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US Indian nation awards deal to connect new cable landing station

Tyson Johnston with map.jpg

California’s MOX Networks is to build a fibre network to connect a Pacific cable landing station owned by native American community.

Toptana Technologies, owned by the Quinault Indian Nation of the Pacific north-west of the US, is the first indigenous-owned cable landing station and backhaul network provider on the US west coast.

“Our mission is to connect the digitally under-connected across our region so all people can fully participate in the digital economy,” said Tyson Johnston (pictured), president of Toptana Technologies’ board of directors, and the Quinault nation’s policy and government relations representative.

“We selected MOX Networks to build the nearly 300-mile [480km] terrestrial backhaul network from Seattle to Hillsboro, based on their deep experience with these types of complex projects and our shared commitment to protecting the environment.”

Allen Meeks, chief operating officer of MOX, said: “MOX is a critical contributor to this trailblazing project alongside the Quinault Indian Nation, with Toptana facilitating new connectivity in the state of Washington, serving the Pacific Northwest and the Asia-Pacific region.”

In addition to connecting the cable landing station at Ocean Shores, Washington state, the network will connect unserved and under-served markets across Washington state and Oregon.

According to TeleGeography’s submarine cable map, north of the Quinault nation’s territory, several cables land inside the inlet on the US-Canadian border, heading to Seattle directly, and one other lands at Warrenton, Oregon, further south. But none so far is planned to land on Quinault territory, says the map.

“MOX’s in-depth fibre expertise and familiarity with the project’s geography makes them a great partner for us to help bring connectivity to unserved and underserved communities,” said Johnston.

The terrestrial connection will contain an initial 288 fibres, offering dark fibre cross-connects to major telecoms peering points. It will be 98 miles (160km) from the Ocean Shores cable landing station.

MOX said it is interconnecting two of the most connected hubs on the US west coast: Seattle, Washington and Hillsboro, Oregon.

Toptana Technologies is building the landing station in Ocean Shores, Washington. Designed to Tier III specifications and 100% uptime standards, the new 17,700 square foot (1,650 sq m) landing station will begin construction in the summer of 2023 and is expected to be operational in 2025.

MOX said it will be the first landing station on Washington’s Pacific coastline. It will also be the first in Washington state since 1999 and the first venture of its kind owned by a sovereign Indian Nation.