Internet speed in Watson Lake has been bumped up to 15 Mbps, the fastest speed ever available in the community.
The upgrade, launched August 20, is three times faster than previously available and brings the community up to speed with the national average.
Ookla, a broadband research company, determined that Canada’s average internet speed is 16.6 Mbps, which place them 34th in the world, landing just above Spain and trailing the United States. Hong Kong is the world leader at 44.14 Mbps.
NorthwesTel announced the upgrade recently, saying it aligns with the company’s modernization plan.
That plan, a $233 million expansion of communications technology, vows to deliver faster internet access across the North, including 4G wireless broadband to 67 communities and upgrades to residential services that will double Internet speeds in 58 terrestrial communities.
With the new service offered in Watson Lake, residential customer allotments have been increased to 150 gigabytes. NorthwesTel said with that cap customers can send and receive 10,000 emails, upload 2,000 pictures, or watch more than 50 standard definition movies in a single month. For business customers, the new service offers a 180 GB usage allotment. The 150 GB residential package costs $119.95 a month. DSL packages range from $41.95 to $89.95.
In 2013, the company invested $44 million into upgrades across the North, launching 4G services in 20 communities, upgrades in four communities and installing new network switches in an additional four communities. Watson Lake is the latest community to receive a complete upgrade.
Plans are in the works to upgrade Watson Lake’s 4G wireless service later in the year. The planned upgrade will extend the 4G wireless range to the Mt. Maichen Ski Hill area.