Monday, 25 January 2010

Alaska company eyes fiber optic cable through Northwest Passage

#Alaska company eyes fiber optic cable through Northwest Passage
1stmention #Arctic

'...While everyone was wondering when Arctic oil and gas exploration would begin, the Kodiak Kenai Cable Company was making plans to lay a fibre-optic link through the Northwest Passage.

The Alaska-based company, which already has plans to build a fibre-optic network linking most of the state, now wants to build ArcticLink, a massive 15,000-kilometre, US$1.2 billion cable connecting London and Tokyo

And it wants the route to go through the Northwest Passage, via the Parry Channel, down Baffin Bay and the Davis Strait, past southern Greenland.

Walt Ebell, the company's chief executive officer, said the cable could slash transmission times from London to Tokyo by more than 50 per cent.

"You're cutting down the travel time [for data] because you're cutting down the travel distance," Ebell said in an interview.

"It would be a new express route from Asia to Europe."

Kodiak Kenai Cable Company has already built a fibre optic cable connecting Kodiak Island with Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. The company is ready to start work on a Northern Fibre Optic Link, a 2,800-kilometre network that would encircle the entire state, from Unalaska in the southwest to Barrow and Prudhoe Bay in the North.

That network would also form the centre of ArcticLink....."

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