Northwestel is hoping to be offering unlimited internet packages to Whitehorse and Carcross residents by Nov. 1. (Yukon News file)

Unlimited internet may be on its way

Northwestel expects to start offering packages to some communities in November

Residents and businesses in Whitehorse and Carcross could have access to unlimited internet packages later this year.

They are the two Yukon communities listed among seven communities across the north where Northwestel is planning to launch unlimited internet packages in November.

The others are Fort Nelson, British Columbia, and in the Northwest Territories: Fort Smith, Hay River, Norman Wells and Yellowknife.

Northwestel announced its plans for unlimited packages for those served by cable and fibre-to-home services on Aug. 30.

Northwestel officials informed the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission of the plans to launch unlimited residential and business Internet packages on Nov. 1. It has not yet submitted its application.

Andrew Anderson, Northwestel’s director of communications, stated in an Aug. 31 email that would happen before Nov. 1.

Ahead of that, Northwestel is working on system changes to accommodate the unlimited options.

“The internet plays such an important role in everyday life, especially with the unprecedented year we’ve been having,” Northwestel President Curtis Shaw said in a statement. “With the introduction of a permanent unlimited data option for cable and fibre customers in November, we’re excited to be taking this first step towards our vision of unlimited internet across the North.”

Prices for the unlimited packages have not yet been determined, but will be included in the CRTC applications. Northwestel is anticipating it will begin taking customer orders beginning Nov. 1.

Currently the largest residential internet package from Northwestel currently is listed at $239.95 per month with a monthly usage cap of 750 GB and a download speed of 250 Mbps while upload speed is 15 Mbps.

By contrast the smallest residential internet package is listed at $41.95 per month with a usage cap of 25 GB, download speed of 5 Mbps and upload speed of 1 Mbps.

The launch of the unlimited packages to seven communities is part of the company’s plans for unlimited options to be available in each community in the Yukon and Northwest Territories with the help of funding from the CRTC’s broadband fund in addition to Northwestel paying for some of the costs.

The fund was announced in August and will provide $750 million over five years for projects to improve broadband Internet access in underserved areas of the country.

Northwestel anticipates work happening over the next three years to also offer unlimited internet packages throughout the Yukon and Northwest Territories to those in communities who are served by DSL or satellite technology.

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

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