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Astranis and Pacific Dataport Sign Exclusive Agreement to Bridge Alaska’s Digital Divide

Jan 16, 2019 | Featured, News, Telecom & Tech

Astranis microsatellite size comparison

Astronis

Pacific Dataport (PDI) has signed a deal with space telecom pioneer Astranis to commission the company’s first-ever commercial satellite and dramatically increase the available bandwidth in Alaska and make internet access faster, more reliable and less expensive statewide.
Pacific Dataport Inc. (PDI) is a two-year-old venture created by Alaska-based telecom company Microcom with the mission of bridging the digital divide in Alaska with something it is calling The Aurora System—a grand vision for a system of satellites built for Alaskans by Alaskans dedicated to boosting the availability of fast, affordable and reliable internet for the entire state. 
 
PDI signed a firm contract for a guaranteed sum plus significant potential upside with space telecoms pioneer Astranis, a San Francisco-based space startup backed by Andreesen Horowitz, to commission the first-ever commercial Astranis microsatellite that will dramatically increase the available bandwidth in Alaska and make internet access faster, more reliable, and less expensive statewide—up to three times less expensive than current costs for both consumer and wholesale customers.
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January 2020

January 2020

Alaska’s size and geography has long presented a challenge for the state’s broadband capacity, with a mere 2.5 Gbps of satellite bandwidth available statewide across several different providers. The new Astranis satellite will increase the available bandwidth for Alaskans while bringing costs down significantly and making an immediate impact on bringing to life the Aurora System vision of a fully connected Alaska.
 
Astranis launched from stealth last March with funding from Andreessen Horowitz to close the digital divide and re-imagine the $122 billion a year satellite telecoms market by providing fast, reliable internet to the 4 billion people on the planet still without access. 
 
According to Broadband Now, there are 145,000 people in Alaska without access to a wired connection capable of 25mbps download speeds. There are 233,000 people in Alaska that have access to only one wired provider, leaving them no options to switch and another 56,000 people in Alaska whio do not have any wired internet providers available where they live.
 

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Alaska Business Magazine January 2020 cover

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The Marx Bros. Café

January 2020

Jack Amon and Richard “Van” Hale opened the doors of the Marx Bros. Café on October 18, 1979; however, the two had already been partners in cuisine for some time, having created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday, a weekly evening of food and wine. It was actually the end of the weekly event that spurred the name of the restaurant: hours after its final service, Amon and Hale were hauling equipment and furnishings out of their old location and to their now-iconic building on Third Street, all while managing arguments about equipment ownership, a visit from the police, and quite a bit of wine. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘A Night at the Opera” starring the Marx Brothers, that’s what it was like,” Hale explains.

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