Arctic Broadband Forum to Bring Together Experts from Around the World

The University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of the Arctic are pleased to announce The Arctic Broadband Forum 2017 which will be held in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, May 8-9, 2017.

The Arctic Broadband Forum will bring together educators, researchers and industry from across the World to discuss the challenges, successes and potential of telecommunications and broadband deployment in the Arctic. Specific emphasis will be placed on the role of broadband and digital technologies on the cultural preservation and self-determination of indigenous populations throughout the Arctic.

A wide range of presenters from across the Arctic, including Canada, Finland and the U.S will provide research, presentations and lead discussions on topics relating to broadband. The sessions are as diverse as the Arctic itself and run the gamut from how broadband is changing lives in the Arctic to the challenges of implementing telehealth in northern Canada to public-private partnerships to the continued role of satellite technology in the Arctic. The Forum will also feature several panel discussions: How Broadband is Changing Lives in the Arctic, Indigenous Perspectives and Governmental Roles in Broadband Development in the Arctic.

The Forum will also highlight several businesses throughout the Arctic that have risen to the challenge of delivering Broadband in such a remote isolated region.

Elizabeth Pierce, CEO of Quintillion, the Alaska-based company leading the London to Tokyo fiber project through the Northwest Passage will discuss the successes and challenges in deploying subsea fiber optic cable offshore north of Alaska.

The Forum is part of the Week of the Arctic and one of the key activities of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Telecommunications and Networking. The network’s goal is to examine the unique needs of UArctic members in developing and utilizing new pathways for research and education in a global communications society. It will examine current uses and needs among its members and non-member partner universities. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is the sponsor of the Network and Karl Kowalski, UA’s Chief Information Technology Officer, is the Network’s’ Lead.

Having been an educator in Northwest Alaska for 20 years, Kowalski has a strong interest in the development and delivery of broadband for teaching and learning, healthcare and economic development and believes in its potential. Kowalski was also a member of the Alaska Broadband Taskforce and two International broadband Task Forces: Arctic Council’s Task Force on Telecommunication Infrastructure in the Arctic and the Arctic Economic Council’s Telecom working group which recently released its report Arctic Broadband, Recommendations for an Interconnected Arctic.