Construction of Dempster Fibre Line underway

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Construction of Dempster Fibre Line underway

by ahnationtalk on July 27, 2021144 Views


The Government of Yukon has broken ground on the Dempster Fibre Line project.

ROHL Global Networks, in partnership with Dagoo Services, was awarded the $67 million construction contract. More than 20 per cent of the contract value will be subcontracted to First Nations businesses. Crews are on site near Dawson City and officially started construction work on July 15.

The fibre optic line will run along the Dempster Highway between Dawson City, Yukon, and Inuvik, Northwest Territories. It will connect to the existing Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link in Inuvik to create a 4,000 kilometre network. That network will provide northern communities along the loop with a backup line in the event of a service disruption and provide more reliable internet and cellphone services.

Site preparation for the project began in 2020. The project has completed the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment process and the Government of Yukon received a land use permit from the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. The roughly 800-kilometre fibre optic line is expected to take three construction seasons to install, with completion scheduled for 2024.

Yukoners deserve access to infrastructure that works and meets their needs. The Dempster Fibre Line will provide more reliable telecommunication and internet services for communities throughout the North. The project will support economic diversification and help grow the Yukon’s digital ecosystem while creating economic opportunities for First Nations and Indigenous groups.

Minister of Highways and Public Works Nils Clarke

I am very excited for work to begin on the Dempster Fibre Line. This project will connect Dawson City, YT, to Inuvik, NWT, and provide the Yukon with much needed internet redundancy. Our government has long recognized the need to connect every home, every business and every community to fast and dependable internet. That’s why we put forward the country’s first national strategy to achieve universal connectivity, backed up by billions of dollars in federal funding, including an investment of $59 million in the Dempster Fibre Line project.

Member of Parliament Larry Bagnell

ROHL Global Networks and our Dagoo Services partners are pleased to commence the construction of the highly anticipated Dempster Fiber Line and proud to further demonstrate ROHL’s ongoing commitment to the Canadian North. Dagoo Services is a newly formed strategic joint venture comprised of local Gwitchin First Nations Business People and a proven utility constructor, Put Put Contracting, based in Whitehorse, Yukon. From Dawson City through to Inuvik – let the build begin!

CEO of ROHL Global Networks Hans Bongers

All of us at Northwestel are driven by a vision of a highly connected North where Canadians can prosper and thrive, and that’s why we are proud to be partnering on the Dempster Fibre Line. This project is an important step in our effort to improve telecommunications services in every community across the North.

Northwestel President Curtis Shaw

Quick facts

  • The Dempster Fibre Line is an 800-kilometre fibre optic line that will run along the Dempster Highway from Dawson City, Yukon, to Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
  • Project operations minimize environmental impacts by ensuring special consideration for the protection of permafrost:
    • Adaptive cable placement methods will be used to ensure the proper installation for the encountered ground conditions.
    • The depth of the active layer of permafrost was measured during the planning stages and will continually be measured during the construction to minimize the risk to the environment.
  • The project will benefit communities in Yukon and NWT by providing a backup telecommunications line in the event of a service disruption.
  • The Dempster Fibre Line will be owned by the Government of Yukon. NorthwesTel will lease and operate the line for a period of 20 years.
  • This project is funded by the Government of Canada through its Connect to Innovate Program and Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, as well as investments from the Government of Yukon and Northwestel.
  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • $2 billion of this funding is supporting infrastructure projects that meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities like facilities to support food security, local access roads and enhanced broadband connectivity.
  • This project is supported with an investment of up to $30 million under the Government of Canada’s Connect to Innovate (CTI) program. Under CTI, the Government of Canada is investing $585 million by 2023 to higher-speed Internet to over 975 rural communities, including 190 Indigenous communities. The Government of Canada is also investing over $28.9 million through the Rural and Northern Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.


Emelyana Titarenko
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
[email protected]

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications
[email protected]

Brittany Cross
Communications, Highways and Public Works
[email protected]

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: [email protected]
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