$233 million modernization plan delivers advanced internet and wireless services to northerners

  • 99 per cent of northerners will have access to next generation wireless and wireless broadband services within the next five years
  • 58 northern communities will have access to Internet speeds two to three times their current speed
  • 100 per cent of northern communities will have access to calling features
  • The modernization plan is Northwestel's most ambitious investment in infrastructure to date

WHITEHORSE, Jan. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Northwestel today announced a plan to invest $233 million in its telecommunications network to enhance customer services. The capital spending is estimated to occur over a five-year period and will provide northern Canadians with access to advanced Internet and wireless networks.

"We have developed a modernization plan that delivers for our communities," said Paul Flaherty, President and Chief Executive Officer at Northwestel. "In addition to supplying more northern communities with enhanced services, the plan puts in place measures to facilitate competition and builds on partnerships with other parties. The Northwestel plan outlines how we will bring next generation wireless and broadband services to the North and essentially reduce distances with technology. This plan puts northerners first and provides our customers with access to modern and innovative services."

Northwestel's $233 million investment will be allocated to support core infrastructure and to upgrade and expand new services by:

  • Bringing 3G wireless broadband service to an additional 67 northern communities, enabling 99 per cent of northerners to access the latest handsets, smartphones and tablets.
  • Upgrading existing wireline Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and cable infrastructure to at least double Internet speeds in 58 communities across Northern Canada within five years.
  • Delivering Enhanced Calling Features, including Call Display, to all 96 communities in Northwestel's operating area.
  • Enabling 84 per cent of the northern population to keep their phone numbers if they choose to switch to another service provider.

"The team at Northwestel is excited by the opportunity to implement this modernization plan and provide the communities we serve and our customers with an unprecedented level of service," said Flaherty. "We are working continuously to put our customers first at Northwestel and are committed to providing these new services over the next few years. We are working to ensure the customer is the winner as a result of this modernization plan."

Northwestel's current modernization plan confirms its commitment to invest $233 million in capital. This will be the most ambitious expansion of communications technology ever undertaken in Northern Canada and will provide Northwestel's customers with leading-edge telecommunications services. Northwestel submitted its modernization plan to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on January 16, 2012.

Northwestel's detailed modernization plan for Northern Canada will be available on the company's website at www.nwtel.ca. Members of the public are invited to submit comments to the CRTC and support the plan. Northwestel has posted the details on how to participate in the CRTC process on its site.

About Northwestel:
Northwestel Inc. services the largest operating area of any telecommunications company in the western hemisphere over the most remote and rugged terrain in Canada. It provides a complete range of voice, video and data solutions to residential and business customers in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, northern British Columbia and High Level, Alberta.

SOURCE: NorthwesTel

For further information:

Eric Clement
External Communications Manager
(867) 455-4209
Or visit our website at www.nwtel.ca.

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