Northwestel has begun selling fibre-to-the-home internet packages in Inuvik after completing upgrade work in the community.
The company spent much of 2020 replacing copper wire in the town with fibre-optic cable. On Monday, customers were given access to unlimited data plans with up to 250 mbps advertised download speeds.
New North Networks, which is Inuvik-based, already offered unlimited plans with up to 50 mpbs advertised download speeds.
New North president Tom Zubko last year questioned Northwestel’s decision to spend money launching a rival service in Inuvik instead of improving services in communities that lacked another provider.
At the time, Northwestel said extending fibre-to-the-home to Inuvik, having performed similar upgrades in Yellowknife and Hay River, made sense.
“Our focus is on providing the best service to our Northwestel customers,” Northwestel’s Andrew Anderson told Cabin Radio. “Doing the next-largest community made sense on that front.”
On Monday, Northwestel was charging between $160.95 and $249.95 per month for its unlimited plans in Inuvik, with a 25-percent discount offered for the opening four months.
New North’s packages range from $56 to $218 monthly according to the company’s website. Two packages are unlimited, while those priced below $150 per month have a “soft cap” which slows speeds once a certain amount of data is used each month.
Northwestel said only single-dwelling businesses and homes can receive fibre-to-the-home in Inuvik so far. Apartments will be offered the service at a later date.