Alaska Communications Systems Group Inc. and Tyco Telecommunications have signed a contract to construct an undersea fiber-optic cable system that will provide high-bandwidth connectivity between Anchorage, Alaska, and Florence, Oregon.
"This fiber facility, coupled with our unique in-state data networks, positions ACS to serve significant carrier and enterprise customers who have needs for end-to-end solutions connecting the Lower 48 and Alaska," explained Liane Pelletier, ACS president, chief executive officer, and chair. "The physical characteristics of this system -- from its distinct exit path from Alaska to its unique undersea path to its strategically located landing site in Oregon; its 25-year life; substantially superior performance characteristics; and bandwidth capacity that is greater than any other fiber linking the Lower 48 and Alaska -- translate into a superior asset able to compete for an estimated $200 million market shaped by strong growth fundamentals. We are pleased to be working with Tyco Telecommunications. Tyco Telecommunications' comprehensive solution meets our exacting requirements, and their world-class reputation for delivery ensures the success of this strategic investment. The total cost of the system to include the undersea portions of the project to be managed and constructed by Tyco Telecommunications and the complementary terrestrial system work is estimated at $95 million."
The system, composed of both terrestrial and undersea elements, will originate in Anchorage and terminate in Florence, where it will interconnect with multiple meet points in the Pacific Northwest. Diverse terrestrial routes will provide connectivity between Anchorage and Homer, Alaska, plus an undersea interlink in Alaska's Cook Inlet from Anchorage to Nikiski.
The major undersea portion of the system will comprise a four-fiber-pair system connecting Homer with the mid-coastal Oregon town of Florence. The Florence landing site was chosen due to the alternative geographic positioning it provides in relation to landing sites in use for other Alaskan fibers.
The system will have an ultimate capacity to transmit sixty-four 10-Gbps wavelengths on each of the four fiber pairs for a total potential bandwidth of nearly 2.6 Tbps. The ACS system also includes an undersea branching unit to facilitate connectivity into Southeast Alaska.
ACS offers local telephone service, wireless, long distance, data, and Internet services to business and residential customers throughout the state and Lower 48 enterprise customers with a need for end-to-end solutions linking to Alaska.