Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. ("ACS") announced today that it has successfully completed a major milestone in the installation of its new undersea fiber optic cable from Alaska to Florence, Ore.
The state-of-the-art cable, called the Alaska Oregon Network (AKORN), is now connected at landing points in both states. AKORN, which stretches from Anchorage to Florence, was buried in Alaska waters this summer and came ashore recently in Florence on the Oregon coast. From a new landing station in Florence, technicians are working to tie AKORN into existing terrestrial fiber routes to Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, and that work is expected to continue over the next few weeks.
AKORN construction began in 2007 and the system will be commercially ready by the first quarter of 2009. AKORN is Alaska's only geographically diverse undersea route and its four fiber pairs more than triple the existing bandwidth capacity in the state. The high-speed, high-performance cable will be continuously monitored and managed by dual Network Operations Control Centers in Alaska and the Lower 48, a security feature that no other telecom carrier in Alaska except ACS provides.
"The project is progressing extremely well. The cable installation is on track and the landing stations in Homer and Florence are nearing completion. We're on time and we expect to have AKORN fully operational and providing Alaska a huge boost in bandwidth capacity over diverse routing by first quarter of 2009," said Steve Gebert, ACS Director of Program Management.
AKORN is one key element of ACS' recent investments to serve the demands of sophisticated Enterprise customers. In April 2008, ACS announced that it was acquiring Crest Communications, owner of Northstar, one of Alaska's three existing long-haul fiber routes. The Crest transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. With the new AKORN cable and the acquisition of Northstar, ACS will own two diverse submarine routes, two distinct paths to Seattle and Portland, two network monitoring centers, and unique and meshed MPLS converged networks throughout Alaska. These cutting-edge investments in Enterprise infrastructure, combined with ACS' 3G CDMA network, represent ACS' commitment to building differentiated, world-class assets designed to meet the growing needs of large commercial and government clients.