Monday May 8, 2017


Continental Breakfast, Coffee, Tea


Welcome & Opening Remarks

  • Dr. Jim Johnsen, President, University of Alaska System
  • Dr. Dana Thomas, Chancellor, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Karl Kassel, Mayor, Fairbanks North Star Borough

PANEL 1: How Broadband Is Changing Lives In The Arctic

Dr. Pam Lloyd, Vice President, GCI Healthcare and Education, Alaska, USA.

  • Moderator: Dr. Pam Llyod
  • Dr. Lisa Parady, Executive Director, Alaska Council of School Administrators
  • Stewart McDonald, Superintendent, Kodiak Island Borough School District
  • Macy Kenworthy, Arctic Youth Ambassador
  • Byron Nicholai, I Sing, You Dance, Tooksook Bay, Alaska
  • Dr. Stewart Ferguson, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Telehealth

Broadband is changing the lives of the people who live, work and play in the Arctic. This panel brings together the real-world experiences of a diverse group of Arctic residents and community leaders, including Arctic youth. A discussion of how broadband has made Arctic schools and health institutions more effective, strengthened the local economy, and changed lives.


Networking Break


Submarine cables: A Tool of Control or Emancipation?

Michael Delaunay, University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin, FRANCE

The stake of broadband Internet access is becoming increasingly vital for society. In a globalized world such as ours, this access is being progressively considered as a basic necessity; like drinkable water and electricity.
However, the populations of Canadian Arctic territories are may be the least well connected of the western countries. Inuit inhabitants of Nunavut are certainly the unfortunate winners of this title, having to rely exclusively on expensive, slow and inefficient satellite connections when compared to the connections offered by ground cables and microwave towers used in the Northwest Territories as well as in Yukon.
Whether a tool of control or emancipation, submarine telecommunication cables have fueled the fantasies and expectations of both societies and governments since their invention. Nevertheless, although this technology remains a powerful tool of control it can also be seen as a way to make the world more accessible and even as a means of unification for arctic populations.


BUSINESS PROFILE: NorthwesTel Canada

Curtis Shaw, Vice-President Consumer Markets, Northwestel, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, CANADA

The people of Canada’s North make up only 0.3% of the country’s population and are spread out over 4 million square kilometres (almost 1/3 of Canada’s land mass) of rugged terrain. We bring them together.

Northwestel connects the North through innovation—by supporting the development of advanced communications and entertainment solutions that reach further and provide better service for its customers. It serves over 121,000 people in 96 communities—46 of which are only accessible by air. It’s a vast and diverse audience. 70% of these communities have less than 500 people, while 40% of all Northwestel customers live in Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit—the engines of business and government in the North.


Feasibility Study of an Arctic Mobile Communications Network

Harri Saarnisaari , Centre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, FINLAND

A feasibility study of an arctic mobile communications network was made for the Nordic Council of Ministers and in this presentation we summarize the major points of the study. There are regulatory, political, economic and technical challenges when the arctic communication solution is sought.


Networking Lunch


KEYNOTE: They Said It Couldn't Be Done

Quintillion Sub-Sea Cable Project: Connecting Japan to the UK
Elizabeth Pierce, President and CEO, Quintillion, Alaska, USA

Seafarers have been using the Northwest Passage for centuries. In the summer, when the ice melts, the narrow route through Canada's northern archipelago reduces travel time for modern ships by an estimated four days compared to going via the Panama Canal. Quintillion’s northern fiber route will provide a solution to the global demand for redundancy and diverse fiber optic cable routes taking advantage of the same short cut.


Broadband for all in the Arctic? A Comparative Analysis of Alaska and Northern Canada

Heather Hudson, Affiliate Professor,Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), University of Alaska Anchorage, USA

Access to broadband is necessary to participate in the digital economy – for access to services such as online banking, ecommerce, government programs, education and training, telehealth, community and small business entrepreneurship. These services are particularly important for isolated, primarily indigenous communities across the Arctic. Alaska has 200 villages scattered over more than 663,000 square miles, while in northern Canada, there are a similar number of isolated indigenous communities in the three northern territories and the northern regions of the provinces.


