Talk of Alaska: Broadband in Rural Alaska

The Beaufort Sea. An underwater fiber optic cable was cut by ice in the Beaufort Sea, cutting off many Arctic communities from internet services. (Photo courtesy NOAA)

No online banking, no Amazon orders, no internet classes. A broken fiber optic cable buried far below the Beaufort Sea ice, north of Oliktok Point has brought internet service for a wide swath of Arctic communities to dial up speed or a complete halt. Repairs are still weeks away. How are schools, local governments and businesses coping with the lack of reliable online commerce? How much redundancy is there in the system now and will federal funds make it more robust and reliable? We discuss the need for modern communication connections in the far north, on this Talk of Alaska


HOST: Lori Townsend


  • Nagruk Harcharek – President, Voice of the Arctic Inupiat
  • Kelly Williams – CEO, OTZ Telephone Cooperative


Call 907-550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcast.

Send an email to (Comments may be read on air).

Post your comment during or after the live broadcast on social media (Comments may be read on air).

LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, June 27 at 10 a.m. on Alaska public radio stations statewide.

Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at or call 907-350-2058.

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