Northwest Alaska Gets High-Speed, Reliable Broadband Service

Alaska Communications Contracts with Quintillion to Secure Fiber Optic Access for Northwest Alaska

A new agreement between Alaska Communications and Quintillion will for the first time provide competitive high-speed reliable broadband and managed IT services to education, healthcare, native corporations, and government sectors in northwest Alaska

Native corporations, government agencies, health care clinics and schools in Northwest Alaska will have access to competitive, high-speed, reliable broadband and managed IT services for the first time, thanks to a new agreement between Alaska Communications (NASDAQ: ALSK) and Quintillion. Powered by Quintillion’s new submarine fiber optic cable, Alaska Communications will bring new services to Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow), Nome, Kotzebue, Point Hope and Wainwright, some of Alaska’s northernmost communities.

Quintillion’s network will enable commercially available, high-speed connectivity where only high-cost microwave and satellite communications have been available from one provider. The new fiber network will bring high-speed fiber optic access, on a substantially more affordable basis, to these communities.

When the network is active later in 2017, Alaska Communications, the state’s leading broadband and managed IT services provider, will be a reseller to select telecom carriers in addition to serving business customers with its expanded network. Also as part of the agreement, Quintillion will purchase capacity services for its newly constructed terrestrial system to the oil fields of the North Slope on Alaska Communications’ fiber optic network from Fairbanks to the Lower 48.

Alaska Communications and Quintillion first partnered in April 2015, acquiring a fiber optic network from ConocoPhillips in the portion of Alaska’s North Slope oil patch where most new oil and gas development is occurring. The new deal allows Alaska Communications to connect the original fiber to its existing network via Quintillion’s new terrestrial network, providing redundancy and expanding broadband and managed IT services offerings to more of Alaska’s oil and gas companies on the North Slope.

“Securing this competitive and high-quality fiber connection to our North Slope assets significantly improves our opportunities to serve the health care, education, and public safety sectors in these communities, while preparing us to better serve the needs of the energy sector and Arctic development,” Alaska Communications President and CEO Anand Vadapalli said. “We look forward to serving more organizations with secure, reliable and competitive data services, including broadband and managed IT services. We’re pleased to collaborate with Quintillion to bring broadband access to underserved areas and help move our state forward.”

“The Arctic is a developing frontier and currently lacks essential infrastructure such as broadband,” Elizabeth Pierce, Quintillion CEO, said. “The cost of service is very high. The quality of service is very poor and economic development, health care and education are being impeded. Quintillion is building a fiber optic cable system that will allow providers to offer lower cost and better quality service.”

Alaska Communications will make this new network available to business customers and other telecom carriers, increasing competition and the variety of new product and service offerings. The company will work with local exchange carriers in each community that can bring broadband to homes and businesses.

Source: Alaska Communications media announcement


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