New fibre optic line to ensure reliable internet access in Northern Canada

Ranj Pillai, left, Navdeep Bains and Larry Bagnell announced on Wednesday a new fibre optic line between Inuvik, N.W.T. and Dawson City, Yukon that will make internet service more reliable in northern communities. (Dave Croft/CBC)
A nearly 800-kilometre fibre optic network will be built to connect Inuvik, N.W.T. and Dawson City, Yukon, which the federal and territorial governments say will put an end to widespread internet outages in remote communities.

Navdeep Bains, the federal minister for innovation, science and economic development, announced plans to develop the $79-million fibre line alongside Yukon MP Larry Bagnell and Yukon’s economic development minister, Ranj PIllai.

Access to high-speed internet is an essential service that should be available to all Canadians, Bains said at the announcement in Whitehorse on Wednesday afternoon.

Sturdier network

The federal government’s investment will help students upgrade their education and help businesses connect with people who want to buy their products, he said.

The proposed internet line would close the ‘Canada North Fibre Loop,’ which would make the system less vulnerable to outages. (Dave Croft/CBC)

The line will affect communities in Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and northern B.C., making internet service more reliable in Canada’s North. Currently, a cut to the fibre line can cause internet outages in several communities across hundreds of kilometres.

Here’s where the money to build the project is coming from:

  • Federal government: $59 million
  • Yukon government: $5 million
  • Northwestel: $15 million
Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Out-dated attitudes, deficient infrastructure, block Inuit from Arctic science, G7 summit hears, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Sámi school preserves reindeer herders’ heritage with help of internet, Cryopolitics Blog

Norway: Two new satellites to boost Norway’s Arctic internet, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia to link military installations with trans-Arctic cable, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Northern Sweden to host more Facebook servers, Radio Sweden

United States: Healthcare facilities in rural Alaska struggle to pay internet bills, Alaska Public Media

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