Scouring from heavy ice is the likely cause of the fiber cut.The C/S IT Intrepid begins deploying subsea fiber in Unalaska. (Photo by Laurelin Kruse/KUCB)

Repairs to a fiber optic data cable suppling nearly all of Western Alaska are underway, though a full restoration of internet and some cell service could take up to two months.

That’s the word from Quintillion President Mike McHale.

“This will be a long-term outage,” he said. “We’re talking about probably a six-to-eight-week turnaround time for the ship to mobilize and for the ice to clear out of the region, but that is the current situation.”

According to a statement Monday from Quintillion, service on the subsea fiber optic network was interrupted over the weekend after a fiber cut caused a system-wide outage.

Initial assessments indicate an offshore cut north of Oliktok Point, near Prudhoe Bay. McHale says heavy ice is the likely cause of the cut.

“We believe that the cut, and we’re confirming this, but it’s a high probability that the cut was a result of significant ice scouring event,” McHale said.

The broken line is 34 miles offshore, at a depth of about 90 feet.

According to McHale, two repair ships are being mobilized to go to the location of the break.

Read More


Leave a Reply