'Netflix unhindered': Mackenzie Valley fibre line brings faster internet to Norman Wells

Northwestel is offering new packages with higher download speeds as the Mackenzie valley fibre line extends north.

'They'll be able to watch Netflix no problem,' says Northwestel

Though the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Optic Link has yet to be completely installed, the community of Norman Wells has nevertheless been connected to the fibre line, allowing Northwestel to offer a package with faster internet speeds than before.

Norman Wells has now been connected to the nearly-complete Mackenzie Valley Fibre Optic Link, and Northwestel says that's allowed it offer a new package with speeds three times faster than the previous fastest package.

"Residential customers will also have 200 gigabytes per month of usage which is an 80 per cent increase," said Andrew Rankin, external communications manager for Northwestel.

The new "Internet 50" package will offer download speeds of 50 megabits per second and it will cost $25 more than the previous fastest package, he said. 

No buffering?

People who sign up will no longer need to wait to watch video, says Rankin. 

"They'll be able to watch Netflix no problem and they won't have to buffer at all and that's something that we know customers are concerned about. They wanted that ability to watch Netflix unhindered."

According to Northwestel's website, the new internet package in Norman Wells is actually $10 dollars a month cheaper than the exact same package in Yellowknife. But the community is still behind the territory's capital when it comes to the biggest and fastest package. Northwestel customers in Yellowknife can purchase 400 gigabytes a month at speeds of 125 megabits per second.

Rankin says the company is consistently trying to increase speeds in all communities. He says the communities that lie on the southern portion of the fibre line have all seen increased speeds in the last few months.

Inuvik is next, but Rankin couldn't say when that community will finally have faster internet.