Fibre-optic internet connection is coming to a number of Whatì residents.
Five million in funding is coming from the federal government’s Universal Broadband Fund, with $3 million coming from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and the rest being split by the GNWT and the Tłı̨chǫ government. Northwestel will be carrying out the work.
Whatì Chief Alfonz Nitsiza said the project is a great example of what can happen when the Tłı̨chǫ government works with the territorial and federal governments.
“For those of us living in smaller northern communities, we know first hand the struggle too many Canadians face when it comes to accessing reliable Internet service,” Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, said in a statement.
“My congratulations to the Tłı̨chǫ Government on its successful application, and I look forward to seeing Whatì connected both by all-season road and by fibre in the near future.”
The $1.75-billion Universal Broadband Fund was launched on November 9, 2020.
The federal government says the project will connect 98 per cent of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and have the whole population fully connected by 2030.
Northwestel, the territory’s predominant provider of internet, received $62 million in funding from the Universal Broadband Fund to expand internet connection in the NWT.
Some of that money went towards introducing unlimited internet service to Yellowknife, Hay River, Norman Wells and Fort Smith. Unlimited internet plans were made available at the beginning of February in Inuvik.
Inuvik’s unlimited internet was provided by fibre optic wire connection, which made the Inuvik’s new residential internet plans up to 16 times faster than previously offered, at the same rates available in Yellowknife.
The wireless provider has plans to expand unlimited internet to all communities in the territory by 2023.