Journal staff

Binkley Co. buys three Morris publications

On Monday the Binkley Company and Morris Communications announced the sale of three Alaskan publications: The Alaska Journal of Commerce, the Chugiak-Eagle River Star and The Alaskan Equipment Trader. The Alaska Journal of Commerce and the Chugiak-Eagle River Star are published weekly, and the Alaskan Equipment Trader is a monthly publication. The sale is expected to close on Feb. 23. A sale price was not announced. In September, the Binkley Company purchased the assets of the Alaska Dispatch News (now the Anchorage Daily News) out of bankruptcy and will fold the publications into existing ADN operations. “These three papers occupy important spaces in the Alaska media landscape” said Ryan Binkley. “We are excited by the opportunity to add new areas of coverage and new audiences, and to realize the efficiencies that are possible when smaller newspapers are part of a larger group.”  The Binkley Company is owned by siblings Ryan, Kai, Wade and James Binkley from Fairbanks. The sale of the three publications completes the exit of Morris from the Alaska newspaper market, where it has had a presence since 1969 when the company purchased the Juneau Empire. The Journal has been published since 1977 and the Star since 1972. Last August, Morris Communications announced the sale of the Juneau Empire, the Peninsula Clarion and the Homer News to Gatehouse Media, along with eight other newspapers around the country in a deal that closed in October. Morris still owns The Milepost and Alaska Magazine as part of its magazine portfolio.

Quintillion completes 1,400-mile Alaska fiber optic network

Journal Staff A new broadband option for northern Alaska communities is a step closer after the last segment of the Quintillion Subsea Cable System was installed this month. Alaska crews aboard the Alcatel Submarine Networks C/V Ile de Batz completed the Alaska portion of the international fiber optic system that will eventually link London and Tokyo via the Arctic. The system is on schedule to be in service this December, said Quintillion interim CEO George M Tronsrue III. It will provide high-speed broadband in areas that previously lacked access, and Anchorage-based Quintillion will make its service available to local telecom providers as a wholesaler. The 1,400-mile network trunk line runs from Prudhoe Bay to Nome, and makes its terrestrial connection to the Lower 48 in Fairbanks. Branching lines from the subsea portion connect to Utqiaġvik, Wainwright, Point Hope, and Kotzebue. Most of the installation occurred last year with the last 40 miles of cable placed this summer. The portion of the system installed in 2016 has been tested since during winter and spring ice break, Tronsrue said. “The installation has operated perfectly through this test period and we look forward to completing system testing activities prior to commercial launch this December,” he said. The three-phase Quintillion Subsea Cable System is ultimately intended to connect Asia to Western Europe via the southern portion of the Northwest Passage through the Alaska and Canadian Arctic. “Completing the Alaska phase is a significant step for our groundbreaking project,” said Tronsrue. “Our team overcame considerable challenges, including operating in a short, harsh and unpredictable Arctic construction season. “We’re proud of our work and what it will mean to these Alaska communities.” “Our mission is to deliver the same capacity to our Alaska markets the rest of the US has enjoyed for the past two decades. We believe this will drive new growth and innovation, and enhance education, medicine and other essential services.”
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