NBDC advocated for Nunavut users at CRTC's review of Northwestel Inc.’s regulatory framework and modernization plan
After public proceedings in 2011 on the provision of telecommunications services by Northwestel Inc., the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) determined that among other things, Northwestel had failed to make the necessary investments in its network and required the company to develop a modernization plan to address these shortcomings. The CRTC subsequently launched a public consultation process, CRTC 2012-669, to review Northwestel’s regulatory framework, modernization plan, and related matters.
NBDC has followed the process with interest and submitted comments to the CRTC both in writing and in person. While NBDC had specific comments on Northwestel’s modernization plan, the holistic review also provided NBDC the opportunity to raise broader issues related to telecommunications services in Nunavut. Specifically, NBDC advocated that:
- Northern telecommunications needs long-term and sustainable funding. Targeted government programs have made broadband available in the North but have fallen short of enabling Northern resident to, in the CRTC’s own words, “receive telecommunication services, both regulated and forborne, comparable to those available to Southern Canada in terms of choice, quality and reliability”.
- In the information society, broadband access is an essential service and the Basic Service Objective needs to be updated to include broadband.
- All communities in Nunavut deserve the same level of telecommunication services and any approach that would see some services only available in some communities is incomplete, inadequate and inequitable
- Telecommunication services need to be affordable and adequate; these are moving targets and services in the North must continually adapt
On December 18, 2013 the CRTC released its decision on the review of NorthwesTel's modernization plan and related matters.
Read NBDC’s full submissions in the NorthwesTel review:
- NBDC Comments - 6 February, 2013
- NBDC Comments - 27 March, 2013
- NBDC Prepared Remarks CRTC Public Hearings 2012-669 19 June 2013
- NBDC Prepared Replies CRTC Public Hearings 2012-669 20 June 2013
In February, 2014 the CRTC announced the appointment of Commissioner Candice Molnar as an Inquiry Officer to review satellite transport services available to provided telecommunication services in Canada. Read NBDC’s full submissions in the satellite transport inquiry:
In the press:
Critics slam NorthwesTel plan, Yukon News