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High speed, broadband internet brought to the Dalton Highway

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 2:38 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - While a lot of people were decorating Christmas trees and sitting in front of cozy fires last week, Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative Inc. was working on bringing wireless coverage to the northern reaches of the Dalton Highway.

Stretching 414 miles across northern Alaska, the Dalton Highway is mostly gravel. It travels through some of the most densely packed forests, across the Yukon River and Arctic Circle, through the Brooks Range, over the North Slope and winds up at the Arctic ocean. As one might imagine, the road is known for its lack of cell phone service or internet — people who embark on it must come prepared.

But now, that’s about to change as ASTAC works to bring three new 4G LTE coverage where no coverage has gone before — making it the first telecommunications company to bring wireless coverage to the desolate area. These three sites will improve safety and connectivity along the stretch of remote road. In 2021, the company plans on turning three additional sites to the sites turned up last week.

ASTAC New 4G LTE Dalton Hwy Coverage Map
ASTAC New 4G LTE Dalton Hwy Coverage Map(ASTAC)

The 4G LTE wireless internet will bring new opportunities for people and businesses along the Highway. From University lectures to video streaming to oil field analytics, users will now be more connected than ever.

“ASTAC is committed to closing the technology gap across the North Slope to enhance our members’ experiences and improve safety in some of the most remote places in Alaska,” says Jens Laipenieks, ASTAC CEO and General Manager, “4G LTE is a big part of that effort and a real game-changer in the region.”

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