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Home: Canadian Construction News: $32 Million Fibre Optic Line To Be Built in N.W.T Yukon Loop

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$32 Million Fibre Optic Line To Be Built in N.W.T Yukon Loop

Written by; Chad Simco / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Thu Oct 29 2015

  


The Yukon government stated that a fibre optic line it is planning to build along the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, N.W.T., will put an end to frequent internet service disruptions in the region by providing it with a backup link to Southern Canada.

Northwest Territory Director of Technology and Telecommunications Development, Steve Sorochan stated that the $32 million (CAD) cable will connect to a fibre optic line being built up the Mackenzie Valley to Inuvik. The government estimated the project will be completed in aprproximately 2 years.

Frequent cable cuts along the Alaska Highway have become a huge inconvenience for residential and business users. The cuts affect diagnostic equipment at the Whitehorse hospital that rely on a connection to southern hospitals, shut down debit and credit card services, and many businesses are forced to close during the disruptions.

The positive benefits of what's called the North Canada Fibre Loop will be noticed by people territory wide, Sorochan added.

The government had also considered constructing a line to Juneau, Alaska, but Sorochan says the government decided the all-Canada line, an option put forward by service provider, Northwestel will provide better service to Yukon communities.

Northwestel says it will accelerate the fibre connection to Dawson City, Yukon, and contribute to the cost of the main line to Inuvik.

Florian Boulais, the owner of the Alchemy Cafe in Dawson City, hopes the fibre connection will lower his business costs.

The owner of the Alchemy Cafe in Dawson, City, Florian Boulais, provides free Wi-Fi to customers and also services Apple products. He says Dawson already has a good internet connection, but access is expensive, and hopes that the new line will lower his expenses.

The fibre optic connection could encourage competitors to enter the Dawson market. Those details, along with the respective roles of Northwestel and the territorial government, are still to be announced, according to Sorochan.

The government announced the decision at an economic conference in Whitehorse Tuesday morning - a welcome surprise to Inuvik Mayor Jim McDonald, who was in the audience.

The fibre optic line under construction in the Northwest Territories is scheduled to go into operation next summer.

"This link coming from the Yukon will give them the redundancy and some backup as well," says McDonald. "It was a big announcement, and a pretty pleasant one to hear this morning."

  

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