Northwestel has applied to its federal regulator for temporary relief on customer internet usage as part of its COVID-19 response.
The Northern communications company is proposing to waive any overage charges for customers exceeding their internet usage charges in March and April in the NWT, which is served by cable internet. In communities that are served by satellite, Northwestel is asking the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to allow the doubling of internet usage caps. This would include communities such as Iqaluit, Arviat, Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet, Colville Lake, Gameti, Lutsel K’e, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Sambaa K’e, Ulukhaktok and Wekweeti.
The company has also proposed to create a new unlimited option in communities served by cable internet, which would come into effect in May, after the waiver of internet usage overage fees expires.
“The CRTC has previously acknowledged that Northwestel’s residential DSL Internet rates are significantly below its costs. Northwestel’s proposal therefore 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,” a Northwestel news release issued on Monday reads.