Information Crossroads: Arctic Broadband Development (Tara MacLean Sweeney, session 5)

Information Crossroads: Arctic Broadband Development (Tara MacLean Sweeney, session 5)

Arctic Economic Council Chairwoman Tara MacLean Sweeney discusses the current status of Internet connectivity in remote parts of Alaska, as well as the most cost-effective solutions.

An accompanying video of the session in which this presentation was given can be found on the Arctic Futures Symposium VIMEO channel . Ms. Sweeney's presentation starts at 06:07.


Arctic Futures Symposium 2015

November 18, 2015


  1. Information Crossroads: Arctic Broadband Development Bringing 21st century technology to

    the Arctic
  2. Service Provider Landscape •  Small local cooperatives •  Two larger

    statewide providers •  National providers moving into Alaska market •  Low competition •  High costs •  Challenging environment •  Satellite and/or microwave in remote areas
  3. Roadblocks to Maximizing Opportunity • Bureaucratic red-tape • Regulatory uncertainty • Delays • Challenging

    operating environments • High cost of doing business • Access to capital
  4. Why Fiber-Optic Broadband? •  Connects remote communities •  Provides faster

    service •  Positive impact on social development •  Sparks innovation •  Increases competitiveness •  Fosters market growth •  Low operation costs •  Low maintenance routines •  Virtually unlimited capacity
  5. Importance of Arctic Broadband Technology •  Remote northern communities are

    paying more money for slower internet •  Impedes environmental protections and emergency response mechanisms •  Impedes adoption of high-value services •  Key to the economic future of the Arctic
  6. Satellite v. Microwave v. Fiber •  Satellite technology capital cost

    per 1 Gbps of capacity is $1.5 million •  Alaska microwave systems suggests a capital cost of more than $5 million per Gbps •  Fiber-optic cable is expected to cost $10,000 per Gbps.
  7. Comparative Charts

  8. None
  9. Quintillion Subsea Cable Project •  International telecommunications project •  Offshoot

    points to remote Alaska communities
  10. None
  11. None
  12. Benefits of the Quintillion Project •  Promote local economic development

    •  Provide efficiencies in local government services •  Enhance quality of life factors •  Increase educational opportunities •  Arrest regional brain-drain
  13. American Platform “Today, high-speed broadband is not a luxury, it’s

    a necessity.” U.S. President Barack Obama, 2015
  14. Quyanaq