Starting in May, business customers in Canada’s North region will be able to choose from more than one provider for broadband and phone services as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) opened the area to competition.
Telephone customers in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut regions will be able to purchase service from other carriers besides Northwestel which has been the only provider of local telephone service in the far northern regions.
In issuing its ruling, the CRTC denied Northwestel’s request to raise business local telephone rates by $2, arguing that the increase is “not justified at this time and is inconsistent with the current regulatory regime.”
The CRTC found that Northwestel has not invested enough in upgrading and maintaining its current network, and that the older infrastructure is causing service degradation. To counter that problem, the CRTC has mandated that Northwestel submit a network modernization plan, which will be part of the regulator’s ongoing two-year review of the telco’s infrastructure and services