Naked Island Party!

From the title of this post, you may have been expecting something like this:

Naked + Island + Party

But, alas, I haven’t had that kind of fun in quite some time!

I have, however, gotten to take a helicopter out 45 statute miles over the Prince William Sound to Naked Island.  The home of at least 2 deer and a baby fawn (as we saw today) and also of a brand new cellular communications tower, this celluar base station is bringing the strongest cell signal this heavily trafficked area of Prince William Sound has ever seen.

Our trip to Naked Island

But first, a little background info:

If you’re not familiar, the town of Cordova is nestled cozily in a protected part of Prince William Sound (PWS), which empties into the Gulf of Alaska and then the Pacific Ocean.  In fact, we’re tucked so snuggly in between the water and the steep Chugach mountains that you have to take a boat or plane to even get here.  And that’s how we like it.  But we also want to stay connected to our friends & family in town and all over the country.  We especially want to keep in touch with our loved ones at sea.  And, in Cordova, we do go to sea… a lot.

Prince William Sound is known for many things:  Glaciers, Eagles, Whales, Fishing & Sea Kayaking.  But NOT for cell service.  Up to this point, there’s only been one option for carriers and the reception’s been a little shaky.  But not anymore.  The new Naked Island tower erected last month by Cordova Wireless Communications (CWC), based right here in Cordova, now has the largest and strongest service area in the Sound, providing a much needed increase in safety and convenience to all our beloved Fishermen and women.

Cordova Wireless Communications coverage in PWS

Coverage reaches all the way across PWS and 50 miles into the Gulf of Alaska!

It’s a pretty amazing feat for this homegrown company.  According to a press release by CWC,

“The size and complexity of this project could have been daunting, but the staff put in long hours to get the tower installed and service on-line early in the season,” said David Allison, CWC board president.

And for a project 8 years in the making, this accomplishment was celebrated heartily by the entire staff and crew with (what else?) sparkling apple cider.

CTC and CWC employees celebrate the completion of Naked Island Tower

According to a recent press release, this new telecommunications site is part of a greater project by CWC and its partners to spearhead an era of stronger telecommunication and data services in Cordova, free from satellite-dependence.  This initiative will include installation of an under-sea fiber optic cable later this summer.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for everyone involved that will afford a level of internet & data speed and reliability never before experienced in Cordova,” said Paul Kelly, CWC and CTC Manager & CEO.

Paul Kelly & David Allison posing with a coverage map of the new CWC Naked Island cell tower in PWS

CWC and CTC Manager & CEO Paul Kelly posing with Board President David Allison

And in Cordova, we’re ALL pretty excited about that!  This tower is just the beginning.  Once the fiber cable goes in; we can browse, skype, and even netflix with the speed and clarity of the Lower 48!  You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty impressive for a town with “No Road”.

Technology, ho!  We’re almost there… finally!