Alaskan VARs Stand Behind Sen. Ted Stevens' Internet Flubs

Solutions providers are concerned that the senator's verbal slips about the Internet--which he called a "series of tubes"--may give the wrong impression about Alaska's tech savvy.

Scott Campbell, Contributor

July 20, 2006

2 Min Read

Edward Hoppas, business development director at Core Communications, an Anchorage-based carrier and systems integrator, feels the senator's comments were just a verbal faux pas.

"There's a lot of play on this, a lot of Alaska-bashing going on in [Washington] based on his comments. It's pretty common to use the word 'tubes' instead of 'pipes,' " Hoppas said. "I know he understands telecommunications from a high level and how the Internet works at a high level."

Core Communications is currently involved with a massive undersea fiber-optic cabling project to connect numerous remote communities, Hoppas said.

"People need to take an informed look at what we're doing up here and at our senator," Hoppas said. "They hear about [federal] money coming up, but they don't have a clue about the challenges we face and what we have accomplished. If it was not for guys like Ted Stevens, we would be way back technically."

But at least one solution provider finds Stevens' comments troubling. "It's completely embarrassing. We're one of the most connected states in the union," said Jennifer Peterson, manager of blueWire Technologies, Fairbanks, Alaska. "For our senator to have that little understanding of the Internet is both laughable and sad."

After all, the Internet has revolutionized Alaskans' lifestyle, she said. "Before, it was difficult to get goods that aren't standard up here. Now with the Internet, you can get just about anything, and we feel more connected to the news and media," she said.

Peterson believes Net neutrality is important to Alaskans. "If it goes away, I think we'll see a decrease in our ability to get goods and services and stay connected to the outside world," she said. "It's doubly upsetting that our senator is the one that said all the stupid stuff."

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