Northwestel is planning to extend its waiving of internet overage charges for communities on cable internet, while continuing to raise by 50 per cent the cap for other communities which use satellite DSL until May 31. (Yukon News file)

Northwestel applies to extend internet usage relief

Use is at 50 per cent more since last month

Northwestel is planning to extend its waiving of internet overage charges for communities on cable internet, while continuing to raise by 50 per cent the cap for other communities which use satellite DSL until May 31.

The extension is contingent on approval from the CRTC.

In the Yukon, Whitehorse and Carcross are on cable internet with the communities of Yellowknife, Norman Wells, and Fort Smith also serviced by cable internet in the N.W.T.

The relief measures are in place across the Northwestel’s serving area, including the three territories and northern B.C.

The company originally took the measures in late March in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials explained at that time, the different relief measures were being taken based on the network technology.

As Northwestel spokesperson Matt Wallace stated in an email at that time: “Simply put, our cable infrastructure has the capacity to support an increase in traffic resulting from the temporary waiving of overage fees, while terrestrial and satellite-based DSL facilities would not without significant upgrades.”

Across the north, broadband use has increased by about 50 per cent in the last month.

CRTC spokesperson Patricia Valladao stated in an April 21 email Northwestel’s application for the extension was received April 17. Under CRTC regulations, applications would be approved on an interim basis within 15 days of the application being filed. A final decision will follow.

The full application is available at the CRTC’s website at https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/instances-proceedings/Default-Defaut.aspx?S=O&PA=T&PT=Tariff&PST=A&Lang=eng

The CRTC will also post its decision on the extension to the relief measures on the site.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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