This is certainly a big investment with the region only being home to 107,000 residents throughout the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.

But before any of the work can go ahead, the plans still need to be approved by the CRTC where they will be finalised over the next few months .

NorthwesTel’s modernization plans will continue to be presented to communities throughout the region until Thursday when the consultation phase will finish and then left to the CRTC to make a final decision on the plans later on this year

With many companies now looking to digital products and the Internet to advertise their services, it seems that even those living in the Far North are set to be bitten by the same digital boom that has already hit and integrated itself within communities much further south.

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Written by: Andrew Roach www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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