News from Alaska
Alaska Telephone Company (ATC) is the largest local exchange carrier in AP&T's family of companies. Originally called National Utilities, Inc., Alaska Telephone Company has grown significantly in the last 15 years. Alaska was essentially without either wireless and wire telecommunications until the Gold Rush began in 1898. In 1864 a route connecting to the states and westward to Nome was surveyed by the Western Union Telegraph Company as part of a grand plan to connect Europe to North America by telegraph but the successful laying of cable across the Atlantic eliminated this effort.
The Alaska Communications System was created and connected to Seattle by cable in 1905 and served Alaska as its long distance carrier. By 1945 radio teletype and high frequency communications, voice and morse code, were available at 125 sites in Alaska.
The launch of SATCOM 1 expanded the network to 175 communities. AT&T bought ALASCOM in 1995 including its three satellites devoted to providing telecommunications services in Alaska.
The Alaska Communications System (ACS) was formed in 1998 and because of its extensive local telephone holdings it become the largest integrated communications provider in the state. In 2002, ACS, the State of Alaska and the University of Alaska entered into a five year telecommunications partnering contract that calls for ACS to provide a broad range of telephone, long distance, cellular, internet and satellite services to state agencies and the University.
In 2002 the TIC was transferred by the Governor to the Alaska Department of Administration and in 2005 it was abolished by executive order. A Telecommunications Users Advisory Consortium has been established under the Chairmanship of the President of the University of Alaska and consortia dealing with telehealth and with libraries also have been established. The Federal Aviation Administration, the Arctic Research Commission and the Institute of the North brought together for submission to the Arctic Council a program then titled the Circumpolar Infrastructure Task Force to concentrate on transportation and telecommunications in the circumpolar regions. In 2004, the Arctic Council created a demand for an Arctic Information Communications Technology Assessment . This is operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Institute of the North.
Important phone numbers in Alaska
Department of Public Safety 907-269-5086
Attorney General 907-465-3600