Telecom - Commission Letter addressed to Imran Khan (Northwestel Inc.)

Ottawa, 17 August 2022

Our reference: 8000-C12-201909780, 1011-NOC2022-0147,


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

Subject: Request for Information regarding a major telecommunications service disruption in Nunavut

Dear Imran Khan:

Recently, various media have reported on a service outage from 3 August 2022 to 4 August 2022 in certain communities in Nunavut. According to these reports, this outage was caused by an internal network issue, which impacted various services including Internet and cellular services.

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 Northwestel Inc. (Northwestel) to provide comprehensive answers, including rationale and any supporting information, to the following questions by 24 August 2022.

  1. Provide a complete report on the outage, including
    1. the cause(s),
    2. relevant timelines,
    3. services affected,
    4. number of customers affected and, where possible, by type of end-customer (residential, small business, all other businesses/enterprises),
    5. what areas or communities were impacted,
    6. whether there was any impact on residents’ ability to access emergency services,
    7. the steps taken to restore services,
    8. the medium and messaging of all communications efforts undertaken by Northwestel to advise its customers of this service outage, and
    9. any factors that impacted the company’s ability to resolve the network issues and restore services.
  2. Referring to the cause(s) of the outage in your response to question 1, describe what steps could be taken by Northwestel to mitigate such incidents from happening in the future.

As set out in section 39 of the Telecommunications Act and in Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-961, 23 December 2010, parties may designate certain information as confidential. A party designating information as confidential must provide a detailed explanation on why the designated information is confidential and why its disclosure would not be in the public interest, including why the specific direct harm that would be likely to result from the disclosure would outweigh the public interest in disclosure. Furthermore, a party designating information as confidential must either file an abridged version of the document omitting only the information designated as confidential or provide reasons why an abridged version cannot be filed.

In addition, as the information requested in this letter is relevant to the ongoing proceeding initiated by Call for comments – Telecommunications in the Far North, Phase II, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2022-147, 8 June 2022, a copy of this letter and Northwestel’s response will be placed on the public record of that proceeding. Parties in that proceeding will therefore have the opportunity to incorporate this information into their comments.


Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector

c.c: Christine Brock, CRTC, 873-353-5852,

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