IQALUIT, Nunavut — BCE Inc’s Northwestel says it will begin providing a faster satellite-based internet service for homes throughout Nunavut, starting with the territorial capital of Iqaluit on Oct. 1.
Upgraded broadband service to the territory’s 24 other communities will become available over the coming months, starting with Cambridge Bay, Arviat and Rankin Inlet.
The service upgrade is enabled by the launch of Telesat’s new Telstar 19 Vantage satellite this summer aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Northwestel’s upgrade received $49 million from a federal government program for improving internet access in rural and remote parts of Canada.
But even after tripling Northwestel’s current maximum speeds, the new service will be relatively slow and expensive compared with more densely populated markets.
The new maximum speed of 15 megabits per second, with 100 gigabytes of monthly usage included, will cost $129 per month.
By comparison, Bell Canada’s has a 25 mbps internet-only landline service in Ontario with 350 gigabytes of data for about $80 per month, before discounts.
Companies in this story: (TSX:BCE)
The Canadian Press