Some rural Yukoners who rely on Xplore, formerly known as Xplornet, are relieved to hear they won’t be losing their internet service provider by the end of the year.
The Yukon government announced in a Nov. 10 release that Xplore has extended satellite services to the Yukon until the end of September 2023. In a June 9 notice sent to some customers and provided to the News, Xplornet previously planned to end services on Dec. 31.
The release notes the critical nature of this service for Yukoners living in rural locations.
In a Nov. 14 interview, Norm Carlson said the extension of this service will help out people like him in the interim.
“It’s very good news,” he said.
Carlson appreciates the work of territorial and federal politicians that pushed to make this happen.
“Ensuring that Yukoners have access to internet services is vital and our government advocated with our federal counterparts to ensure this internet service remains available until a new provider can offer services,” Minister of Highways and Public Works Nils Clarke said in the release.
The release advises users will need to switch to a new service provider after Sept. 30, 2023.
In the release, Starlink is optimistic they will be able to offer services in the first half of 2023. The Yukon government is recommending Yukoners who wish to use the service contact Starlink to ensure they are eligible for the service.
The Starlink network is owned by Elon Musk’s Space X.
Neil Fletcher, another rural Yukoner, said Nov. 14 that he is pleased with the news.
“It did feel as though it took a long time to get to this point,” he said.
As a small business owner and member of multiple boards, Fletcher relies on that service to stay connected for work and life purposes. He lives off-grid and off-road in a log cabin on the banks of the Yukon River approximately 70 kilometres away from Dawson City.
He said the loss of Xplore would have had an “enormous impact” on him.
On the back of his mind, Fletcher is concerned about being dependent on another single service provider without any backup.
“[Starlink] is an American company privately owned by a pretty mercurial billionaire,” he said.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” he said.
Contact Dana Hatherly at firstname.lastname@example.org