A Northwestel building in Inuvik. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Northwestel, the North’s dominant internet provider, on Wednesday announced a deal to access London-based OneWeb’s network of low-Earth orbit satellites.
The agreement follows an earlier memorandum of understanding with Telesat, a Canadian firm launching a similar network.
By phone on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Northwestel said that while the Telesat deal focuses on helping the company to provide unlimited data to 32 satellite-served northern communities, the OneWeb agreement is intended to provide “enterprise-scale solutions” to businesses and governments operating in remote locations.
In a news release, Northwestel and OneWeb said the two would “collaborate on opportunities to deliver new connectivity services to remote mines, businesses, and governments across Canada’s North using OneWeb’s low-Earth orbit satellite backbone.”
No public financial value has been attached to the deal, and it’s not clear if the two already have customers lined up for their joint service.