Public-Private Partnerships: Unlocking the Arctic’s Broadband Potential

Leonard Steinberg, Sr. Vice President, Regulatory & Government Affairs, Alaska Communications, Alaska, USA

Building on the theme of collaboration and innovation, Alaska Communications proposes that public-private partnerships are the key to unlocking the Arctic’s broadband potential. In this session, attendees will learn:

  • How Alaska can create a public network connecting remote communities
  • What a public-private network would look like
  • Examples of how partnerships have enabled high-speed broadband in Alaska

Networking Break


Panel 2: Indigenous Perspectives: Technology and Broadband Access, Deployment & Potential In the Far North

  • Moderator: Patrick Savok, Chief of Staff, Northwest Arctic Borough
  • Ian Erlich , President of Invoke360, past-President Maniilaq Association, technologist, entrepreneur and global investor.
  • Cheryl Stine, Executive Vice President, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, Alaska
  • Debbie Brisebois, Executive Director Inuit Broadcasting Corporation
  • Joshua Peter, Executive Director of Information Technology, Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Larry Kaplan, Director Alaska Native Language Center, Prof. Linguistics University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Darrell Ohokannoak, Manager, Polarnet, Chair/President of Nunavut BroadBand Development Corporation

Perspectives on broadband development vary across the Arctic. This panel will explore the issues of broadband and technology development in the indigenous context for cultural preservation, indigenous self-determination and economic independence.


The Future Is Already Here. It Is Just Not Evenly Distributed

Alfonso Licata, President and CEO, ORION Networks , Ontario, CANADA

The world is now connected by internet, right? Truth is, there are many barriers to internet access, even in developed countries like Canada. This presentation will showcase ORION's efforts in remote and rural communities in Northern Ontario. ORION CEO Alfonso Licata will close with an expression of interest to work closely towards a national and international community of practice around securing broadband for all.


Connecting the Arctic: Inuit Perspectives on Broadband Development in the Arctic

J. Okalik Eegeesiak, Chair Inuit Circumpolar Conference Canada, Iqaluit, CANADA

To truly walk in the 21st century Inuit and the Arctic needs improved connectivity. Improved connectivity in the Arctic will support sustainable development for Inuit. Improved connectivity is a critical pillar to providing Inuit and all Arctic residents with needed economic options that align with environmental and social aspirations and that are compatible with a future Inuit aspire to, towards fairness, self determination, and equity. Connectivity is also critical for search-and-rescue and necessary for research in the region. Well-functioning communication networks will allow better access to education, healthcare, and commerce, as well as enhance citizens’ participation in civic life and improve delivery of services.


Closing Remarks

5:30 - 7:00

Networking Reception with Association of International Education Administrators

(Included with Broadband Registration)

Location: Wood Center Ballroom


Community Talks: Climate Science and Planning: A Marine-focused Roundtable

Location: Blue Loon, 2999 Parks Hwy, Fairbanks

Arctic researchers, policymakers and community and cultural leaders will discuss key themes of Arctic interest during armchair conversations. Invited to attend are community members, interested Alaskans and visiting delegations. These informal sessions hosted during the Week of the Arctic’s Arctic Interchange offer meaningful insight into priority issues of the Arctic, highlight university expertise, and engage community members.

