Whitehorse Daily Star

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Northwestel rolls out Internet plan

Construction is underway on Northwestel Inc.’s three-year project to bring high-speed unlimited Internet to every community in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

By Whitehorse Star on June 14, 2021

Construction is underway on Northwestel Inc.’s three-year project to bring high-speed unlimited Internet to every community in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Crews will be rolling out several hundred kilometres of fibre this summer to set up Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections for more than 2,600 households.

Northwestel plans to leverage FTTH technology to introduce high-speed unlimited Internet service to customers in the following communities by the end of 2021. In the Yukon, they are Dawson City, Watson Lake, Teslin and Upper Liard.

In the N.W.T., they are Fort Providence, Fort Liard, and Behchok. Fort Simpson and Jean Marie River will be completed “as conditions allow for fibre construction work,” the company said last Monday.

“We’re kicking off Northwestel’s Every Community project by making significant upgrades to our telecommunications network in Yukon and the Northwest Territories,” said Northwestel president Curtis Shaw.

“Throughout the summer, we will be replacing aging copper wiring to people’s homes with fibre-to-the-home technology. These upgrades will allow Northwestel to deliver unlimited high-speed Internet service to customers later this fall – at the same rates as in northern city centres.”

Northwestel’s project partners have begun working in some communities already, such as Dawson.

Crews are replacing existing network equipment in each community with fibre and connecting new fibre-optic lines directly to the outside of people’s homes.

Residents can expect to receive fibre construction information by mail in the coming weeks.

Personnel are following strict COVID-19 protocols during construction, working from safety plans which have been approved by each community’s respective territorial government.

The construction team will gain all appropriate consents from the homeowner or residents to access the outside of the property and will leave all properties just as they found them once the work is complete.

Northwestel’s goal is to bring fibre to homes within the town limits of each community – regardless of whether the household is a current Northwestel customer.

There is no charge to residents for the work, and there is no obligation whatsoever to purchase or upgrade a Northwestel service.

The company encourages all residents to allow for the fibre installation, even if just to provide options in the future.

Comments (15)

Up 0 Down 2

Brendon on Jun 17, 2021 at 5:49 pm

Will this be done in Mendenhall?

Up 11 Down 1

YukonMax on Jun 17, 2021 at 6:20 am

Been here 28 years...
I have no expectations whatsoever.

Up 12 Down 9

Hur dur on Jun 16, 2021 at 7:12 am

Conservatives complaining of the services and prices they recieved after a government service went private.
Maybe critical public infrastructure shouldn't be a for-profit industry?

Up 6 Down 3

Just smile and nod on Jun 15, 2021 at 7:24 pm

@jim dandy dial-up hasn't existed here for quite some time sooo I'm not sure but I think you mean DSL, which is provided by expensive copper wiring and FTTH will replace.

Up 8 Down 11

Sheepchaser --- uh? on Jun 15, 2021 at 6:33 pm

The internet is a controlled mechanism to indoctrinate. Simple facts. You get completely different sites depending on the nation you live in when you search. Alternative medicine websites are pushed down and not even hosted on North American websites. Certain information will only direct you a certain way and refuse to show you credible counter argument. Google and Facebook have both been caught changing the alogorithm. Not to say it's not useful. But when it comes to "Humanity's knowledge," it's not. It's what you're allowed to see. It is by no means an "open source" sharing of knowledge. It's a modern marketing tool used to convince and influence minds. It hasn't been free thought since before the early 90's.

Up 6 Down 0

Thank you! on Jun 15, 2021 at 6:29 pm

Is there anything that businesses in the remote communities can do to facilitate infrastructure upgrades at the same time? If there is fibre being run outside my door, i'd love to have the chance to pay some money to get the fastest infrastructure at my site as possible!

Up 17 Down 11

Matthew Glanfield on Jun 15, 2021 at 10:47 am

I wouldn't hold your breath. NorthwestTel are without doubt the worst internet provider I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. I pay thousands for DSL internet and it is ridiculously expensive and restrictive because of the packages offered.
If they are serious about wanting to make things better for small communities they need to offer unlimited internet on DSL and if it's more expensive for them, then maybe they might speed up the Fibre Internet roll out.

Up 17 Down 13

Sheepchaser on Jun 15, 2021 at 10:05 am

This is NWTel responding to pressure from government which is finally getting honest advice about how long they’ve had the wool pulled over their eyes by a Bell Canada subsidiary who’s infrastructure investments are almost entirely paid for by the tax payer. Tax payers who then still have to pay the highest monthly fees allowed by law.

Northern youth must have equitable access to the digital economy. As a tool, when used appropriately, the internet is the repository for most of humanity’s knowledge right at our fingertips. That said, 90% is garbage. With some education and guidance, there are innumerable possibilities for the next generation to get educated and find work without having to leave their communities. The pandemic has pushed institutions like Queen’s University and others to offer all of their degrees online. Many businesses have abandoned or downsized their offices for remote work.

Did you know that every NWTel employee has access to $2000~ish per year to attend ‘a conference relevant to their position’ anywhere in the world? And you, the NWTel client pay for that. Funny how all those conferences happen to be in Hawaii or Vegas. Must be nice.

The rot of corruption is beginning to stink more strongly than ever in the Yukon. The consequences of pork barrel choices and self interest will no longer be accepted quietly. To those executives, senior leadership and the like, I say: Retire, adapt or fall. We are coming. And we have the evidence.

Up 15 Down 1

Groucho d'North on Jun 15, 2021 at 10:00 am

I am pleased to see FTTH finally arriving in the north. Copper service is far too limited for the technology of today and thats just over the horizon. Infrastructure is only half of the issue to provide the north with telecom services equitable to the rest of the country. The price for these services is still much higher than our southern counterparts, but I have faith that competition from Mr. Musk's Skylink venture will help to address this imbalance. I am also happy to hear the CRTC's decision making is being criticized by more subscribers nationwide.

Up 10 Down 16

Wilf Carter on Jun 15, 2021 at 9:58 am

Don't forget Trudeau wants to tax the internet programs all over the place and has already started. He is going to control what you say on internet especially about him and liberals. Our human rights are gone. So what do we do about Yukoners and Canadians?

Up 9 Down 1

noghama on Jun 14, 2021 at 11:04 pm

Ever since they started laying down the fibre optic cable in Watson, the internet had slowed down quite significantly! Some days it's impossible to do something as basic as sending an email... hope this new service comes soon! And if it's unlimited, even better!

Up 5 Down 5

Jim dandy on Jun 14, 2021 at 9:23 pm

Has this anything to do with elongated muskrat and his starlink system? How about the rest of Whitehorse still stuck with dial up?

Up 13 Down 3

Hoby Irwin on Jun 14, 2021 at 6:59 pm

Wonderful! To bad I can't get DSL when I live 50m off the Carcross Rd. The house has had DSL before but they say " we have an issue and are working to fix it". The issue has been going on for 20 yrs but they are working on it.

Up 23 Down 7

Denise Simmons on Jun 14, 2021 at 3:20 pm

There's orange rolls of cable on the highway between Stewart and Mayo, is Mayo getting the upgrades or is this just more upgrades for mines? Internet is slow and over priced in Mayo! Online learning and normal use bills are $400 per month.

Up 10 Down 65

JSM on Jun 14, 2021 at 3:05 pm

Another service that you will need to be 6 figure income to afford. There is nothing wrong with our current internet and this will definitely come back some way and bite us in the butt, If it wasn't for all those youth so obsessed with their phones and violent video games we would be absolutely fine. I would start by outlawing those.

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