Fibre optic network to connect Alaska with rest of United States

An Alaskan company plans to build a fibre optic network linking Alaska to the rest of the mainland U.S. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters)
Alaska-based communications company MTA announced Wednesday it is constructing a terrestrial fiber optic network that would connect Alaska to the Lower 48 states.

Similar networks have been built between Alaska communities by companies such as Quintillion, which had previously installed a terrestrial fiber network between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay. However, MTA says its network, constructed by subsidiary MTA Fiber Holdings, would be the first of its kind to connect Alaska to the contiguous United States.

“This is a major step for Alaska that will ensure future capacity requirements for MTA members and can support the continuing growth of broadband across the state of Alaska,” said MTA CEO Michael Burke.

According to an MTA press release, construction began this year and is expected to be completed by mid-2020. The network will go from North Pole, through Canada, into the Lower 48. The company says it hopes the project will lower transport expenses to its customers, as well as provide the state with stable internet access.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Northwestel wants to improve broadband to small communities in northwestern Canada, CBC News

Finland: Could telecommuting keep Finland’s small towns viable?, Yle News

Norway: Two new satellites to boost Norway’s Arctic internet,  The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian military to get fast, secure internet through trans-Arctic cable, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Northern Sweden to host more Facebook servers, Radio Sweden

United States: Ex-CEO charged with fraud in Alaska broadband project, Alaska Public Media

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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