MTA Fiber Holdings Completes AlCan ONE
PALMER—MTA Fiber Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MTA, has officially completed construction and commenced operation of Alaska Canada Overland Network (AlCan ONE), the first and only all-terrestrial fiber network connecting Alaska to the contiguous United States and beyond.
AlCan ONE, which began construction in spring 2019, establishes a secure and reliable fiber connection to any point in the contiguous United States, providing MTA’s members—and Alaska as a whole—with a robust internet transport connection for decades to come. The network has capabilities of more than 100 terabits per second, which can be expanded and increased as demand grows.
The line runs nearly 300 miles long from North Pole to the Canadian border before connecting with Canadian carriers, helping to extend MTA’s existing network through Canada and on to major hubs in the United States.
“After decades of talk about a terrestrial fiber optic path out of Alaska, our whole organization is proud to have accomplished this historic feat safely and efficiently,” says Michael Burke, CEO of MTA. “Especially during this pandemic, connection via technology is absolutely vital, and whatever short-term capacity forecast that we had when we began this project a year ago has been blown out of the water due to the COVID-19 crisis. We don’t know what the new normal is going to look like, but the AlCan ONE network lays the groundwork to meet the needs for today, while helping us plant the seeds to meet future demand and help Alaska grow.”
“The completion of this line is not just a win for MTA—it is a win for all of the people and businesses of Alaska,” says Francis LaChapelle, vice president of wholesale and carrier relations. “We’re very grateful for all of the carriers, communities, businesses, and legislators who helped make this possible, and we’re confident that the benefits of this highly successful project will be felt by all. We’re looking forward to developing partnerships with telecommunications organizations across the state to maximize the value of AlCan One for all Alaskans.”
The Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC), whose annual awards highlight international players who have made outstanding contributions to improving the ability of people and firms in the Pacific region, honored MTA with the 2020 Outstanding Wireline Company Award for its work on AlCan ONE.
In This Issue
Alaska Problems Require Alaska Solutions
On January 16, a fire destroyed the water plant and washeteria in the southwest Alaska village of Tuluksak. For the village of about 350 people, it was a devastating blow. The water plant was the only source of drinking water in the village, in which the primarily Yup’ik residents lack indoor plumbing and rely on honey buckets, not uncommon in the flat, swampy region.