It was announced today by Arctic Fibre, Inc that they will partner with Anchorage-based Quintillion Networks LLC to provide broadband telecommunications to the more than 26,500 residents living on the North Slope and Bering Sea and will also provide an alternate fiber optic route for traffic moving between the United States, Europe and Asia.
With Arctic Fibre providing vurtually unlimited bandwidth to these areas, it will bring access to faster Internet speeds to residents there and reduce the cost of services. Access to this larger portion of bandwidth will enable rural residents with Internet speeds that rival the service brought to the urban areas of the state.
Arctic Fibre was established in 2009 to explore deploying a fibre optic telecommunications system through the Canadian Arctic. Arctic Fibre plans to construct a 9,424 mile subsea fibre optic cable extending from Tokyo, Japan to London, England via the Bering Strait, Beaufort Sea and Canadian Arctic with a planned in-service date of November 2014.
Late last year in December, Quintillion and Arctic Fibre reached an agreement to have Quintillion to act as the non-discrimatory wholesaler of bandwidth to Alaska. Quintillion will act as Arctic Fibre’s landing party in the United States and will own subsea spurs from underwater branching units to at least five communities along the Alaskan coastline. “At this juncture, Quintillion will construct spurs between Arctic Fibre’s backbone and the communities of Prudhoe Bay, Barrow, Wainwright, Nome and Kotzebue,” said Douglas Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of Arctic Fibre Inc. Quintillion will soon file the landing license applications with the Federal Communications Commission.
“Based upon potential demand from the military, the network could be extended to Shemya,” added Elizabeth Pierce, Chief Executive Officer of Quintillion Networks LLC.
“The infrastructure proposed by Arctic Fibre and Quintillion has the potential to transform many communities in Alaska by providing credible broadband access for the first time, or by providing a real choice for broadband services in other communities. Alaska Communications has consistently invested in broadband in Alaska, and we are now bringing our considerable expertise in building and operating networks to this venture by collaborating with Quintillion to conduct engineering feasibility assessments for their Alaska-based broadband infrastructure,” said Anand Vadapalli, President and CEO of Alaska Communications.
Hans Roeterink, Chief Operating Officer of Quintillion said that the company also intends to put in 490 miles of fiber optic cable along the Dalton Highway from Prudoe Bay to Fairbanks. This cable will also connect to fiber optic networks to Anchorage and to points further south in the lower 48.
“Through the work of the Statewide Broadband Task Force, we have been developing a blueprint for Alaska’s broadband future,” said Commissioner Susan Bell, Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. “This network would move Alaska substantially toward the task force goal of delivering 100 megabits per second to every Alaskan by 2020 and could prove to be a real game changer for the state.”
“Our Quintillion partners and their affiliates at Allied Telecommunications have established strong relationships within the video production and distribution industry which will build traffic over our network,” said Cunningham. “Elizabeth Pierce and Hans Roeterink have extensive experience in Alaska and the telecommunications environment from both a consumer standpoint and investment perspective.”