The Pacific Northwest just might get its first new cable landing station since the dot com crash. According to Capacity this morning, the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) is involved in a project to build the CLS on the shoreline south of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, and Quintillion has signed a letter of intent to be the first customer.
The first customer for what, you ask? Well apparently Quintillion has expanded its plans for Phase 2 of its cable system to not only hook up Alaska with Asia, but to Seattle as well. Phase 1 of course runs along the north and west of Alaska and extends across the land to Fairbanks where it hooks up to existing infrastructure to Anchorage and on to Seattle and Hillsboro. Phase 2 now looks more like a transpacific cable taking a northern route with a branch up to Nome on the Bering Strait.
The project isn't guaranteed to come off, of course, but the RFS date for the project is sometime in 2021. The new landing station would bring added diversity to infrastructure in the region, and since that's something the big cloud/content guys are pushing the hardest. So when it comes to funding the project it's hard to imagine they aren't somewhere behind this pulling a few strings.
One can understand the interest of the Quinault Indian Nation, of course. Here is a project that comes with little environmental cost that will bring jobs and technology right through their land. Once in place, other cable would have a strong incentive to land at the new CLS as well. Plans are in the works for terrestrial backhaul to the I-5 corridor where it would be able to connect with existing fiber infrastructure.
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