KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

QUINTILLION

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

 

It’s all about high-speed internet. At least, that’s what city manager Dave Martinson believes should be the focus of the city council’s upcoming lobbying trip to Washington D.C.

 

“It’s really about high-speed internet," Martinson said. "We will continue to beat that drum.”

 

Laura Kraegel

The cable vessel Ile de Sein is on its way to the North Slope, where soon it'll lay hundreds of miles of fiber optic cable for the Quintillion high-speed internet project.

Before shipping out this weekend, though, the vessel stopped in Unalaska to host a group of Quintillion's investors, industry partners, and other supporters — including Governor Bill Walker.

It was Walker's first trip to Unalaska in two years. He said he came to get a closer look at one of the ships bringing better internet to rural Alaska.

Laura Kraegel

Western Alaska just got one step closer to high-speed internet.

That's because after years of planning and wrangling permits, Quintillion is finally ready to lay fiber optic cable from Prudhoe Bay to Nome. The telecom company has one vessel stationed in the Bering Sea and another close behind.

The Ile de Brehat has left its homeport in France, passed through the Panama Canal, and will soon arrive in Nome. That's where the vessel will start laying a path of fiber optic cable below the sea floor — a path that will wind more than a thousand miles up to the North Slope.

Quintillion

The Ile de Brehat is in Dutch Harbor. The ship is stopping in port on its way up the Alaskan coastline, where it's scheduled to lay fiber optic cable this summer and deliver high-speed internet by early next year.

The vessel is owned by Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks — a French contractor installing the undersea cable on behalf of Quintillion.

Quintillion is the Anchorage-based telecom company is in charge of the project, which will bury more than a thousand miles of cable from Prudhoe Bay to Nome.