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CRTC invites Canadians to comment on northern telecommunications services

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, December 6, 2012 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) launched a public consultation on the telecommunications services that Northwestel provides to northern Canadians. Following this consultation, a public hearing will be held on June 17, 2013, in Inuvik, Northwest Territories and June 19, 2013, in Whitehorse, Yukon.

"Canadians expect to have a choice of high-quality telecommunications services, regardless of where they live," said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. "Last year, we expressed concern about the services available to northern Canadians and required Northwestel to develop a plan to modernize its aging network. The consultation launched today will allow us to conduct a comprehensive review of Northwestel’s services and its planned improvements."

Northwestel provides telecommunications services in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, northern British Columbia and northern Alberta. The company has proposed to make investments in its network to improve the availability of enhanced calling features and wireless and high-speed Internet services, among other initiatives. Northwestel must update its plan by January 16, 2013.

Canadians are invited to share their views on questions related to:

  • Northwestel’s modernization plan
  • the regulations that Northwestel must follow
  • the appropriate subsidy regime to fund telecommunications services in the North, and
  • the implementation of competition in the North.

Comments will be accepted until May 9, 2013. Canadians can participate in this proceeding, including the public hearing, by:

  • filling out the online form
  • writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, or
  • sending a fax, at 819-994-0218.

Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-669

The CRTC

The CRTC is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

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