Arctic Resilience Forum: Broadband Connectivity
Broadband connectivity enables people and communities to connect, collaborate and participate in commerce. Challenges to Arctic connectivity may be unique, but the need for connectivity is universal. In order to survive and thrive generally and in times of crisis the Arctic must find a way to leverage technology to stay connected and in business. This panel featured technologists, telecom leaders, and Arctic community leaders, government officials working to improve connectivity. The discussions brought to the fore the opportunities that members of Arctic communities have gained from connectivity, and the continued challenges that they may be facing because of inadequate broadband access.
"In the midst of this global pandemic, broadband is sustaining our most basic and significant needs, enabling distance education, allowing many to continue working to keep our economy afloat and supporting public health efforts." - Tina Pidgeon, Wilson Center Global Fellow for the Polar Institute, Principal, Tina Pidgeon Strategies
"Improving sustainability and reliability may mean overengineering the network with duplicate or triplicate power redundancy, and making sure there's redundant paths in case something breaks or is impacted by extreme weather." - Curtis Shaw, President, Northwestel
“After suffering through a bunch of loss in my life directly related to the harshness of living in Alaska – I lost 16 of my basketball teammates and classmates to alcohol-related deaths and suicides – I thought there wasn’t really any options for me either. And that was until an 8th grader showed me a video of American Ninja Warrior on Youtube… Now I’m a 6-time American Ninja Warrior. … I’ve used that platform and Internet has been huge for me.” – Nick Hanson
Since its inception in 2017, the Polar Institute has become a premier forum for discussion and policy analysis of Arctic and Antarctic issues, and is known in Washington, DC and elsewhere as the Arctic Public Square. The Institute holistically studies the central policy issues facing these regions—with an emphasis on Arctic governance, climate change, economic development, scientific research, security, and Indigenous communities—and communicates trusted analysis to policymakers and other stakeholders. Read more