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Vol. 14, No. 38 Week of September 20, 2009
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Arctic Directory: North Slope Telecom weathers economic storms to bring telecommunications to remote locations of Alaska

NSTI expanding with construction of new 7,500 square-foot facility to better serve Alaska’s industry

Q. What do you most want people to know about your company?

A. The almost 30 years of experience providing reliable solutions to the competitive companies in the energy industry has pushed us to the top of the mountain. NSTI has weathered the economic storms with the providers on the North Slope of Alaska and will continue to be here for their telecommunications needs.

Q. Where is your company located?

A. Our main office location is 2020 E. Dowling Suite 3, Anchorage AK 99507. We are building a new facility close to the main office on E. 63rd.

 

Q. What year was the company founded? Who founded it, and what was its original name?

 

A. North Slope Telecom was founded in 1980, under the same name it is today, by William Laxson, current owner, president and principal engineer.

Q. Who heads up your company and who is on its senior management team?

A. William Laxson is owner, president and principal engineer. The senior management team consists of: William Laxson, owner; Dave Smith, vice president; Sharon Kazem, manager of administration & finance; and Jon LaPrise, projects & engineering manager

 

Q. Describe any partnership arrangements and when they became effective.

A. North Slope Telecom Inc. partners with GCI to offer our customers a full spectrum of telecommunications services.

 

Q. What is the company’s primary business sector?

A. We primarily work in the Oil and Gas Industry. We provide voice and data communications infrastructure via satellite, microwave, and fiber optics to urban and remote locations.

 

Q. How many employees does your company have?

 

A. North Slope Telecom employs 54 people.

 Q. What type of equipment does your company use? Are there any new purchases planned?

 

A. The NSTI team can provide system design, integration, installation, and commissioning services for the following technologies: VHF (very high frequency), HF and SSB (high frequency or single side band),INMARSAT satellite telephone and data, X and S band radar systems, oil spill buoy tracking systems, public address systems, video surveillance CATV distribution, structured wiring systems, primary and backup power systems, cellular and IMTS and BETRS telephony, communication towers, satellite earth stations, microwave radio systems, radio paging systems, land mobile radio systems, digital carrier and multiplexing, single and multi-mode fiber optics, LAN/WAN switching and routing, PABX telephone systems, VOIP and IP telephony.

Q. Is your company expanding any of its operations or locations?

A. NSTI will be expanding with the construction of a new 7,500-square-foot facility. The new building will have office, warehouse and fabrication space. Construction is currently under way.

  

Q. What is your company’s main strength or its edge over the competition?

A. Our ability to deliver on big projects, we provide large company results with small company service and attention.

 

Q. What new markets, clients or projects did your company attract in the last year?

A. North Slope Telecom is beginning to work on projects outside of the oil and gas industry, and outside of the North Slope of Alaska. We are bringing our skills and services to competitive companies in Anchorage and the Mat-Su.

Q. Has the company invested in any new technology in the last two years?

A. North Slope Telecom has recently designed and fielded a modular electronic equipment support package that includes power generation, storage, and distribution that can be used to support remote standalone applications such as telemetry, video surveillance, and radio communications. Called the “Rapid Deployable Solar System” or RDSS, we incorporated over twenty years of experience in the design of our third generation system. The modular nature allows us to tailor the configuration for the specific application, with up to 24 rack units of equipment space, one to four solar panels, one to eight power storage modules, and an antenna-wind generator mast up to 50 feet tall. The system can be transported by pickup truck or slung into remote locations by helicopter and set-up can be accomplished by two people in 30 minutes or less.

 

Q. What is the most challenging job the company has undertaken?

A. NSTI has made a name by providing the solutions to the projects with time, budget and terrain challenges. Our engineering and technical staff has met these challenges head-on with success.

Q. What are the biggest obstacles to completing work the company undertakes?

A. We share the same obstacles of any company operating in remote regions. The logistics of deploying men and materials to remote locations present tremendous challenges. Our Materials Handling Department displays a high degree of proficiency and experience supporting these efforts.

Q. What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years?

A. Staying competitive as a small Alaskan company, new, large projects trends show companies partnering with other large, national companies. This is similar to big box stores pushing the mom and pop operations to the side. Our challenge is to continue to show that we can provide big-company results on these large projects. Fortunately we have an excellent track record of success on large exploration and production projects.

Q. What do you see as future trends or opportunities for your company from events such as long-term weather fluctuations?

A. Perhaps not weather driven, future trends for our company include expansion into new markets. We have a wonderful relationship with the energy industry and plan to keep that intact for many years to come; however in order to encourage responsible growth; we must expand to additional markets and that offers a wide range of unexplored, exciting areas.

Q. Does your company have an anniversary or other landmark event coming up? If so, describe.

A. We will be celebrating our 30th anniversary next summer.

Q. What is the average length of time employee’s work for the company?

A. NSTI has built a great environment for its employees, encouraging longevity. The average length of employment at NSTI is about 7 years.

Q. What is your company’s safety record?

A. At North Slope Telecom safety is paramount; our commitment to safety and safety training is unsurpassed. Our in-house safety coordinator is responsible for training our staff on all applicable standards, including ASH, OSHA, NEC and NESC.

Q. Has your company received any awards or recognition?

A. National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve awarded NSTI the “Patriotic Employer”.

Q. Has your company been involved in any community projects or charities events?

A. NSTI is actively involved with community organizations and charities here in Anchorage sponsoring Boys and Girls Club Teams, partnering with the Red Cross of Alaska to support the Real Heroes event. NSTI has also sponsored community events for local foundations, including the Life is Forgiving Foundation.

Q. Does your company have a Web site?

A. Please visit www.nstiak.com.



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