General Communication has announced the building of a $50 million optical fiber cable connecting Seward, Alaska and Warrenton, OR.
The 1,544-statute mile cable has a total design capacity of 640 gigabits per second access speed and is planned to be operational by May 2004. The cable will complement GCI's existing optical fiber cable between Whittier, Alaska and Seattle, WA. The two cables will provide physically diverse instant backup to each other in the event of an outage.
"In combination with GCI's Alaska United cable this new fiber optic cable will provide unprecedented reliability for business, education and government users," says Richard Dowling, GCI senior vice president, corporate development. "The project underscores GCI's commitment to Alaska and our continued investment in its future."
When the system is completed in 2004, it will deliver a minimum of 258,048 simultaneous clear channel voice or data circuits at transmission speeds of 20 billion bits per second. As demand increases, capacity can be increased to support a minimum of 8,257,536 simultaneous clear channel voice or data circuits at speeds of 640 billion bits per second.
A consortium of companies, with members NEC Corp., OCC Corp., and Global Marine Systems Limited headed by Sumitomo Corp. of Japan has been selected to design, engineer, manufacture and install the undersea cable system.
NEC will engineer, manufacture and integrate the system. OCC will produce the undersea cable. Global Marine Systems will install the system in the complex marine environment.
GCI, based in Anchorage, is a telecommunications provider. For more information visit