AEC PRESS RELEASE: 3rd Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit Wrapped up in Sapporo

PRESS RELEASE

June 29, 2018 — SAPPORO, JAPAN

3rd Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit Wrapped up in Sapporo

On June 27-28, policy leaders, researchers, tech industry experts and other executives met in Sapporo, Japan to discuss the need and potential for broadband across the Arctic, and how to best prepare for the many opportunities and even challenges the new technology will bring with it.

Highlights of the 3rd Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit included a message from the Vice Governor of Hokkaido, Mr. Yasuhiro Tsuji, giving support to the event and encouraging further cooperation. Wish for increased collaboration was also the message from the Arctic Council Task Force on Improved Connectivity in the Arctic’s co-chair, Ms. Marjukka Vihavainen-Pitkänen. She proposed closer ties between the task force and the AEC Working Group on Connectivity. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) also sent a message of support and expressed how happy she was to see the event that started in Barrow (Ukpeagvik), Alaska has continued to develop.

Other discussions touched on new opportunities through improved connectivity, such as planned subsea cable projects, and the need for better coverage in the Arctic seas due to increased activity.

At the Summit, NxtVn proposed an initiative for collaboration under the auspices of the AEC. This inclusive initiative would gather municipalities, the telecommunication industry and academia to create an ecosystem for improved connectivity in the Arctic.

In all, more than 20 speakers participated in the Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit. The Summit gathered 100 participants from 10 different countries.

”The Arctic business community has been honored to work on the TOW Summit in Hokkaido, Japan. We have significantly improved ties between business and research during the conference with a versatile speaker setup and an active, global audience. The Arctic businesses are a vital part of international value chains whereas the Japanese approach to freedom of trade is highly valued among Arctic businesses”, stated the Chair of the AEC, Mr. Tero Vauraste, after the event.

Professor Tsuyoshi Yamamoto from the Hokkaido University commented: “I am very happy that the Arctic Economic Council brought the Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit to Hokkaido and Japan. The event gathered many relevant stakeholders that made for great discussions over the last two days.”

The event was organized in collaboration with the Hokkaido University, Hokkaido Government and Hokkaido Committee for Economic Development. It follows the success of the inaugural Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit in Barrow (Ukpeagvik), Alaska in 2016 and the 2017 Summit in Oulu, Finland.

A full agenda from the Summit can be found at www.arcticeconomiccouncil.com.