On Friday, Quintillion Global’s repair vessel was cleared by its ice forecasters to proceed around Point Barrow to the area where the company’s fiber optic cable break had occurred earlier this summer. The vessel was en route to the location and repairs were set to commence as soon as it reached the destination.
It had been held up for several days at Wainwright because of remnants of sea ice that created hazardous conditions past Point Barrow.
The company is attempting to repair a subsea cable that was damaged by ice scouring, or moving ice on the seabed about 34 miles north of Oliktok Point. The break occurred on June 11. Most of the Arctic coastal communities have been without high- or moderate-speed internet and even cell phone service has been patchy ever since.
Quintillion is the first and only telecommunications operator to build a subsea and terrestrial fiber optic cable network in the US Arctic. The company intends to build out the network to Asia and Europe.