Why the future of satellite internet might be decided in rural Alaska

EKUK, Alaska - Eleven months out of the year, you can catch Christine O’Connor working at the Alaska Telecom Association in Anchorage. She’s the executive director of the trade group, which fights for better internet service for all Alaskans. The service is fine in her office: she shares a speedy 100-megabit-per-second connection with the rest of her building. But every July, O’Connor works as a commercial fisherman in Ekuk, an unincorporated territory with a recorded population of two. Here she is reminded, yet again, about the dire situation in many of the state’s rural areas, reports Erin Winick for the MIT Technology Review.

Feb 14th, 2019
Why the future of satellite internet might be decided in rural Alaska
Why the future of satellite internet might be decided in rural Alaska
EKUK, Alaska - Eleven months out of the year, you can catch Christine O’Connor working at the Alaska Telecom Association in Anchorage. She’s the executive director of the trade group, which fights for better internet service for all Alaskans. The service is fine in her office: she shares a speedy 100-megabit-per-second connection with the rest of her building. But every July, O’Connor works as a commercial fisherman in Ekuk, an unincorporated territory with a recorded population of two. Here she is reminded, yet again, about the dire situation in many of the state’s rural areas, reports Erin Winick for the MIT Technology Review.

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The Intelligent Aerospace take:

February 14, 2019-With a high latitude, Alaska has proven to be a difficult nut to crack for satellite telecommunication companies for Internet service. Telecom satellites have been geostationary and circling the equator which puts Alaskans in a coverage gap. Utilizing low-Earth orbit satellites, companies like OneWeb are technology to bring the web to rural Alaska. Astranis plans to use a scaled-down geostationary satellite to do the same. Winick's piece in the MIT Technology Review is an interesting look at how companies are using different approaches addressing the issue.

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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