New high-speed internet cable comes online in Arctic Alaska

Published: Apr. 18, 2017 at 9:26 PM AKDT
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A new fiber optic cable is online in Prudhoe Bay, installed underground from Fairbanks to Deadhorse to bring a new option for high-speed internet to the North Slope.

Project officials with Quintillion celebrated the successful installation with a number of investors and beneficiaries of the project. Those in attendance included representatives from the oil and gas development industry, telecommunication companies, the University of Alaska, the Lieutenant Governor, Alaska’s entire Congressional Delegation, among dozens of others.

Quintillion CEO Elizabeth Pierce said, there’s still a lot more work to fully realize the mission to build a fiber optic system from Asia to Europe through the Northwest Passage, but the installation of the Prudhoe Bay line is “the critical backbone” of the endeavor.

“Now that Phase One is coming to an end, people are really excited about the potentials for subsequent phases, so we have a lot more of the industry cooperation, cross industry cooperation, and government cooperation that's essential to bringing projects like this through,” said Pierce.

Pierce said, Phase One should be completed by Dec. 1. This summer, Quintillion will be connecting the Prudhoe Bay line to a sub-sea cable system laid around Alaska’s Northwest Arctic coast last summer, connecting rural villages of Nome, Kotzebue, Point Hope, Wainwright and Utqiagvik to high-speed internet for the first time.