Intervention, observation ou réponse de l'intimé / Intervention, comment or answer by respondent

Date reçu / Date Arrived: 2022-09-16

Numéro de processus public / Public Process Number: 2022-147
Numéro d'intervention / Intervention Number: 33
Demande(s) / Application(s):
Cas / Case: 304315

Demande à comparaître à l'audience publique / Request to appear at the public hearing: Non/No
Intimé / Respondent: Non/No

Commentaire / Comment
This is concerning the announced Xplornet satellite internet shut down in parts of the Yukon and other northern areas of Canada by the end of 2022.

Communication by Xplornet is highly unsatisfactory. We keep receiving email and voicemail notifications that our satellite internet service will shut down by the end of this year. They ask us to call them in order to discuss the matter. However, it’s simply impossible to get a connection and we’ve been waiting for hours on their phone line waiting for call backs without any luck. And we’ve been sending emails raising questions and asking for answers repeatedly, but we never get any reply at all. This is highly inappropriate and offensive behaviour. We’re long-time customers and have been paying them tens of thousands of dollars so far.

As business owners of a remote Yukon wilderness lodge, and as residents at this place, we depend on the continuation of a reliable and affordable satellite internet connection. Thousands of off-grid residents and businesses in northern Canada will be affected by this. Businesses will be forced to close down without internet connection and residents will be thrown back 30-40 years and cut off from modern society. No emergency communication, no online services for government administration, banking, shopping etc., no news, no information (e.g. Covid-19), no health guidance, no personal communication with friends and family (Skype, email), no web browsing for any sort of information and entertainment. Life out in the bush will become basically impossible, if you like to stay connected with modern society and don’t want to cut yourself off from today’s world completely.

We’re not asking for high-speed internet (which we never had in our lifetime). We use Xplornet satellite internet service since 20 years and typical download speed is about 10-20 kB/s (upload is still much slower). Yes, this is no typo, we’re counting in kB (not MB). So our actual download speed is at least thousand times slower than today’s standard in the southern cities. And believe me or not: we’re quite happy with that as long as we have some internet at all. Over the past few years our monthly internet plans have doubled in price and by now we’re paying $100 for very basic “slow-speed” internet.

Xplornet has received millions of dollars of government grants (mostly in 2012 to upgrade technology and obtain bandwidth on new satellites) and many northern areas were indeed transferred to those new satellites over the years, but our area (and many other northern areas) always remained on the old platform KA2 on the old satellite Anik F2.

There might be another solution coming: Starlink. However, communication by Starlink is very unsatisfactory too, as we don’t know when the service will be available in our area and many other questions remain open (price, temporary suspension option for seasonal use, etc.).

So, in summarizing: we simply don’t know if we (and thousands of other northern Canadians) can continue to live and work out in the bush next year. It’s quite frustrating.

We believe this is a very serious political issue to be resolved rather sooner than later.

Thanks to anyone for a strong support on this!

Copie envoyée au demandeur et à tout autre intimé si applicable / Copy sent to applicant and to any respondent if applicable: Non/No

Information du client / Client information

Nom / Name: Martin Laternser
Titre / Title:
Au nom de la compagnie / On behalf of company:
Adresse courriel / E-mail address:
Adresse postale / Address: Frances Lake, YT, Canada
Code postal / Postal code:
Téléphone / Telephone:
Facsimilé / Fax: