NOME, Alaska — Quintillion has broken ground in Nome. The telecom company is laying 15,000 feet of conduit pipe that will eventually hold fiber optic cable and bring high-speed internet to western Alaska.
Construction crews began work on Tobuk Alley two weeks ago, and they’ll move throughout town over the next three months.
“Right now, the crew is working on the in-city trench conduit that will hold the cable where the subsea line comes in and connects to local utilities,” said Kristina Woolston, Quintillion’s Vice President of External Affairs. “We’ll be doing that work from now until probably June.”
After that, Woolston said construction will continue up the coast, with crews laying pipe in Kotzebue, Point Hope, Wainwright, Barrow, and Prudhoe Bay. The actual fiber optic cable will then be installed in September.
“The entire system will be online in the first quarter of 2017, so we’re on schedule,” said Woolston. “We have ships sailing from France in about a month with the cable.”
Those two vessels will be operated by Alcatel Submarine Networks. Quintillion has contracted the French company to drill and lay the main undersea cable from Prudhoe Bay to Nome. Each community will tap into the backbone cable through the smaller systems being laid in town.
As construction continues, Woolston said Quintillion will make public announcements about where crews are working in town and where ships are moving at sea. She said the company plans to work around summer subsistence and dredging activities.