Alaska Communications, the state’s leading broadband and managed IT services company, recently became a satellite network provider.
The company entered an agreement with Eutelsat Americas, a subsidiary of Eutelsat Communications, leasing transponder space in the C-Band. This now allows favorable economics and significant savings in offering services for businesses, schools, health care providers, and government applications in remote communities across Alaska.
“Entering the market as a satellite provider instead of a reseller gives us more flexibility and control over our product, which we will use to provide more value for customers,” Alaska Communications Senior Vice President, Business Market Bill Bishop said. “We can offer our customers competitive pricing and value added services we’ll manage end to end. As a statewide provider, it’s important to us to serve customers in remote areas, including the North Slope and Arctic regions.”
One of the remote areas Alaska Communications will serve with its new satellite capabilities is TDX at St. Paul Island, a community north of the Aleutian Island chain almost 300 miles out in the Bering Sea. TDX is the Alaska Native Corporation for St. Paul Island. TDX, as the primary internet service provider, will provide last mile broadband internet service to its customers through its newly laid fiber optic cable to each home, and will be using Alaska Communications‘ new satellite offering to provide the middle mile broadband capacity to the island.
“All rural communities in Alaska struggle to find affordable broadband capacity to the community,” TDX CEO Ron Philemonoff said. “We’ve found that though many providers can provide the services we need, Alaska Communications has by far the best value in a middle mile satellite broadband package.”
Alaska Communications will help TDX with its main focus: using broadband to improve the quality of life in St. Paul’s remote and harsh environment.
“Like in much of rural Alaska, when faster broadband speeds are available, the possibilities can be life changing. St. Paul residents can now explore online job training, e-commerce for locally produced arts and crafts, better access to state government services, tourism promotion, and better videoconferencing with friends and family off the island,” Philemonoff said.
Alaska Communications chose Eutelsat’s EUTELSAT 115 West B satellite because of its coverage across Alaska, and reliable and efficient performance. Satellite services can also create enhanced back-up services, proving redundancy for several customers as well as the company’s Arctic Fiber network. Coupled with a teleport located in Anchorage to reduce latency, Alaska Communications is well positioned to serve rural Alaska with satellite technology for years to come.