Project is Proceeding 2 Years Ahead of Schedule
JUNEAU, Alaska–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$APTL #APT–Alaska Power & Telephone Company (AP&T) is pleased to share the achievement of key milestones for the SEALink fiber optic project undertaken by its subsidiary AP&T Wireless (APTW).
In December of 2021, US Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Services (RUS) provided the SEALink project with environmental clearance, authorizing construction. Shortly after RUS environmental approvals, APTW executed a contract with Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke, a German subsidiary of the submarine cable manufacturer Prysmian Group, for supply and installation of the submarine fiber optic cable in 2022 – two years ahead of the project’s original schedule.
The SEALink project will create a 214-mile submarine fiber optic cable from Prince of Wales Island to Juneau, with an overland crossing on Mitkof Island through the community of Petersburg. The project also involves terrestrial network build-outs in the communities of Coffman Cove and Kasaan, which currently lack broadband service. The project is funded by a $24.5m grant from USDA Rural Utility Services, and over $7m in matching funds from APTW.
Meanwhile, APTW has been making arrangements to begin constructing SEALink’s terrestrial project features in 2022. It anticipates boring on Mitkof Island will begin in the coming weeks, followed by development of Mitkof-based aerial transport fiber. After that, AP&T will begin fiber-to-the home build-outs in the communities of Kasaan and Coffman Cove. Improved residential service should begin to become available in 2023.
Alaska Power & Telephone President and CEO Mike Garrett remarked, “We are thrilled to be in the position to bring the benefits of the SEALink project to rural Alaskans two years earlier than originally planned. Timely action by state and federal permitting authorities, and robust support from regional stakeholders combined with the efforts of our engineering and permitting team to make this possible. While the benefit stream may be two years ahead, it is not a moment too soon for rural southeast Alaskans. Communities like Coffman Cove and Kasaan lack the connectivity they need to participate in remote working, telehealth, and educational opportunities, which have become fundamental to our society. SEALink solves that problem, and opens up additional opportunities to enhance connectivity throughout southeast Alaska.”
In the months that come, AP&T will be working with tribes, rural communities, and other service providers to develop concepts that further expand the usefulness of the SEALink network to stakeholders across the region.
Alaska Power & Telephone Company (OTC: APTL) is an investor-owned utility providing diverse utility services in over 40 communities in rural Alaska. Additional information on AP&T can be found at: www.aptalaska.com
Jason Custer, Vice President – Business Development