Pioneer Selected by Cordova Telecom for Engineering and Design of Landmark FISH Submarine Cable System
Pioneer Consulting, the full-service submarine fiber optic telecommunications consulting and project management company, announces it has been contracted by Cordova Telecom Cooperative, Inc., a member-owned telecommunications cooperative, to oversee the engineering and design phase of its planned “Fiber Internet Serving Homes in Alaska” (FISH in AK) submarine cable system in Alaska.
The 276 km system will connect the cities of Cordova and Seward, with branching units for additional connectivity to Johnstone Point and the Village of Chenega.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Program, an initiative to provide connectivity to rural and underserved communities, the FISH project will bring critical high-speed broadband service to Cordova, Johnstone Point, and Chenega – some of Alaska’s most remote regions. In 2021, Pioneer Consulting was brought in to assist with the project’s initial feasibility study. This work provided Cordova Telecom with valuable insight into the proposed project, resulting in its successful USDA grant application. With the success of those key preliminary studies and funding applications, Pioneer has now been contracted to conduct a desktop study analysis and a detailed engineering study for the FISH system. This engineering and design phase will define the FISH system requirements and is expected to be completed by Q3 2023.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to assist in this critical project,” said Philip deGuzman, Director of Client Solutions at Pioneer Consulting. “Cordova will soon benefit from high-speed, reliable connectivity. We’re proud to support this exciting effort and to work alongside Cordova Telecom Cooperative.”
“The FISH project is significant in many ways, but most importantly it will deliver Cordova the critical middle mile redundancy and internet capacity it needs,” said Jeremiah Beckett, CEO of Cordova Telecom Cooperative. “It was imperative that we have a team with the necessary skills and experience to provide an accurate assessment of the FISH project. Upon completion of the preliminary study conducted by Pioneer in 2021, we knew they were the right partner to make this system a reality.”
Once completed, the submarine cable system will provide many terabits of capacity between the four communities, facilitating end-user speeds with the potential of up to a gigabit of capacity to local residents and businesses, achieved through “fiber-to-the-home” links. The FISH system will also serve as a more advanced and reliable counterpart to Cordova’s existing fiber optic cable, which is vulnerable to a single point of failure, offering more reliable broadband connection to the region.