Alaska is first phase of Arctic Ocean fiber optic project

Marine surveying will start again this summer near Alaska’s coastal communities in a wide-reaching effort to improve communications by laying a $700 million fiber-optic cable linking Europe and Asia through the Arctic Ocean.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports lingering sea ice in Canada’s Northwest Passage has caused project delays for cable-laying ships that don’t have the ability to adjust course like transport ships do.

Anchorage-based Quintillion Holdings is a partner in the project, and CEO Elizabeth Pierce says the company has a larger role now than it had at the project’s inception.

Pierce says developers are now using a phased approach, with work starting on links from Asia to Nome and Prudhoe Bay to Europe after the Alaska portion of the project is finished.