Telecom Order CRTC 2021-135
Ottawa, 16 April 2021
Public record: 1011-NOC2019-0191
Broadband Fund – Acceptance of statement of work for Northwestel Inc.’s Northwest Territories fibre project
- In Broadband Fund – Project funding approval for Northwestel Inc.’s Northwest Territories fibre project, Telecom Decision CRTC 2020-258, 12 August 2020 (Telecom Decision 2020-258), the Commission awarded funding to Northwestel Inc. (Northwestel) for the project proposed in its application filed in response to the first call for applications for funding from the Broadband Fund. On 14 August 2020, the Commission received written acceptance of this funding award from Northwestel.
- On 8 December 2020, the Commission received Northwestel’s proposed statement of work, including the information package regarding its Northwest Territories fibre project (the project).
- The Commission received Northwestel’s community engagement report on 8 December 2020 and, after a thorough review, finds that Northwestel has complied with the condition of approval set out at subparagraph 14(c) of Telecom Decision 2020-258. The Commission expects that engagement activities will continue in accordance with Northwestel’s plan for engagement as committed to in its application.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
- Having reviewed the documents submitted, the Commission approves the finalized statement of work and will provide it separately and in confidence to Northwestel.
- Provided that Northwestel complies with all conditions of funding set out in Telecom Decision 2020-258, constructs the project as described in Schedule A: Statement of Work, and complies with all procedural requirements to submit reports, invoices, and requests for funding, the Commission will direct the Central Fund Administrator to make payments to Northwestel in respect of the project. Failure to comply with these conditions and requirements could result in funding being delayed or not being disbursed.
- Northwestel is required to submit, quarterly, a progress report and expense claim beginning on 16 July 2021, or as otherwise agreed to, and every three months thereafter until the project is completed.
- Further, in accordance with the Commission’s determinations in Telecom Decision 2020-258, Northwestel must use the project to offer and provide telecommunications services, as committed to in its application and approved in Schedule B: Project Services.
- The 2006 Policy DirectionFootnote 1 and the 2019 Policy DirectionFootnote 2 (collectively, the Policy Directions) state that the Commission, in exercising its powers and performing its duties under the Telecommunications Act (the Act), shall implement the telecommunications policy objectives set out in section 7 of the Act, in accordance with the considerations set out therein,Footnote 3 and should specify how its decisions can, as applicable, promote competition, affordability, consumer interests, and innovation.
- The Commission considers that its approval of funding from the Broadband Fund for the project described in this order is consistent with the Policy Directions. Specifically, the decision to allocate funding towards improving broadband services in the Northwest Territories will help to close the gap in connectivity in underserved areas and will respond to the social and economic needs of consumers. In doing so, this order will implement the telecommunications policy objectives, including those set out in paragraphs 7(a), (b), and (h) of the Act.Footnote 4
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