CRTC Agrees Bush Radio Service Should Go

Friday, October 17, 2008 at 14:54



The plug is officially being pulled on the Northern Radio Telephone Service.


Today, the CRTC approved SaskTel’s application to discontinue the service as soon as possible.


For years, trappers and other traditional land users situated in remote locations have used the NRTS to connect to phone lines so they can talk with family members back home.


A petition with roughly 1,000 signatures on it was sent to Ottawa protesting the move, but it failed to sway the commission.


The CRTC says it is satisfied that SaskTel has identified reasonable alternatives for current users of the system.


The utility has said it will give users a $2,000 voucher towards the purchase of a satellite phone.


The CRTC also agrees with SaskTel that the system is in a precarious state due to outdated switch equipment that could break down anytime.


SaskTel spokeswoman Michelle Englot say the company plans to close down the service by next Wednesday.


Englot says everyone who uses the service has been notified of the need for it to close.


She stresses radio users will still be able to communicate with each other, just not through the main phone network.