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Quintillion Project Finishes Breaking Ground In Nome

An overview of the Quintillion Project, including the construction phase which has now been completed in Nome. Photo provided by Quintillion (2016)

You may have noticed some construction detouring traffic in Nome around 4th and Steadman Street the past couple of days. Those traffic flow changes were due to the laying of the last section of fiber optic cable for the Nome part of the Quintillion project.

An on-site support member of the New Horizons Telecom crew, Daniel Ashe, says construction was routine without any issues. Kristina Woolston, the VP of External Affairs for Quintillion, adds that this is the last of the traffic detours Nome drivers should expect from the project.

Woolston reiterated, “Yes, we believe this will be the last of the construction inconveniences, temporary (and) hopefully for a great benefit in the community of Nome, and we really appreciate everyone’s patience and support.”

Construction for the Quintillion project is happening in five communities other than Nome, including Kotzebue and Barrow. Woolston says this phase of the 3-phase project should be completed by October so that crews can work around the Arctic winter weather conditions, but there is a lot of work still to be done.

“And there continues to be a lot of marine activity. We have to do work close to shore, and we have to lay the main cable offshore, so it’s just a very busy time. Work will continue throughout the rest of the summer and into October, and then, we begin the process of preparing for in-service for the first quarter of 2017,” stated Woolston.

Even if service is available on schedule by the end of the first few months of 2017, Quintillion will not be providing internet service directly to consumers. As a wholesaler, Quintillion sells “true broadband” capacity to telecommunications providers, like GCI, and they, in turn, will provide that to consumers. But at what price is yet to be determined.