Tuesday May 9, 2017


Continental Breakfast, Coffee, Tea


Welcome & Opening Remarks

  • Brian Rogers, Chair, Board of the University of the Arctic
  • Aaron Schutt, President & CEO, Doyon Limited
  • A message from Representative Zach Fansler, Bethel, Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska State Legislature
  • Representative David Guttenberg District 4, Alaska State Legislature

KEYNOTE: Northeast Passage Arctic Connect Project

Jukka-Pekka Joensuu, Executive Advisor & CLO, Cinia Group (FINLAND)

The Northeast Passage submarine fibre cable connection (Arctic Connect) has been a subject of investigation for a number of years. The system’s submarine section would consist of an approximately 10,500 kilometre connection from Japan and China to Kirkkoniemi in Norway and Russia’s Kola Peninsula.IT would create the fastest physical telecommunications route from Asia to Northern and Central Europe via Norway, Russia, and Finland. It’s execution would demand international commitment from, at the very least, Russia, China, Japan, Norway and the relevant EU countries.


Together We Are Making Progress - The Future of Arctic Broadband

Tina Pidgeon, General Counsel, GCI, Alaska, USA

A warming Arctic brings change.Change is not itself a solution, though it does create opportunity that comes with its own challenges. Overcoming these challenges depends on a three-pronged strategy for economically and technologically sustainable Arctic broadband deployments: technological innovation, empowering public policies, and anchor tenant economics.

More than ever today, the Arctic is a place where the success of one leads to the success of another. When we join forces to identify and advance the opportunities for the Arctic region, we strengthen the business case for investment for the benefit of everyone.


Networking Break


Satellites are Still Cool -- High Latitude Broadband Opens Opportunities

Tom Heinrichs, Director Geographic Information Network of Alaska, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA

Fiber connectivity at high latitudes has enabled enhanced operations of polar orbiting, Earth observing satellites. Svalbard led the way, but the North American far north will soon be served with fiber. We discuss some of the history and past and future impacts for environmental EO satellite operations.


Expanding Business Opportunities through Broadband

Kristina Wilcox, Capitol Hill Consulting Group Executive Director, Women’s High Tech Coalition, USA

Broadband internet has the potential to drastically change the lives of individuals living in the most northern, remote communities in the United States, and the Quintillion Subsea Cable System is making this a reality. This session will discuss business opportunities through broadband.

The Women’s High-Tech Coalition (WHTC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes the exchange of ideas among leaders in the public and private sectors whose focus is technology, innovation, and the development of public policy related to technology.


Decision Theatre North

  • Pips Veazey, Associate Project Director Alaska EPScoR
  • Dayne Broderson, Technical Services Manager, Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA)

Decision Theater North (DTN) uses interactive, high-resolution visual environments to enable discussions and decisions by policy makers, researchers, industry leaders and community members. The growing need for these theaters stems from: advances in visualization technology; data sets of unprecedented size; the increasing need for team approaches to complex research and policy questions; and a growing acknowledgement of the importance of visual stimuli to fully engage the decision-making capacity of the human brain. DTN is building capacity at UAF and seeks to expand its partnerships with organizations in the North that are facing complex decisions.


Networking Lunch


Special Remarks:

U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan


Panel 3: The Government's Role in Broadband Development in the Arctic: Opportunities & Challenges

Moderator: Nils Andreassen, Executive Director, Institute of the North

  • The Honorable Fran Ulmer, Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, USA
  • Jean-Pierre Blais, Chair Canadian Radio-TV Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), CANADA
  • Gerad Godfrey, Sr. Advisor Rural Business & Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of the Governor, State of Alaska
  • Kristiina Pietikäinen, Director of Strategic Affairs for the Ministry of Transport and Communications, FINLAND
  • Representative David Guttenberg, District 4, Alaska State Legislature

Government support can range from incentives to building a friendly regulatory environment, which is critical to the future of broadband in Arctic. This panel will feature government officials from across the region who will discuss current and future government involvement in connecting the Arctic.


Challenges to Implementation of Telehealth in Northern Canada

Heather Exner-Pirot & Lorna Butler , International Centre for Northern Governance and Development, University of Saskatchewan, CANADA

The high costs and poor outcomes in northern health care are well known and documented. Northerners, and in particular Indigenous Northerners, have lower life expectancies, higher disease burdens, and deal disproportionately from mental illness and addictions. High health care budgets, which are higher per capita in every Arctic state for their northern versus southern populations than Greenland/Denmark, have not been a solution to ill health.

