Large turnout as presenters explore critical need for high-speed internet across circumpolar north
BARROW, Alaska, July 16, 2016 /CNW/ -- For the past two days, policy leaders, tech industry experts and other executives have been meeting in Barrow, Alaska to discuss the essential need for broadband across the circumpolar Arctic, and how to best prepare for the many opportunities and even challenges the new technology will bring with it.
Highlights of the Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit included presentations ranging from what private investors are looking for when considering projects in the far north – to the very latest on the Quintillion Subsea Cable Project, which ASRC is a minority partner. Other discussions touched on new satellite technology to compliment subsea fiber optic broadband, and what the government's role should be in connecting the Arctic. In all, nearly 40 speakers participated in the conference, coming from as far away as Finland, Canada and the east coast.
"I'm incredibly grateful to the many experts and presenters who came all the way to Alaska to join us for the Summit," said Tara Sweeney, who serves as chair of the Arctic Economic Council as well as executive vice president of external affairs for ASRC. "They've been able to see firsthand the many challenges we experience in the Arctic and the importance of using broadband as a tool to bring opportunities to the north – like educational, health and economic growth benefits. Improved connectivity capacity is a problem all too common in many parts of the Arctic, and I'm pleased that industry leaders are committed to helping us find solutions."
The Summit, which was organized by the Arctic Economic Council and its telecommunications working group, was broadcast live on KBRW Radio and the program was simulcast worldwide on the internet. The event was also co-hosted by the Iñuit Arctic Business Alliance (IABA) and the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC).
A full agenda from the Summit can be found at www.arcticeconomiccouncil.com. Video clips and photos will be made available in the near future.
About Arctic Economic Council (AEC)
Established by the Arctic Council under the chairmanship of Canada, the AEC is an independent business forum established to facilitate Arctic business-to-business activities, promote responsible economic development and provide a circumpolar business perspective to the work of the Arctic Council. The inaugural meeting was held in September 2014 in Iqaluit, Nunavut Canada. The AEC has a 42-member board from eight Arctic states and six permanent participant organizations. Finland will assume the chairmanship from the U.S. in 2017.
About Iñuit Arctic Business Alliance (IABA)
IABA comprises representatives of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), NANA Regional Corporation (NANA) and Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC). Its mission is to provide a unified voice, collective vision, guidelines and venue for doing business in the Arctic. The three corporate members of IABA were established as part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971. Together, they own a total of 9.3 million acres of Arctic surface and subsurface real estate and represent more than 31,900 shareholders.
About Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC)
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is owned by and represents the business interests of the Arctic Slope Iñupiat. Since opening enrollment in 1990 to Alaska Natives born after 1971, the corporation's shareholder base has nearly tripled, growing from the 3,700 original enrollees to around 13,000 today. Corporate headquarters are based in Barrow, Alaska, with administrative and subsidiary offices located in Anchorage and throughout the United States. ASRC, along with its family of companies, is the largest Alaskan-owned company, employing approximately 10,000 people worldwide. The company has six major business segments: petroleum refining and marketing, energy support services, construction, industrial services, government services and resource development.
Ty Hardt, ASRC
Sr. Director of Communications
Desk (907) 339-6888
Mobile (907) 223-3253
SOURCE Arctic Economic Council