With some NWT residents self-isolating or working from home amid ramped up efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, Northwestel says it’s applying to have internet overage charges waived for users in most NWT communities until the end of April.
Northwestel filed an “urgent application” with Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for “temporary relief on residential internet usage to facilitate increased telework in the North,” stated a news release issued Monday by the Bell-owned telecom company.
The application proposes waiving charges for residents exceeding internet usage caps during March and April in “terrestrially-served communities.” Those include most communities in the NWT, Yukon, northern Alberta and northern B.C.
In satellite-served communities, however, it’s not possible to quickly boost internet capacity, says Northwestel.
As a result, the company is asking the CRTC to get the greenlight to temporarily double internet usage caps in the following satellite-served NWT communities: Colville Lake, Gameti, Lutselk’e, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Ulukhaktok and Wekweeti.
The proposal also includes a request to establish a “new unlimited option in cable communities to come into effect in May once the waiver of internet usage overage fees expires,” stated the release.
The proposed waiving of overage charges, requested during a “critical time,” will only happen if the application is approved by the CRTC, stated Northwestel.