- Partner News
- Media Releases
- Mainstream News
Whitehorse, YT – For the first time in Canada, the vast majority of a province or territory’s in-community fibre assets are now Indigenous-owned. Northern Canada’s telecommunications provider Northwestel today announced the sale of its Yukon fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) assets to a group of 13 Yukon First Nation development corporations. The announcement took place at the Arctic Indigenous Investment Conference in Whitehorse.
The ground-breaking partnership, named the Shared Pathways network, will see Northwestel making regular payments for the fibre network’s full use for 20 years, guaranteeing direct economic benefits to participating Yukon First Nation communities for decades. Northwestel will operate and maintain the network at its own cost for that period.
“We’re showing that by working cooperatively, First Nations can make these types of major investments and create more opportunities for investment and ownership in infrastructure and communications projects that impact the lives of our citizens,” said Fred Koe, Da Daghay Development Corporation Chair and designated spokesperson for the newly formed Yukon First Nations Telco LP. “We thank the First Nations Development Corporations that formed this partnership. We look forward to working with Northwestel’s dedicated northern employees to make our community connections even better.”
“We believe stronger connections build stronger communities. This partnership gives Northwestel the ability to invest more upfront in northern network improvements, but more importantly it strengthens our ties over the long run to the communities we exist to serve,” says Northwestel President Curtis Shaw. “Yukon’s Shared Pathways network is a testament to our joint commitment to walking the path of reconciliation together, for many years to come.”
The fibre assets that make up the Shared Pathways network are those being built as part of Northwestel’s Every Community Project, a three-year plan to bring high-speed unlimited Internet to every community in the NWT and Yukon. That project is funded by the CRTC Broadband Fund and Northwestel’s own significant investments. Fibre service with home Internet speeds of 300 Mbps has already launched in the Yukon communities of Dawson City, Teslin, Watson Lake and Fort Liard, with the remaining communities coming online this year and next. Old Crow, YT has received faster Internet speeds through improved satellite service.
Northwestel has a record of successful partnerships with Indigenous governments and development corporations throughout its history, including a recent partnership with the Tlicho government in the NWT that will see Northwestel build and operate a Tlicho-owned fibre-line to Whati, NWT. The company hopes these partnerships can serve as a model for more Indigenous people across the North to share in ownership over the infrastructure that serves their communities.
Northwestel is the largest telecommunications provider in Canada’s north, serving 96 communities across Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, and Alberta. In 2020, Northwestel launched a 3-year Every Community plan to significantly improve broadband services for northern residents, governments and businesses using the latest fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technologies. Northwestel is a subsidiary of Bell and provides service on the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples across Canada’s North. Find out more at www.nwtel.ca.
Northwestel media relations:
256 total views, 2 views today