NorthwesTel ... a corporate banana republic embedded in the northern economy....
- "The sordid details of last weeks telecommunications breakdown are well
known, so I wont bore you with their goriness.
Suffice to say the Yukon was dead in the water for a day, not only from a
telecommunications perspective but, more importantly, from an economic
Offices and businesses were unable to work. Stores were unable to sell.
Money just stopped moving in the Yukon, or worse, it turned to smoke as
thousands of workers sat idly by waiting for the problem to be resolved.
In short, there were significant economic losses for the Yukon. Theres no
official estimate but I think its safe to hazard a guess in the hundreds
of thousands of dollars range.
And our government couldnt do anything about it, other than sit around
like the rest of us and wait for it to be fixed.
Now thats a far cry from what happened when the roads washed out earlier
this year. Government road crews took what some describe as heroic actions
to fix highways to get traffic - and the economy - moving again.
Telecommunications is every bit as important to our economy as other
utilities like roads, arguably even more so.... the responsibility for
telecommunications in the North belongs to just one privately-held company
that is the business equivalent of Honduras - a corporate banana republic
embedded in the northern economy. ... And the key problem with that is
accountability. NorthwesTel doesnt have to answer to you or me or the
Yukon government. NorthwesTel only answers to its corporate master, Bell.