A new company is challenging Northwestel for market share in Canada’s north.

Iristel is moving to provide local telephone service in Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Inuvik. 

The move could end what Iristel has called "the final phone monopoly in North America."

Today the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is in Inuvik. The communications regulator will be hearing arguments from Northwestel and its potential rival.

Iristel president and CEO Samer Bishay says his company could reduce local telephone bills and says Northwestel has not sufficiently modernized its equipment in Canada's North.    

"That obviously causes a lot of issues because first of all it hinders competition from coming in because it's having to interface with older technologies," he said.

The meeting starts today, June 17 at 8:30am at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex.

External link: Iristel press release says northerners 'tired of high monopoly prices' 

CBC Archive: CRTC to hold public hearings on Northwestel