Yukoners are invited to submit their thoughts on internet and home phone services in the Far North.
In a June 8 press release, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) opened the second phase of consultations on measures to improve telecommunications services in the most northern regions of the country.
The regions in question cover the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, 17 communities in northern British Columbia and Fort Fitzgerald, Alberta. In total, it includes 96 communities representing approximately 132,800 residents or 0.3% of the population in Canada.
Residents of these areas told the CRTC during the first phase of the consultation process that everyone in the country should have affordable access to telephone and Internet services; the services must be reliable and allow the same online activities as those available in southern Canada; northerners want more competition for their Internet services; and affordable, high-quality access to telephone and Internet services is important for reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians.
The second part of the consultation process aims to obtain information on the actions that the CRTC should take to make residential telephone and Internet services in the Far North more affordable, more reliable, more competitive and to better support reconciliation with the peoples. indigenous.
The Far North is a large geographic area with low population density and mostly rural or remote communities, many of which are only accessible by air, as well as permafrost and extreme weather conditions.
Northwestel Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Canada, which in turn is wholly owned by BCE Inc. It is the primary telecommunications service provider for much of the Far North. For many communities, Northwestel is the only option.
Bell Mobility, another company owned by Bell Canada, has market power in the provision of mobile wireless services in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Comments can be made through the CRTC online consultation platform; by filling out a online form; by writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2; or by sending a fax to 819-994-0218.
All comments will be made public.
The CRTC will hold a public hearing on this matter beginning April 17, 2023 at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Center in Whitehorse.
The deadline to participate is October 6 at 8 p.m.