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Northwestel plans to increase internet speeds in eight NWT communities

Northwestel's building in downtown Yellowknife
Northwestel's building in downtown Yellowknife. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

Northwestel says it plans to triple available internet speeds in eight communities across the Northwest Territories.

Over the next two years, the telecommunications company said it will upgrade internet speeds in Sachs Harbour, Ulukhaktok, Paulatuk, Colville Lake, Gamètì, Wekweètì, Łútsël K’é, and Sambaa K’e.

“Families will have easier access to distance education resources, e-health services, and online entertainment. And for businesses, it’ll allow them to better connect with their customers online,” Tammy April, Northwestel’s vice president of customer experience said in a statement.

Northwestel stated in a Wednesday news release that the federal government has invested nearly $5 million in the initiative through its Connect to Innovate Plan.

“Having fast, reliable internet helps rural Canadians access essential services, participate in the digital economy, connect with loved ones and so much more,” Gudie Hutchings, the federal minister of rural economic development said in a statement. “The Government of Canada welcomes service improvements in the Northwest Territories that will provide access to faster speeds.”

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Northwestel said the upgrades are possible as it implemented low Earth orbit technology in these communities last year.

New internet plans are expected to include 200GB of monthly data and cost $129 a month.