Alaska Communications Works to Increase Higher Education Opportunities on Alaska’s North Slope
Partnership with rural college expands learning opportunities for rural residents
The relationship is made possible through the Arctic Fiber project which significantly increases bandwidth opportunities in the Utqiagvik community, formerly known as Barrow, and drastically reduces consumer costs.
Prior to the contract, the rural college’s internet users faced a 600 millisecond delay before any data could transfer; now it’s 20 milliseconds, similar to that of urban cities. Users can now download large files, watch videos and open multiple tabs at the same time – all REGULAR activities that previously weren’t possible in the rural area.
“This is allowing our faculty to use multimedia in their courses and
access state-of-the-art learning content,” said
This summer, thanks to the improved infrastructure, the college hosted a tech camp for middle and high school students which they wouldn’t have been able to do without high-speed internet.
Lockhart said the online capabilities have expanded their distance education opportunities which has led to increases in enrollment from nearby villages, where people can sign up for online courses without having to leave their home villages and travel to Utqiagvik.
“The ability to put the Learning Management Software in the cloud essentially means students gain the capability to access quality courseware, which gives equal access to all students, on or off campus,” he said.
Additionally, the cloud-based solution and the Voice Over IP data phone network are generating substantial cost savings for the college.
“Alaska Communications is pleased to partner with Iḷisaġvik
Lockhart said the access to technical support and customer service
“Alaska Communications has demonstrated it can provide the level of service which is really important for us to deliver courses, address staff needs and continue running the college,” said Lockhart.
Heather Marron, 907-564-1326
Manager, Corporate Communications
Tiffany Smith, 907-564-7556
Manager, Board and Investor Relations