Our month-long throwback to 1990s dial-up speeds in the Beaufort Delta is over — Northern Lights GP has confirmed repairs on the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link have finally been completed.

MFVL general manager Deanna Cornfield confirmed the work was completed in an email sent to NNSL Sept. 8.

“The major repairs to restore service to the MVFL have been completed with minor cleanup work left to be done by the field crews,” she said. “We have confirmation from customers that their circuits are up, and traffic is moving. Service was restored at about 3:00 pm on September 7, 2023.

“Northern Lights will continue to monitor the connectivity of these repairs over the next few days however full restoration is expected.”

Internet use in the Beaufort Delta had been at a crawl since the fibre link was damaged by wildfires on Aug. 7 between Inuvik and Fort Good Hope. Access to the line was limited by smoke reducing visibility and dangerous conditions on the ground.

Both NorthwesTel and New North Networks had established alternative lines to keep customers on basic service, but use of streaming services was discouraged due to low bandwidth. NorthwestTel made use of their microwave service and New North Networks purchased several Starlink units to keep up bandwidth.

NorthwesTel published an update on their social media feed shortly after 12 p.m.

”Northwestel technicians have repaired the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link and restored telecommunications services to the Beaufort Delta region (Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic, and Fort McPherson).

“While Northwestel technicians continue to work on the infrastructure over the coming days, customers in the impacted communities may experience minor disruptions to services. Thank you to the communities for their patience during this unprecedented period in the NWT.”

New North Networks announced customers would be given credit for the month of slow and patchy internet.

“Good News…MFVL is now repaired!!” posted the company on their social media feed at 3:28 p.m. Sept. 8. “As noted, its been one month to the day, as previously indicated we discounted customers 50 per cent off their internet bill for the balance of the disruption from Aug. 7 to Sept 7 remaining discounts will be applied to the next invoice.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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