Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link goes live in Inuvik

News Releases

INUVIK (June 12, 2017) – Premier and Cabinet of The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), along with its partners, NorthwesTel and Ledcor Group, were in Inuvik this past weekend to celebrate the launch of the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link (MVFL).

Construction of the 1,154 km fibre line between High Level, Alberta and Inuvik was completed in March 2017. It connects six communities in the Mackenzie Valley to high-speed internet and state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure and fulfils the Government of the Northwest Territories mandate commitment to complete the line in order to help modernize the economy and enable growth in all economic sectors.

Inuvik’s favourable geographic location is ideal for tracking and receiving data in real-time from polar-orbiting satellites. The activation of the link will support the continued growth of the remote-sensing and commercial satellite industry.


“The completion of the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link will help to facilitate economic development and diversification. Our government is working to spark economic growth across all sectors. The completion of this project helps to foster an environment in which companies and individuals feel confident investing in Northern opportunities and jobs.”
-Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Finance

"The MVFL was one of the most ambitious fibre optic network projects undertaken in North America in decades, and it was constructed to strict engineering and environmental standards, on a restricted schedule, in very remote locations with demanding conditions. Our construction teams, sub-contractors and local partners and suppliers had to be innovative and agile to get the job done, it was a historic achievement for all involved.”
-Iain Morris, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ledcor Technical Services (LTS)

“Northwestel is proud to have played a key role in the development of the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link and we look forward to the opportunities this new infrastructure will provide for Northern residents and the economy. As of July 1, in keeping with our practice for customers along the Mackenzie River, Inuvik customers will see monthly recurring rates reduce by $7 on average on their Northwestel internet bill. This is part of Northwestel’s continued investment in the North to better connect all Northern communities and business.”
-Paul Flaherty, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Northwestel Inc.

Quick facts

  • MVFL comprises the design, build, financing, operations and maintenance installation of a 1,154 km high-speed telecommunications system from McGill Lake (approximately 80 km south of Fort Simpson, NWT), to Inuvik, NWT.
  • MVLF Point of Presence locations are now located in Fort Simpson, Wrigley, Tulita, Norman Wells, Fort Good Hope, Inuvik, and in High Level.
  • Fibre Cable consists of 48 individual fibres, each capable of 88 Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) channels per fibre, and 100 Gbit/s per (DWDM) channel.
  • Polar-Orbiting Satellites support:
    • Scientific research;
    • Environmental monitoring and climate change studies;
    • Mapping, weather and surveillance;
    • Emergency preparedness and response;
    • Shipping and navigation;
    • Sustainable economic development;
    • Northern sovereignty; and
    •  Resource development

Related links:

Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link Project
Ledcor Group
Department of Finance, MVFL

Media contact:
Todd Sasaki
Communications Officer
Department of Finance
(867) 767-9151 ext. 14032

David Hoff
Media Relations
‎(604) 681-7500

Andrew Anderson
Director of Communications, Northwestel Inc.
(867) 334-6937