Plan for new Alaska telecom satellite; contracts near
Alaska-based Pacific Dataport, Inc. is close to final agreements for a plan to launch a geostationary communications satellite positioned to cover all of Alaska. The new satellite could cut consumer costs for broadband Internet in rural communities to the 65 cents-per-gigabyte range, the company hopes, a bargain compared with prices typically in the $2.50-per-gigabyte range for existing consumer internet service using terrestrial-based systems, including fiber-optic. Although the 65 cents price is aimed at consumers the new service could cut costs for schools and other institutional users. For some types of internet terrestrial is still superior because of the slight lag in timing with satellite which may be important for schools and agencies, but it should not be a disadvantage for typical consumer services, the company says.