Northwestel customers face rate increases

In the new year, Northwestel customers will pay more for their local residential and business telephone lines.

In the new year, Northwestel customers will pay more for their local residential and business telephone lines.

The rate increase, approved by the CRTC, pushes up local monthly rates by $2 per residential line and $5 per business line.

This will bring the total cost of a residential line to $31.33 per month from $29.33.

The cost of a single-line business goes to $54.70 per month. Multi-line business rates jump to $63 per month per line, from $58.

It is the telco’s first rate increase in six years.

Residential rates are still below the cost of providing service, said Northwestel in a release.

The business access rates are comparable to rates in southern Canada.

Customers will be told about the rate changes in their January bills and information will also be posted at www.nwtel.ca.

Latitude Wireless adds mobile internet service for a fee

All Yukon communities will soon be able to use cellphones and Blackberries thanks to a recent upgrade of Latitude Wireless’s Yukon-wide digital network.

By the end of December, the service will be rolled out in Dawson City and Old Crow, marking the completion of the overall Latitude Wireless network in the planned 17 Yukon communities six months ahead of schedule.

“Our customers now have access to a similar full suite of features and pricing that cellular customers in southern Canada enjoy,” said Sean McLeish, general manager of Latitude Wireless.

“Communities such as Pelly Crossing and Ross River can now consider themselves as connected with cellular service as most of Canada.”

That means ring tones, text messaging and downloads are now available through everyone’s cellphone.

Customers who want to take advantage of the new internet features will have to contact Latitude Wireless to request access to the new internet features, ensuring customers are fully informed about the various options and their related costs.

“Customers who want to use the data network will be strongly encouraged to get our Unlimited Mobile Browser feature, which allows unlimited access to the network for a monthly fee,” said McLeish.

“That way there won’t be any surprises when the bill arrives.”

Latitude Wireless has scheduled the following series of community events to provide detailed information on the new service:

In Stewart Crossing, December 6 at noon, at the Stewart Crossing Shell Station.

In Pelly Crossing, December 6 at 3 p.m., at the Selkirk First Nation Band Office.

In Carmacks, December 6 at 7 p.m., at the Carmacks Recreation Centre.

In Ross River, December 7 at 3 p.m., at the Ross River First Nation Band Office.

In Faro, December 7 at 7 p.m., at the Faro Recreation Centre.