A groundbreaking ceremony hosted by Minister of Finance J. Michael Miltenberger in Inuvik celebrated the beginning of construction on the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Line (MVFL) last week.
“The MVFL is a territory building project,” said Minister Miltenberger. “It is a long-term investment that is going to help grow and diversify the NWT economy into new areas that are not dependent on the boom and bust cycle often seen with resource development. It will support the continuing development and evolution of our communities and provide new jobs and opportunities to local residents.”
The MVFL will provide state-of-the-art communication infrastructure through the Mackenzie Valley. It create new opportunities for businesses, including in the e-commerce and high-tech sectors, and allow for the expansion of the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility, a leader in remote data sensing with international clients. The MVFL will also support more efficient and effective delivery of government services and programs such as tele-health and education to the communities it will connect.
In July 2014 the GNWT selected Northern Lights Fibre as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the MVFL. The GNWT and Northern Lights will continue to work closely with communities and stakeholders along the Mackenzie Valley as project progress and milestones are achieved.
“We are proud to be part of this historic project, which will extend an advanced fibre network to dozens of communities that had little connectivity before, providing a leap in telecommunications services that will be unrivaled anywhere in the world,” said Scott Lyons, Chief Operating Officer, Ledcor Technical Services. “We are grateful for the fantastic support we have received from all the local communities and the vision and leadership of the Northwest Territories Government over the last 7 years to make this project a reality.”
"Northwestel is pleased to have earned the opportunity to provide advanced telecommunications solutions to the communities and residents of the Mackenzie Valley,” said Paul Flaherty, President and CEO of Northwestel. “This significant project is a major step forward in the provision of advanced fibre infrastructure in Canada’s North. It will redefine communications for the area and we are looking forward to working with our partners to deliver this project."
Attendees at the groundbreaking included Minister Robert C. McLeod, MLAs Alfred Moses, Norman Yakeleya, Sonny Blake, Daryl Dolynny and Robert Hawkins, Nellie Cournoyea from the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Norman Snowshoe from the Gwich’in Tribal Council, Inuvik Mayor Floyd Roland and representatives from MVFL partners Northwestel, Inc. and Ledcor.
The planned in-service date for the MVFL is mid-2016.
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.