Northwestel Inc.’s revised modernization plan fails to meet northerners’ telecom needs, representatives from the Yukon and Northwest Territories governments told a panel of CRTC commissioners Monday. “The problem is that Northwestel still has no plan to deal with the current unmet needs for broadband and imminent explosive growth in a way that really matters,” Margaret Hollis, legal counsel for Nunavut, said in Inuvik, N.T.W. at a CRTC hearing on Northwestel and northern telecom services. She said Northwestel’s modernization plan, filed in January, fails to address the territory’s “critical” telecom needs, including “more bandwidth, more backbone and more connectivity, and cheaper backhaul.” Mike Aumond, deputy minister of finance in the Northwest Territories, said Northwestel has clawed back several aspects of the plan that his government was prepared to support, including improved Internet and wireless connections across the North, and increased Internet transport capacity. He said the new plan would leave many northern communities with Internet connection speeds that fail to meet CRTC targets of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds. “This is not acceptable now, and will be even less acceptable in 2017 when the plan is to be completed,” he said. “Modernization plans must be sustainable.” Aumond asked commissioners to order Northwestel to roll out Internet services that meet the commission’s targets, and to restore previously proposed improvements to Internet transport infrastructure. The commission should also retain its “price cap” regulatory framework for Northwestel’s basic telecom services, and regulate the North’s retail Internet services, he said. He also called on the commission to extend subsidies to improve northern Internet services. After a 2011 hearing, the CRTC ordered Northwestel, a BCE Inc. subsidiary, to file a plan to modernize its telecom infrastructure. This week's hearing continues Wednesday in Whitehorse.