High speed
Northwestel Cable launches faster Internet service

Scott Crabbe
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Feb 16/00) - High-speed Internet access via Yellowknife's local cable service is now available to city residents.

Existing technology has been available outside the North for the past four years, but has only recently been available in Yk -- thanks to a 10 mega-bit service backbone connection, which extends from Yellowknife to Edmonton via digital microwaves.

The high-speed service, called Northwestel Cable@TheEdge, uses cable lines and cable modems to transfer eight million bits of information in one second (Mbps). This enables users to download off the Internet 100-times faster than conventional dial-up service.

"What used to take minutes to download, will now take seconds," says Duff Spence, Northwestel Cable's manager for Internet and networking.

Northwestel Cable@TheEdge includes unlimited usage, an instant connection to the Internet, three e-mail accounts and two megabytes of personal Web space.

"It's always on 24 hours a day, there's no need to tie up an extra phone line, and it has one fixed cost with service that is reasonably priced," says Northwestel's general manager Aivy Reinfelds.

Since its introduction Jan. 17, over 200 residents have taken advantage of the new service. Initial hook-up and installation takes about two days, followed by a continuous service at a consistent cost.

"It's ideal for parents who have teenagers who are into Internet gaming," Reinfelds says.

"Students can also research a lot quicker, dig deeper and find better facts." While service is only available to residents, Northwestel plans to expand the service for commercial use in the near future.

One group, Sport North Federation, already took advantage of the new service when it hooked up during up the Arctic Winter Games trials earlier this month.

"We had the opportunity to demonstrate the cable service and show off our Web site at the same time," said Robert Meckling, the federation's sports consultant.

"We also posted trial results as often as we could onto the Web site."