The effort to build fiber to and through the frozen north (or is that mostly frozen these days) is continuing to gain steam, and this time it's not just Canadian steam. Some of Alaska's more remote towns along the North Slope and Bering Sea will also get a big connectivity boost when the cable gets built with the help of Anchorage-based Quintillion Networks.
Quintillion plans to construct subsea spurs connecting the Arctic Fibre backbone to the communities of Prudhoe Bay, Barrow, Wainwright, Nome, Kotzebue, and perhaps Shemya. Some 26,500 residents of Alaska would suddenly have access to some big bandwidth.
Quintillion appears to be a brand new company created last month just for this purpose, and is led by CEO Elizabeth Pierce and COO Hans Roeterink. But it's not just about the spurs and landing stations, they also have plans to build a terrestrial fiber route along the Dalton Highway from Prudhoe Bay down to Fairbanks where they can pick up existing fiber connectivity back to the mainland US. If it happens as sketched, Seattle's lowest latency route to London might just lay to the north rather than the east.
Arctic Fibre has been at this for three years now, of course, and its planned in-service date of November 2014 is now less than two years away. Currently they're still figuring out the advance orders from Canadian carriers and agencies in order to help put all the financing in place. WFN Strategies is helping out with the design and implementation.