Alaska life hack: Barrow Sea Ice Cam is back online after summer outage


The farthest north webcam in North America has been offline for months, since the break of the Quintillion subsea fiber optic cable, which was torn apart by ice in the Beaufort Sea June 11.

But with the repairs now made to the high-speed internet cable, the Utqiaġvik (Barrow) Sea Ice Webcam is once again transmitting images from the top of the world to the rest of the world, showing the waterfront and the sea that laps and freezes to the shore at latitude 71° 17′ 33″ N.

The web cam is operated by the Sea Ice Group at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, with support from the Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative and the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. It is mounted on top of the bank building in Utqiagvik. During the long winter, it shows sea ice conditions, and during the short summer, it shows the ocean.

Watch a clip of the shore and the full moon in Utqiagvik from the past 24 hours:

“Apart from providing a visual impression of the sea-ice conditions off Barrow, these images establish a longer-term record of key dates in the seasonal evolution of the sea-ice cover, such as: onset of fall ice formation, formation of a stable ice cover, onset of spring melt, appearance of melt ponds, beginning of ice break-up in early summer, removal or advection of sea ice during the summer months,” the website explains.

Quintillion is a wholesale broadband service provider, with more than 1,700 miles of fiber optic cable has installed off the Alaska coast, providing middle-mile backhaul services for last-mile service providers.


    • I might enjoy pulling on a survival suit and catching some waves, but not dodging polar bears… Might be less crowded than Hawaii or Santa Monica though.

  1. It should be very exciting to watch here shortly when all is dark. What’s the price tag for this essential service?

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