GCI fixes undersea cable serving Sitka, Angoon

Almost two weeks after an undersea fiber-optic cable was frayed by tides and a rough seafloor, the cable repair ship Wave Venture has completed a fix.

The repairs were announced Friday in an email from GCI, which owns the Alaska United Southeast cable. The damage was on a fiber-optic spur that runs from Juneau across Admiralty Island at Hawk Inlet, south through Chatham Strait to Angoon, then west through Peril Strait and south along the west coast of Baranof Island to Sitka.

According to GCI, the cable was damaged at two locations: one was 7 miles west-southwest of Angoon; the other was in the Kakul Narrows that separate Baranof Island and Chichagof Island at the eastern exit of Salisbury Sound.

While all fiber-optic cables are armored in places where tidal scour is an issue, GCI reported that in this case, tidal surges were enough to wear away a double layer of armoring installed when the cable was laid in 2008.

With several strands of glass fiber broken, the cable was unable to serve Sitka reliably, and many Sitkans reported erratic Internet connectivity.

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