Southern Section of the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link (MVFL) now in Operation

December 6, 2016
News Releases

YELLOWKNIFE (December 6, 2016) – Finance Minister Robert C. McLeod announced an agreement with Northern Lights General Partnership today to provide high-speed fibre backhaul services for communities in the Mackenzie Valley connected to the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link (MVFL).

In addition, a temporary high speed connection has been agreed to with Northwestel for the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility (ISSF) and Canada Satellite Ground Station Inuvik, Inc. (CSGSI), a recently commissioned private sector satellite ground station in Inuvik.  Contracts for the transport of data using the partially activated MVFL system have been signed with Northwestel, CSGSI, which includes data transport for Kongsberg Satellite Services of Norway, and the Swedish Space Corporation.

The contractual rights of the Government of Northwest Territories remain fully protected during this interim period, pending final commissioning of the full MVFL system.


“With most the MVFL system installed, the lower cost and superior service benefits of high speed long haul fibre connections can be provided to the communities connected to the MVFL link. It was also important, for the continued growth of the satellite ground station business in Inuvik, to provide a temporary high speed link to allow satellite operators to access and use the satellite antennas that they have installed.”
-Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Finance

“Northwestel is proud to have worked in partnership with the Government of Northwest Territories on interim solutions that will improve telecommunications into 5 communities and provide a reliable framework for the growth of the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility.”
-Paul Flaherty, President and CEO of Northwestel.

Quick Facts

  • The provision of interim services has two components:
    • Activation of publicly accessible, long haul fibre connections at Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells, Tulita, Wrigley and Fort Simpson. This will result in lower telecommunications charges for business and residential users and more bandwidth capacity for these communities. NWTel has signed a data transport contract with GNWT for access to the MVFL at these locations.
    • Using the local MVFL fibre link from the ISSF and CSGSI and activation of a combined high speed fibre/radio link for satellite operators using facilities in Inuvik.
  • Currently, 1,035 km of the total 1,154 km MVFL has been completed.  The remaining 120 km, located north of Fort Good Hope, is scheduled to be completed during the upcoming winter construction season.

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Media Inquires:

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Cabinet Communications
Department of Executive
Government of the Northwest Territories
Ph: (867) 767-9140 ext. 11092