Planting the Seeds of Alaska’s Connected Future
May 26, 2020
By: Michael Burke, MTA CEO
Today, MTA Fiber Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MTA, completed construction and officially commissioned AlCan ONE (Alaska Canada Overland Network), the first and only all-terrestrial fiber network connecting Alaska to the contiguous United States and beyond.
AlCan ONE began construction in spring 2019, and with its completion, it establishes a secure, reliable fiber connection to any point in the contiguous United States. The line runs nearly 300 miles from North Pole, Alaska, to the Canadian border. From there, it connects with Canadian internet carriers, extending MTA’s existing network through Canada and on to major hubs in the Lower 48.
As our game-changing AlCan ONE fiber network comes to life today, our role in growing Alaska’s internet capacity digs even deeper into Alaska’s internet landscape.
Telecom Leaders Can Learn from Landscape Architects
When landscape architects start out looking at a plot of land, they have vision. They’ll consider and plan for the space, and then they’ll dig in, planting and designing a future, with a scenic oasis emerging over the years. In the early days of a garden or landscaped space, it’s hard to see what seeds or the tiniest of sprouts will become. But, where the average person might not see potential, landscape architects have vision. They trust their talents, knowing there’ll be a beautiful landscape that will grow up and into the space.
All of us at MTA work in telecommunications, but, in a way, we’re also like landscape architects. We have technological vision. In building the AlCan ONE network, we are laying the groundwork to meet our communities’ needs for today, while ensuring we meet internet demand and help Alaska’s economy, businesses and people grow and thrive in the future. We trust our digital capabilities and know what’s to come: better, stronger connections to each other, powered by the network we’ve designed and constructed.
For our members – as well as Alaskans across the state – AlCan ONE’s completion today means you’ll now benefit from a robust internet transport connection. And, as our state grows and demand for internet capacity increases, the network’s capabilities will scale, with potential to expand in capacity to more than 100 terabits per second.
The successful commissioning of AlCan ONE is not just a win for MTA – it is a win for all of the people and businesses of Alaska. We could not have completed this groundbreaking project without the help of other telecom carriers, communities, businesses and legislators who helped make this possible, and we’re confident that the benefits of this highly successful project will be felt by all.
We look forward to developing partnerships with telecommunications organizations across the state to plant even more seeds for the success of Alaska’s internet future and to further maximize the value of AlCan ONE for all Alaskans.
[For photos of the AlCan ONE project in process and more information on MTA Fiber Holdings, LLC, please visit: www.mtafiber.com.]