December 16, 2021

FMCC responds to: Review of the Commission’s regulatory framework for Northwestel Inc., and the state of telecommunications services in Canada’s North

Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2020-367

On November 2, 2020, the Commission initiated a proceeding to review elements of its regulatory  framework for Northwestel. 

See Call for Comments

FMCC participated in the 2013 hearing (2012-669) and presented testimony from Indigenous Internet providers from the NWT and other Northern and remote Canadian regions. Since that time, there has been many changes in technology, and user demand and expectations. Despite this, FMCC’s 2013 recommendations are still relevant, these include: the need for regular monitoring of Quality of Service (QOS) by a third party monitor; a guarantee of Open Access to transport infrastructure that has built using public and subsidized funds; a review of Northwestel’s pricing for data including overage charges; a requirement that Northwestel hire and train people from the committees they serve for construction project and ongoing operations and maintenance; and CRTC should provide support for digital literacy.

FMCC submission to CRTC 2020-367

For all interventions

FMCC submitted Reply Comments in which it commented on the lack of information from Northwestel and the information asymmetry present in the hearings. FMCC also registered its disagreements with Northwestel’s statement that there is no need for additional wholesale service, noting that several FMCC members have experienced higher costs for wholesale bandwidth in recent years. 

FMCC Reply Comments to CRTC 2020-367