One obvious solution to the challenges of high costs and poor access is telehealth: a means of delivering medical information and health care through the use of telecommunication technologies. Telehealth has the potential to both limit high medical transportation costs (which for example cost the Government of Nunavut $69 million, or about $1865/pp, in Nunavut in 2015 alone) and improve access for rural and remote residents to high quality services and specialists which they could not otherwise access.


Networking Break


The Alaska Native Tradition of Creative Adaptation

Frank Odasz, President, Lone Eagle Consulting

What matters most, is sustaining Indigenous Cultures, Values, and Quality of Life…which depend heavily on leading with the best cultural digital opportunities, while creating awareness on how to avoid the growing risk of abuses, from both beyond the villages, as well as within; such as social media cyberbullying. Given affordable broadband access, and appropriate devices, bridging the digital divide depends on what first you learn is possible, and then, *choose to do with broadband. Lessons learned from 20 years of onsite, and online, indigenous broadband training best practices, amid persistent challenges, informs what’s now becoming possible. As president of Lone Eagle Consulting, Frank Odasz has presented internationally on indigenous broadband training best practices and will share his recent NTIA Alaska Native broadband pilot projects; What matters most for many may be…. Making the choice to speak with a global voice as stewards of the Earth and of our one human family.


Alaska libraries Supporting Arctic Education Through Video Conferencing and More

Daniel Cornwall, OWL Program Manager / Internet and Technology Consultant Alaska State Library

Stories and data of how Alaska’s Online With Libraries videoconferencing network and statewide tutoring services are supporting education in Alaska’s Arctic.

The Alaska Online With Libraries (OWL) Program began in 2011 as the OWL Project with federal funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and administered through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) of the US Department of Commerce. In 2013, the OWL Project became State of Alaska funded and was renamed the Alaska Online With Libraries (OWL).


SSi: Listening to the People We Serve

Lorraine Thomas, Community Outreach and Development, SSi Micro, Yellowknife, CANADA

As a northern-based company led by Jeff Philipp, who grew up in a town of 700 people in the NWT, SSi has always had a keen understanding of what people in remote communities need.

Today, SSi has built (in northern terms) a large, successful business delivering broadband services to all 25 Nunavut communities with the same service at the same price. Listening, and taking direction from the people we serve is the key to success.

This presentation looks at specific examples of Inuit and northern concepts that have been embraced by SSi in the development and delivery of broadband services. While some of the concepts may seem counter-intuitive for those used to the telecom model of the past, SSi has forged an alternative path for long-term success in the north.


Arctic Broadband. Recommendations for an Interconnected Arctic: ARCTIC ECONOMIC COUNCIL UPDATE

Robert McDowell , Former FCC Commissioner and Partner, Cooley LLP, USA and Tara Sweeney, Chair Arctic Economic Council

The Telecommunication Infrastructure Working Group unveiled its report "Arctic Broadband. Recommendations for an Interconnected Arctic" on January 24, 2017 during the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø. This report is the first of its kind. The report explores how each Arctic state defines broadband, and the goals each has established for broadband deployment, as well as the overarching societal benefits of broadband. The document also discusses the challenges that must be considered and surmounted in order to expand broadband in the Arctic, and both funding options and past, current and proposed broadband deployment projects are explored.


Closing Remarks

7:00 - 9:00

"We Breathe Again": A Documentary Film Screening

Location: Goldstream Stadium 16 & IMAX Theater, 1855 Airport Way, Fairbanks
Contact: Izzy Martinez

In a landscape as dramatic as its stories, We Breathe Again intimately explores the lives of four Alaska Native people, each confronting the impacts of intergenerational trauma and suicide. A co-production of UAF, Native Movement , and Crawl Walk Run.

To register, please sign up here.

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