Government of Yukon



FOR RELEASE
June 7, 2016

Government of Yukon to bring unprecedented internet speeds to Carmacks, Teslin and Watson Lake schools, health centres and communities

Joint news release

WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon, Northwestel, and Total North Communications announced today the launch of a pilot project to deliver one Gigabit per second internet to schools, hospitals and health centres in Carmacks and Teslin. In addition, infrastructure upgrades to Watson Lake are also scheduled to bring enhanced internet service to the community’s facilities.

“Together we are ensuring Yukoners enjoy cutting-edge internet speeds that will improve education and health care in the communities, as well as increase economic development opportunities,” Minister of Economic Development Stacey Hassard said. “Community residents will have enhanced access to online tools and resources. This will give patients and doctors the ability to connect with some types of specialty care without leaving their community, and will help improve outcomes for students from kindergarten through to post-secondary levels.”

The Government of Yukon will contribute $3.8 million over three years towards contracts with Total North Communications and Northwestel. As a result, schools and health centres in the communities will be connected to an optical municipal area network fibre, offering internet speeds up to 100 times faster than speeds now available.

“This project is ground-breaking and exciting on a number of levels,” Total North Communications president Gord Duncan said. “In addition to the tremendous opportunities this will bring to rural Yukon, the project will foster and grow the evolving Yukon IT ecosystem. This is a made-in-Yukon solution—by Yukoners, for Yukoners.”

Total North and Northwestel will work to build, support and maintain the network connecting the schools and health centres to Yukon’s main fibre infrastructure. In addition to the infrastructure, Total North and Northwestel will support initiatives designed to make use of the enhanced connectivity.

“Northwestel is proud to partner in this pilot program, which will truly help to build a more connected Yukon,” Northwestel president and CEO Paul Flaherty said. “This innovative solution will open new doors for teachers, students and health care professionals to have unparalleled access to the information, tools and opportunities available online.”

Installation in all three communities is expected to be completed by fall 2016. If this pilot project proves successful, it will be expanded to additional communities. This project is intended to help determine cost effectiveness and the best approach to deliver high-speed internet to Yukon communities.

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Contact:

Dan Macdonald
Cabinet Communications
867-393-6470
dan.macdonald@gov.yk.ca

Kara Johancsik
Communications, Economic Development
867-667-5378
kara.johancsik@gov.yk.ca

Adriann Kennedy
Communications, Northwestel
867-455-4209
akennedy@nwtel.ca

Josh Clark
Total North Communications
876-668-5175, extension 401
jclark@totalnorth.ca


News Release #16-220