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Alaska Communications : Bristol Bay Telephone and OneWeb Improve Mobile, Voice and Data Service in Bristol Bay

10/19/2021 | 11:01am EST

Alaska Communications has agreed to supply low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite service through OneWeb to Bristol Bay Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (BBTC). BBTC will use LEO satellites to improve connectivity to its facilities and residents in the area.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211019005194/en/

Pictured: A floatplane sits on Naknek Lake in western Alaska. (Photo: Business Wire)

Pictured: A floatplane sits on Naknek Lake in western Alaska. (Photo: Business Wire)

The Bristol Bay region is known for its renown salmon fishing. It’s also known by locals as having high data costs and extremely limited connectivity options.

LEO satellites deliver fiber-like connectivity performance to areas that are difficult and expensive to reach via terrestrial options, like Bristol Bay. For BBTC, using a LEO service was an easy decision given the affordability and quality of service.

“The installation costs are a fraction of what it would be to deploy fiber to our outlying villages,” said Earl Hubb, general manager of BBTC. “The service we’re using now has data caps and expensive overage fees, I’m excited for the endless possibilities our new low-latency connection will bring us. It’s like going from a bicycle to a sports car.”

The cooperative will initially use this service to connect its offices and facilities. In the future, it plans to extend it to residents in the region and augment its voice and mobile data network.

“We have areas where we’ve never been able to provide mobile data,” said Hubb. “Offering affordable mobile data will enable opportunities our customers have not had until now. Connecting with the world, accessing education and vocational programs, watching a popular show on a streaming serving, these are all things our customers will be able to do, which will enrich their lives. They can continue to enjoy the beauty and solitude that comes with living in rural Alaska, while also take advantage of these opportunities.”

“We’re pleased to work with Bristol Bay Telephone, and we’re excited to witness technology transform its community,” said Bill Bishop, president and CEO of Alaska Communications. “Connectivity can be life-changing. This service will enable dynamic opportunities that weren’t possible before.”

“OneWeb recognizes the value of new jobs and investment in Alaska and listening to our partners like Alaska Communications in the Last Frontier,” said Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb. “We made Alaska the centerpiece of our coverage map because of the benefits our LEO constellation can provide to the economy, safety and health of rural communities in the north. We know that if our we can provide consistent, high-speed internet here, we can provide it anywhere.”

Announced in June of this year, OneWeb and Alaska Communications are collaborating to deliver a fiber-like connectivity experience everywhere in Alaska. Through the agreement, Alaska Communications will sell OneWeb’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite service to its customers and use it for critical middle mile connections.

LEO service for Bristol Bay Telephone will turn up in November.

For inquiries about using LEO service through Alaska Communications and OneWeb, visit www.alaskacommunications.com/satelliteservices.

About Alaska Communications

Alaska Communications, an affiliate of ATN International, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATNI), is the leading provider of advanced broadband and managed IT services for businesses and consumers in Alaska. The company operates a highly reliable, advanced statewide data network with the latest technology and the most diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous U.S. For more information, visit www.AlaskaCommunications.com.

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