In this Oct. 31, 2017 photo provided by Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative, crews with the Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative install fiber distribution cable n Utqiagvik, Alaska, for the new high-speed fiber-optic system launching in Alaska's northern region, where several of the telecom company's communities are located. The new link by Anchorage-based wholesaler Quintillion is Alaska's piece of a planned international fiber-optic system that would eventually connect London and Tokyo via the Arctic. (Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative via AP)

High-speed internet to bring big change in remote Alaska

December 21, 2017 - 3:17 am

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Some remote communities in Alaska's northernmost region are finally getting a commodity long taken for granted in much of the U.S.: high-speed internet.

Until now, the region tapping into the new broadband relied on a notoriously slow satellite connection.

The new, faster link by Anchorage-based wholesaler Quintillion is Alaska's piece of a planned international fiber-optic system that would eventually connect London and Tokyo via the Arctic.

The 1,400-mile (2,250-kilometer) Alaska portion includes a land trunk line between Fairbanks and the Prudhoe Bay oil fields that went live in the spring.

In October, ship crews finished installing the last Alaska segment of the subsea cable system between Nome and Prudhoe Bay, and the network became available Dec. 1 to telecom providers.

Company representatives say the project is the result of several factors, including technical advances, willing private investors and a warming Arctic environment that opened up a limited construction season.

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