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Cable Technology Feature Article

April 09, 2009

ACS Launches Commercial Traffic on AKORN

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor

Alaska Communications Systems  (ACS (News - Alert)) has launched commercial traffic on Alaska-Oregon Network (AKORN) submarine cable to provide diverse connectivity between Alaska and national/global networks.
ACS said that it is turning up IP, data and voice communications traffic on this cable system. AKORN’s four fiber pairs and advanced electronics are expected to triple Alaska’s existing interstate bandwidth capacity.
Company officials said that AKORN exits Anchorage, AK from a “unique spot,” travels to Nikiski and then overland to Homer before going under the ocean to Florence, Oregon.
Built and maintained by ACS, the landing site in Florence has capacity for additional undersea cables.
The high-speed cable is expected to be continuously monitored and managed by ACS’ dual Network Operations Control Centers in Alaska and the Lower 48.
In addition to the geographical diversity and increased capacity, AKORN, officials said, it also complements ACS’ Northstar cable system between Anchorage and Nedonna Beach, OR which has recently been upgraded to OC-192 increments.
Both these cables travel from their separate landing sites to network peering points in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA over diverse paths. Together, the cables create a fiber ring. This provides alternate routes in the event of a network disruption, with the ability to reroute traffic in less than 50 milliseconds.
AKORN and Northstar are integrated with the only state-wide MPLS network, said officials. This connects cities across Alaska, including dual fiber routes between Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi