Arctic Fibre strikes broadband deal with Alaskan firm
“A goal of delivering 100 megabits per second to every Alaskan by 2020”
Arctic Fibre Inc., the company proposing to lay an undersea fibre optic cable from Tokyo to London through the Northwest Passage, announced Jan. 17 that they’ve reached a deal with an Alaskan firm that would provide at least five Alaskan communities with high speed broadband telecommunications.
Quintillion Networks LLC, based in Anchorage, would own undersea spurs connecting the Arctic Fibre backbone to Prudhoe Bay, Barrow, Wainwright, Nome and Kotzebue, extending its reach to about 26,500 people, Arctic Fibre said.
“This network would move Alaska substantially toward the… goal of delivering 100 megabits per second to every Alaskan by 2020 and could prove to be a real game changer for the state,” Susan Bell, of the Alaska state government’s Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, said in a news release.
Arctic Fibre’s 15,167 kilometre cable would run through Nunavut waters, providing direct connections to Cape Dorset, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven, Cambridge Bay and Tuktoyaktuk.
“Arctic Fibre’s backbone network will reduce the cost of wholesale bandwidth by more than 85 per cent in the Canadian communities of Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak, Igloolik, Hall Beach, Cape Dorset and Iqaluit,” the company said.
The backbone cable would be financed by sales to telecom retailers, especially in Asian countries like Japan, Korea and China.
This would automatically connect about 52 per cent of Nunavut’s population to cheap, high-speed fibre optic telecommunications, with no need for any subsidies from government.
To connect most other communities in Nunavut and elsewhere in the Canadian Arctic that are not adjacent to the backbone, the company proposes that government spend about $161 million on a system of spur lines.
Part of the backbone would run from around Cape Dorset to Kuujjuaraapik and Chisasibi, and from there through Montreal and New York City via terrestrial lines.
This would enable spur lines connecting Sanikiluaq and most Nunavik communities.