Northwestel brings back extra fee for standalone DSL internet service

Northwestel will be reinstating a surcharge on bills for DSL internet customers in Yukon, N.W.T. and northern B.C. that don’t bundle internet with telephone service.

CRTC reverses last year's ruling ordering company to stop surcharge

Northwestel will be reinstating a surcharge for DSL internet customers in Yukon, N.W.T. and northern B.C. that don't bundle internet with telephone service. (CBC)

Northwestel will be reinstating a surcharge for DSL internet customers in Yukon, N.W.T. and northern B.C. that don't bundle internet with telephone service.

The company had first starting charging residential customers an extra $20 a month and business customers an extra $30 a month for having standalone DSL internet service in October 2013.

Last March, the CRTC told the company to stop. It said applying the extra fees would increase the disparity between what DSL customers in remote areas pay compared with what Northwestel's cable internet service customers pay for similar services, and internet rates in the South.

Northwestel appealed that ruling, saying not charging the extra fee made providing DSL internet service uneconomic.

Northwestel receives a subsidy from the National Contribution Fund for each residential telephone service it provides in certain areas due to the high cost of providing the service. It does not get a subsidy for standalone DSL internet service without telephone service.

The company said that without some other source of money the company's planned upgrades to 15 Mbps for DSL customers was at risk.

The CRTC reversed its decision Feb. 1. The surcharge comes back into effect April 1.

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