‘Final spike’ as GCI’s subsea cable connects Alaskan islands
GCI says it has made the final subsea fibre splice for its AU-Aleutians Fiber Project, which connects a string of islands south-west of Alaska.
According to TeleGeography’s Submarine Cable Map, the AU-Aleutian subsea cable runs 1,311km from Kodiak island, just off the Alaskan coast, to the island of Unalaska, via almost a dozen landing points. Kodiak is connected to the Alaskan mainland by a 2007 subsea cable. The cable ship Intrepid laid the whole cable.
GCI rural affairs director Jen Nelson (pictured) said: “The GCI team is thrilled to work with the Native Village of Port Lions to extend fibre optic connectivity even further into the region and help close the digital divide.”
Now GCI is getting ready to install 2Gbps residential internet speeds in the Aleutians later this year.
“For the residents of the AU-Aleutians communities, it promises to be just as transformative,” said GCI senior staff engineer Bruce Rein. “I’m incredibly proud of this team and the work we’ve done.”
Nelson said: “Fibre is the gold standard of connectivity and GCI has decades of experiencing deploying and operating it throughout much of Alaska. The arrival of urban level connectivity will be a game changer for consumers, businesses, the fishing and maritime industries, schools and clinics in these communities.”
GCI, which is owned by Liberty Broadband, compared the splice to the “golden spike” that held down the final link in the US transcontinental railroad in 1869, hammered in with great ceremony in Utah.
Rein said: “It’s a huge accomplishment for GCI to complete this installation on time in the midst of a global pandemic when raw materials were scarce, workers and communities were trying to stop the spread of sickness, and worldwide freighter traffic was turned on its head.”