Another break in the Quintillion fiber optic line leaves North Slope communities with weak internet

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Internet is down in portions of the North Slope after the fiber optic cable owned by Quintillion had some type of break.

Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative has said the communities impacted are Atqasuk, Point Hope, Utqiagvik, and Wainwright.

“Currently these communities are experiencing an all services Quintillion network outage. Quintillion’s teams have been deployed to investigate a possible fiber cut. A restoral to all services is underway. We will share updates as they become available. Credits will be applied following the restoral, for all customers affected in all communities,” ASTAC said on its Facebook page.

GCI said, “Our connectivity partner, Quintillion Networks, is experiencing a network outage that is impacting some of our services in Nome, Kotzebue, Utqiagvik and Wainwright. Slower internet service will be experienced. Voice and text are not impacted at this time. Quintillion teams are working to restore service as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience.”

Maniilaq Association said the 911 line is down in Kotzebue for ATT phones due to the break. The land line is still working.

Each community provider has its own communities and own networks. Each community is impacted to a different degree. For instance, ASTAC has some satellite backup in place for its communities but there is no statewide backup network to make these situations avoidable.

Less than a year ago, there was a break in the Quintillion fiber optic cable on the ocean floor, leaving communities without internet for several weeks. This break is not thought to be a subsea problem.

The problem with fiber optic breaks in the Arctic include remote areas, weather, challenging ice conditions. The federal government has been making awards for fiber optic, with satellite companies receiving no such subsidies for providing satellite service to these communities as a redundant system to ensure reliability and uninterrupted service.

Quintillion just received an $89 million grant to extend fiber optic to more communities along Alaska’s coastline.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Starlink is the ready replacement for Quintillion and GCI. No need to disturb the ground for internet anymore.

    • I believe it’s the law now after Hoffman put the squeeze on akleg, they say in life no regrets; I participated in the original broadband grant from creation to the customer premise, it was upside down afterwards and unsustainable just like what’s happening again. Reruns. Total reruns and who pays? Alaskans and national security, security, any options of sustainable e911 deployed by the lagoon – next to the river and fish wheel so you can get what you need to improve your outcomes. A dream of yesteryear. Competition is key! No oil, why did?

  2. What a scam they are since Starlink would save the state tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars! Grrr

    • Free Hunter Biden porn and ultra high speed internet for competition gaming without leaving home to compete with other villages.
      They have all but retired the old skin boats and made way for the ultra fast aluminum boats with the 425 HP outboards.
      No more camping out on the ice to catch a whale. Its a sunday afternoon outing now.

      • Susie, it must be nice to demand, and be granted, mostly for free, the best of both worlds.

        I will take the “traditional values” trope seriously, and respect Alaska Natives, when they return to living their sod and rock igloos. Which they will, once fossil fuels become too expensive to maintain the artificial lifestyle to which they have become accustomed in the 20th and now 21st century.

    • Can’t speak to Inuit, but I know a lot of Tlingits who use it to document and preserve vanishing parts of their culture.

      There are many things in Tlingit language and expression which don’t translate to printed word.

      It’s also used to teach things like dance, traditional cooking, and related things to communities from Seattle to Whitehorse.

      Plus any sane mariner regardless of culture won’t go out on our waters without the ability to communicate with people and keep tabs on the weather.

  3. Maybe should wrap up the cable with a thick layer of 100 dollar bills to protect it from the sea ice. Maybe declare a state of emergency for the communities that are being devastated by not having high speed internet.

  4. Hahaha!! They were offering up to $500 buy-back to suckers to ditch Starlink after this happened last year to go back to Quintillion. I bet they won’t do that again. Just get and keep Starlink this time.

    • And much more overall fragile, and susceptible to service disruptions.

      I can’t wait for the next serious solar storm to wean all the gadget-heads from their addiction to their wireless devices.

  5. Just like the Ukraine war – keep shoveling more money down a rathole and hope for the best!

  6. There is no excuse to have expensive fiber in remote areas when Starlink is available, and is better, cheaper, and has no lines to break.

  7. Over half of Norton Sound is on Starlink now.
    Tell those Inupiats on the slope to drop this cable (loser) idea & get w/ the times.

  8. Coming soon to the YK Delta, adding to the already existing monopoly and less than satisfactory service.
    Thank you BNC and GCI.
    If it wasn’t for Starlink, we’d be playing with string as we wait.

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