Pacific Dataport installs the first 2.5 GHz Tribal Broadband System in Alaska to connect Akiak Native Community

Microcom technicians stand next to newly installed OneWeb user terminals in Akiak, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Pacific Dataport, Inc. and Microcom)

October 19, 2021: Pacific Dataport and Microcom are proud to announce they have installed the first OneWeb low-earth-orbit (LEO) user terminal in Alaska to deliver broadband to the Akiak Native Community. This is the culmination of many months of planning and the FCC’s recent granting of the 2.5 GHz spectrum to tribes across America. The Akiak Native Community, a federally recognized Indian Tribe, is working with both Pacific Dataport and Microcom located in Anchorage, Alaska to deploy their wireless broadband network.

Pacific Dataport will be supplying the OneWeb LEO community user terminal and backhaul that enable high-speed broadband connectivity. The community’s user terminal communicates with the satellites overhead and connects to the community-wide distribution system, which is Cambium technology provided by Microcom. The broadband signal will travel up a tower where access points will spread the signal throughout the community. Each home will have a small antenna (subscriber module) affixed outside and that device sends/receives the signal to/from the tower. From there it travels inside the home to a Wi-Fi router.

Shawn Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Engineering at Pacific Dataport said, “I am thrilled to announce the first testing of the OneWeb network connection was established between the user terminal in Akiak and OneWeb satellites, completing the connection to the Internet. Beta testing will continue as new hardware and software are perfected. We are dedicated to seeing broadband reach all of Alaska and look forward to leveraging OneWeb’s network to help make vital connectivity possible in Akiak and communities across the state.”

“Akiak is the first LEO village in the United States and we are delivering affordable broadband internet to 100% of our homes and businesses because we have strong and committed Tribal leaders and an outstanding project team,” said Kevin Hamer, President and CEO of Akiak Technology, LLC. “As core members of our team, Pacific Dataport Inc. and Microcom provided the OneWeb LEO solution and support Akiak Technology LLC needed to finally start closing the digital divide for our unserved Tribal communities in SW Alaska.”

This capacity will allow residents to have access to very fast broadband and enables opportunities for tele-health, education, commerce and entertainment. Residents will be able to cruise the Internet, stream television and music, conduct meetings on two-way video software and game.

Pacific Dataport and Microcom are proud to partner with Alaska Tribal Broadband (ATB), the Akiak Native Community, and Akiak Technology to help strengthen tribal sovereignty and expand affordable broadband to rural Alaska.