wiredinUSA June 2015

Keeping cable on ice Marine surveying is due to begin again near Alaska’s coastal communities in an effort to improve communications by laying a $700 million fiber optic cable between Europe and Asia via the Arctic Ocean.

of around 500 miles of fiber optic cable from Fairbanks north to Deadhorse, and is developing a subsea line from the oil field complex of Prudhoe Bay to come ashore in Nome, a Western Alaska community.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports that lingering sea ice in Canada’s Northwest Passage has causeddelays for cable laying ships. Anchorage-based Quintillion Holdings is a partner in a project initiated by Canada’s Arctic Fibre. Quintillion CEO Elizabeth Pierce said that developers are using a phased approach, with work starting on links from Asia to Nome, and Prudhoe Bay to Europe, once the Alaska portion of the project is completed.

Themarine survey will help determine cable routes and necessary protective measures.

Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative is an investor in Quintillion, and director of operations Jens Laipenieks says the satellite or microwave connections currently in use by rural communities are costly andprovideonly sporadic coverage. “A fiber optic connection will never have issues like snow in the satellite dish or solar interference, and it is much faster as far as lower latency technology,” he said. “Instead of taking 500 or 600 milliseconds, it will be 20 or 30 milliseconds.”

Pierce says her company planned to break ground in May to begin the installation

wiredInUSA - June 2015 i I

wiredInUSA - June 2015



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