Tłı̨chǫ Announces Funding for Fibre Optic Line to Whatı̀

Behchokǫ̀ (April 16, 2021) The Tłı̨chǫ Government is pleased to announce that funding is in place to construct and install a Fibre Optic line from Highway 3 to the Community of Whatì.  The fibre optic line will bring highspeed internet services to residents, school, and businesses.

The buried fibre optic cable will follow the alignment of the Tłı̨chǫ Highway, a public-private partnership which is being developed by North Star Infrastructure (NSI). NSI is jointly owned by the Tłı̨chǫ Government and Kiewit Canada Development Corp.

Construction of the 115-Kilometer-long Whatì fibre optic line will begin this June.

The Tłı̨chǫ Government will own the fibre optic cable and contract out installation to a partnership between Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation (TIC) and Peter Kiewit Sons ULC (Kiewit).  Kiewit and TIC have experience working together as partners in the construction of the Tłı̨chǫ Highway.

Crews, equipment and a camp in place for the construction of the Tłı̨chǫ Highway will be shared with the project to increase efficiency and value for money and ensure new and continuing Tłı̨chǫ jobs.

Yesterday, Whatì Chief Alfonz Nitsiza, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, along with Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories and the Honourable Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance and Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment for the Northwest Territories announced the funding for this very important project.

  • $5 million from the Government of Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund
  • $3 million from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
  • $1.5 million from the Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • $1.4 million from the Government of the Northwest Territories

The Tłı̨chǫ Government wants to ensure that the community of Whatì is not left behind when it comes to accessing fast and reliable internet for its resident and is working closely with Northwestel to ensure that the community has fibre to every home in the community.

Chief Nitsiza indicated that this project will benefit all Whatì residents, but especially the youth who will be able to take advantage of opportunities provided by highspeed internet throughout Canada.

This new Fibre Optic Cable will also provide:

  • improved access to healthcare,
  • improved connectivity,
  • better business and employment options,
  • more on-the-job and other training opportunities,
  • enhanced community ties allowing our community all over the world.

The Tłı̨chǫ Government is proud to lead this project and help ensure a better future for the youth and residents of Whatì.


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