Alaska is home, not just a reality TV show.

In my 25 years working in Alaska’s networking business, I’ve learned the key to building network here is not the technologies–it’s the relationships you establish to support them.

MTA got its start in 1953 as a telephone company, but we’ve always believed in the power of telecommunications to innovate and transform Alaska’s businesses and communities. With that belief serving as our North Star, we’ve evolved and expanded our footprint. Today, we’re one of Alaska’s largest Alaska-owned and operated telecommunications providers. From subsea connections to the Pacific Northwest to AlCan ONE, Alaska’s only terrestrial fiber network, the purpose that drives us has always been to create the highest value for Alaskans by providing the most advanced communications technologies available.

 No matter where you need to connect—in Alaska or beyond—we will deliver.

 Though our growth is a testament to the hard work we’ve put in here at MTA, our recipe for success is repeatable. We continue to prove that with the right strategic partners, together we build quality networks that bring new business to our great state and allow our Alaskan businesses to thrive. Here’s how you can do it, too:

·       A winning cost structure. I often meet with clients who were first quoted by their go-to national carriers. Quotes from national carriers are often significantly higher than quotes from Alaska’s local carriers. Networking projects in Alaska can take a great deal of time and coordination, so its not uncommon for national carriers to add significant margins. Additionally, even in Alaska’s “metropolitan areas,” our population and business landscape are far less dense than most parts of the contiguous United States. Alaska still needs access to leading-edge networking solutions, but volume and demand for service is relatively low. It creates a math problem for carriers–they need to make up for that lack of usage, so they mark up their services. While it may cost you $15,000 to run a 100-gig circuit from New York to LA, that same 100-gig circuit may cost you $200,000 from Seattle to Alaska. Alaska’s local carriers can often avoid some of these markups and be more cost-effective partners for you.

·       A strong local presence. In my last article I explained the constant threat of Alaska’s extreme environmental conditions. Most of Alaska relies on subsea cables, which can be damaged by numerous factors both man-caused and natural. The solution to this issue is to create a business continuity plan which includes subsea and terrestrial route diversity. But equally important, you need boots on the ground to make quick repairs.

·       Well-established local relationships. My last article also mentioned the diverse infrastructure we have here, which includes 20+ ILECs and local providers, and every manner of transmission technology from fiber to microwave. Simply put: That’s a heck of a lot of moving parts to manage, and often, networks need to be designed and negotiated with each and every one of them. It’s just not possible to cut corners when procuring network in Alaska. The only way to get things done is through relationships.

Alaska is my home. It’s where I live and where I work. I want to help your businesses succeed because your offerings and innovations enrich life for me, my family and my community.

 I put together this guide to offer up my knowledge and experiences on how to procure network in Alaska most effectively. I hope it proves to be resourceful along your way.

 What other questions do you have about Alaska’s networking landscape? I’m happy to discuss in the comments section below. 

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