Telecom Commission Letter addressed to Stan Thompson (Northwestel Inc.)

Ottawa, 1 October 2019

Our references: 8660-C12-201000116, 8000-C12-201909780


Mr. Stan Thompson
Chief Financial Officer & Vice-President
Northwestel Inc.
P.O. Box 2727
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 4Y4

Re:  Second Request for Information regarding major telecommunications disruptions in the North

Dear Mr. Thompson:

On 15 August 2019, Commission staff sent a Request for Information (RFI) regarding telecommunications disruptions on July 13, 2019 and August 12, 2019, caused by damage to Northwestel fibre optic lines near Yellowknife. Further to Northwestel’s responses of 30 August 2019, Commission staff has a follow-up question on this issue.  

In exercising its powers and performing its duties under the Telecommunications Act, the Commission must implement the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives set out in section 7 of that Act, including to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada.

Accordingly, Commission staff requests the following information by 8 October 2019.

Northwestel is to provide a comprehensive answer, including rationale and any supporting information.

  1. Describe to what extent Northwestel has considered the use of satellite connectivity as a backup to help ensure network level resiliency in communities without redundancy or with redundancy that provides a limited level of service, and comment on the level of service that satellite would provide until the network was fully restored.


Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.:  Wendy McClintock, CRTC, 819-639-6211,

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