Photo: City of Oulu

2nd Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit Wrapped up in Oulu

Following the success of the First Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit last year in Barrow, Alaska, the 2nd TOWSummit took place in Oulu Finland 14th-15th June.

At the event policy leaders, tech industry experts and other executives met in Oulu, Finland to discuss the need and potential for broadband across the circumpolar Arctic, and how to best prepare for the many opportunities and even challenges the new technology will bring with it.

The Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit is a platform for interaction between the business, policy and academia and is as such in line with previous events organized by the Arctic Economic Council.

Keynote by Commissioner Vella
After initial welcoming remarks made by Ms. Päivi Laajala, Mayor of Oulu, Mr. Tero Vauraste, AEC Chair and Lapnland Ambassador and President and CEO of Arctia Ltd, and Mr. Juha Ala-Mursula, Director of Business Oulu, a keynote speech was delivered by Mr. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner, Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission.

You can find Commissioner Vellas speech here.

Stable and harmonized regulations
Highlights of the 2nd Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit included presentations ranging from possible synergies in connecting the Arctic through North-East and North-West and how different technologies can best serve the remote areas of the Arctic.

Other discussions touched on new satellite technology to compliment subsea fiber optic broadband, and what the government’s role should be in connecting the Arctic. In all, more than 30 speakers participated in the conference, coming from as far away as Alaska, Canada and Japan.

In conclusion, the business community was unified in voicing the need for stable and harmonized regulations.

Program

The Summit consisted of five panels:

Panel 1: Connecting the Arctic. Moderated by Ms. Suvi Lindén.

Panel 2: Interconnected Arctic. Moderated by Mr. Matti Latva-aho.

Panel 3: Visions for the Future. Moderated by Mr. Khaled Sedrak.

Panel 4: Safe Arctic. Moderated by Mr. Francis Uy.

Panel 5: Competent Arctic. Moderated by Mr. Markku Heikkilä.

Three of the panels reflected the focus of the Finnish Business Communities Chairmanship of the Arctic Economic Council:

–          Interconnected Arctic

–          Safe Arctic

–          Competent Arctic

The full program can be found here.

Site visits

In addition the Summit included site visits to:

–          Nokia Networks and Technologies site Oulu

–          Bittium

–          PrintoCent Innovation Center

–          OuluHealth Labs

Comments on the event

“I am very happy to see that the need for stable regulations, easy market accesses and global business value chains were broadly recognized among many industry leaders witnessing that the AEC overarching themes have been chosen successfully,” comments AEC Chair Tero Vauraste.

Mayor of Oulu Päivi Laajala states. “As the home of 5G development Oulu was thrilled to host the second Arctic Broadband Summit together with AEC. This event gathered top experts from fields highly relevant to the competence Oulu has. This event has strengthened our businesses ties to the similarly minded global business community. As the Mayor of Oulu I would like to see more of this kind of cooperation in the future.”

Director of the Arctic Economic Council Secretariat, Anu Fredrikson commented: “We would like to thank all the speakers, moderators and other registered participants for active interaction. This is what made the event a success.”

The Summit, which was jointly organized by the Arctic Economic Council and the City of Oulu gathered over 100 participants form across the Arctic as well as sub-Arctic countries.

All presentations from the event will be published on our website shortly.