Northwestel completes $18 million project to connect Yellowknife to Edmonton by fibre optic cable
A new fiber extension on the Deh Cho Bridge means more reliable internet for Yellowknife, Fort Providence, Behchoko, and Dettah. Although the new bridge that crosses the Mackenzie River is not open to vehicular traffic, Northwestel traffic has begun travelling across it already.
Northwestel recognized the growing demand for more bandwidth in those communities and began negotiations to place the fibre on the bridge more than a year ago. Telecommunications traffic was previously delivered over the Mackenzie River by microwave radio.
“This extension provides complete fibre connectivity from Yellowknife to Edmonton,” said Don Pumphrey, Vice President of Information and Technology Management. “The additional capacity will enable us to keep pace with information growth and demand for years to come”.
The Honourable David Ramsay, Minister of Transportation for the Northwest Territories is pleased to see the new fibre optic cable in place.
“The benefits from building transportation infrastructure such as the Deh Cho Bridge and the Mackenzie Valley Highway include the expansion of telecommunications infrastructure,” he said. “This fibre optic connection, made possible by the construction of the Deh Cho Bridge, will improve the quality of life and strengthen the economy for all residents of the Northwest Territories.”
Fibre has significantly more carrying capacity than microwave technology for a variety of high bandwidth applications including internet and video conferencing.. Customers may already notice improved video and download speeds during peak internet usage hours in Yellowknife.
Northwestel Inc. services the largest operating area of any telecommunications company in the western hemisphere over the most remote and rugged terrain in Canada. It provides a complete range of voice, video and data solutions to residential and business customers in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, northern British Columbia and High Level, Alberta.