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Canada's Northwest Territories Minister of Finance J. Michael Miltenberger has announced that the Northern Lights Fibre Consortium has been selected as the preferred proponent for the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link (MVFL) project southern Canada.
The project involves the development of a high-speed fibre optic link connecting communities in the Mackenzie Valley and Beaufort Delta to the fibre grid. The project will be develoed on a design, build, finance and operation (DBFO) basis.
The Consortium, led by Ledcor Developments Ltd., and completed by LTS Infrastructure Services Limited Partnership and Northwestel Inc., was selected based on the evaluation of proposals submitted to the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) by pre-qualified contractors.
Minister Miltenberger stated:
Investing in state-of-the-art communications infrastructure helps support economic development for the Beaufort Delta and the Northwest Territories. The fibre link will provide new opportunities for business, 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 programs and services such as health care and education to the communities it will connect.
To ensure the project is able to achieve a planned commissioning date by the second quarter of 2016, the GNWT and Northern Lights will be working together during the next few months on completing survey, geotechnical and other early planning activities in preparation for the design and installation of the fibre link.
The system will be installed in two phases: McGill Lake to Inuvik with a planned completion of mid-2016, and an extension to Tuktoyaktuk following the completion of the all-weather highway extension from Inuvik.
The MVFL route extends from McGill Lake in southern NWT, 90 km south of Fort Simpson, to Tuktoyaktuk on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, a distance of approximately 1,270 km. Seven communities will be served directly by the MVFL, with possible future access to an additional five communities in the region using microwave systems to connect with the MVFL system.