On July 13-14, policy leaders, tech industry experts and other executives met in Barrow, Alaska to discuss the essential need 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.

Highlights of the Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit included presentations ranging from what private investors are looking for when considering projects in the far north. 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, nearly 40 speakers participated in the conference, coming from as far away as Finland, Canada and the east coast.

“I’m incredibly grateful to the many experts and presenters who came all the way to Alaska to join us for the Summit,” said Tara Sweeney, who serves as chair of the Arctic Economic Council as well as executive vice president of external affairs for ASRC. “They’ve been able to see firsthand the many challenges we experience in the Arctic and the importance of using broadband as a tool to bring opportunities to the north – like educational, health and economic growth benefits. Improved connectivity capacity is a problem all too common in many parts of the Arctic, and I’m pleased that industry leaders are committed to helping us find solutions.”

The Summit, which was organized by the Arctic Economic Council and its telecommunications working group, was broadcast live on KBRW Radio and the program was simulcast worldwide on the internet. The event was also co-hosted by the Iñuit Arctic Business Alliance (IABA) and the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC).

A full agenda from the Summit can be found at www.arcticeconomiccouncil.com. Video clips and photos will be made available in the near future.