Arctic Directory 2018: ASI, solving crucial internet service
needs in the most remote locations
Providing unparalleled equipment and service so Alaska families can stay in touch is company’s top priority
Q. What is the official name of your company?
A. Alaska Satellite Internet
Q. Is your firm a subsidiary or affiliate of other companies? If so, please name those firms and their relationship to your company.
A. We are an independent Alaskan company. However, we have dealership and value added reseller relationships with many big name companies in the satellite internet and satellite communications industry.
Q. What do you most want people to know about
A. Our particular niche is to provide broadband satellite internet service to very remote locations in Alaska, including mines, lodges, construction projects, and research camps. We have quality options available in nearly every area of Alaska, and can usually get service for any of your projects, as long as we are able to fly in an installer, and have a clear view to the relevant satellite.
Q. Where is your company located?
A. Our main office is located just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Our installations are usually done through one of our many trained contractors positioned throughout the state.
Q. What year was the company founded and by whom?
A. The company has been operating since about 2010. ASI is still led by the original founder, William Johnson. Johnson was previously the operator of an Alaska bush airline company, and preceding that he was a top engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corp.
Q. What is your company’s primary business activity?
A. Predominantly we arrange and deliver satellite internet service to our customers throughout Alaska. This includes both residential and corporate orders. We also stock a variety of satellite communications gadgets such as satellite phones and trackers, for in-person or over-the-phone orders.
Q. Are there important projects the company is currently a part of or has done recently?
A. Our largest, most recent, projects have been service to a large mining operation in Northwest Alaska, a power company in Southwest Alaska, and several state agencies in Southern Alaska and Eastern Alaska. Construction projects and tourist lodges continue to provide abundant business for ASI in the spring and summer seasons.
Q. How many employees does your company have?
A. Our main office is normally staffed by 5-8 people depending on the season. The field work is largely done by independent contractors we have trained throughout the state. There are around four hundred such technicians on our books, but we mainly rely on approximately one or two dozen contractors in any given year.
Q. Describe your latest products or service offerings.
A. Our most recent steady product is our HughesNet Gen5 service, available in limited areas of the State. Gen5 is a KA band service using the most current technology from HughesNet. Data speeds on all plans are 25mbps download MIR with data packages up to 550GB/month.
Q. What is your company’s main strength or its edge over
A. Partially, it is our product diversity. Our continuing relationship with multiple vendors helps us to provide our customers with the best products available in their area. We commonly provide a much better long-term support experience than our in-state competitors.
Q. What are the biggest obstacles to completing work that your company undertakes?
A. As they say, “the devil is in the details”, which is a truth amplified considerably when engineering installs in very remote locations. There is always a concern that one unforeseen detail or problem will double the time or trips required.
Q. What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years?
A. The logistics of Alaska are extremely challenging, and it can be difficult work to maintain good options in every area of the state. In some locales, we have to work considerably harder to ensure our vendors keep an older product available, well-maintained, and competitively priced. In other areas we have to use a newer product, designed with a “lower 48” sales model, and map it onto our unique geography and ordering processes.
Q. Has your company been involved in any community projects or charity events?
A. For many years, ASI has been a supporter of Alaska’s Yukon Quest race, providing internet and telephone service at multiple U.S. checkpoints.
Q. What is the address of your company’s Web site?