An Arctic broadband Point of Presence (PoP), in addition to undersea fiber optic cable, will improve connectivity and catalyze economic development on the North Slope of Alaska — something Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) is putting its money behind. In addition to supporting business endeavors, enhanced broadband is a critical need for emergency response, public safety, health care and education in the Arctic region.
Anchorage-based Quintillion — a privately held company of which ASRC owns a minority interest — has built the Alaska fiber optic segment that’s part of the multi-million-dollar project to connect Asia, Canada and Europe through the Arctic Ocean. The ASRC Federal team recently joined partners Quintillion and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Alaska, to mark the launch of the Arctic broadband PoP — a big leap forward in the substantial broadband deployment undertaking.
Prior to fiber optic cable being laid and the PoP installation, data flows from the North Slope to the rest of the world via domestic satellite links were notoriously slow with high latency and low bandwidth, and proved to be unreliable during inclement weather or poor satellite positions relative to the sun.
“As the government services subsidiary of ASRC, ASRC Federal is uniquely positioned to shine a technology-focused spotlight on the Arctic and Alaska to federal agencies through our partnerships and ongoing support of our customers’ missions,” said Clay Morad, ASRC Federal Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, in a statement. “We look forward to a continued partnership with NOAA on this endeavor and on future missions.”
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is owned by and represents the business interests of the Arctic Slope Iñupiat. Since opening enrollment in 1989 to Alaska Natives born after 1971, the corporation’s shareholder base has nearly tripled, growing from the 3,700 original enrollees to approximately 13,000 today. Corporate headquarters are based in Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Alaska, with administrative and subsidiary offices located in Anchorage and throughout the United States. ASRC, along with its family of companies, is the largest Alaskan-owned company, employing approximately 13,500 people across Alaska and the Lower 48. The company has six major business segments: government contract services, petroleum refining and marketing, energy support services, industrial services, construction, and resource development.