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Alaska Business Business Profile
Pacific Dataport and Microcom
Bringing fast, affordable, and reliable broadband to all of Alaska

hen Anchorage based Pacific Dataport, Inc. (PDI) launched its Aurora 4A satellite from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 30, it was a thrilling and historic event. Aurora 4A is the first micro-geosynchronous high throughput satellite (GEO HTS) ever launched—and it was created exclusively for Alaskans.

Aurora 4A—at about 880 pounds and the size of a commercial dryer—sits over the equator at 163°W longitude, just south of Bethel. Its gateway, or satellite ground station, is located in Utah, where it connects users to fiber and the Internet. The satellite will help connect about 10,000 rural Alaska families, improving healthcare, education, and economic opportunity.

Aurora 4A’s launch firmly positions PDI in Alaska’s telecom industry as a middle mile provider, and it will allow rural Alaska residents to receive expeditious services. “If the telecoms who have recent fiber awards build out their last mile first (in the community), they can use Aurora 4A to connect residents within a few months instead of waiting three to seven years for fiber middle mile,” says CEO Chuck Schumann.

Currently, PDI’s Aurora Broadband service is in beta phase; full commercial services should be available by August of this year.

Pacific Dataport and Microcom CEO Chuck Schumann smiling with his family
PDI is affiliated with Anchorage-based Microcom, which has provided satellite TV and broadband services throughout Alaska for nearly forty years. Microcom also owns and operates the Talkeetna Alaska Teleport, a 90-acre site that can host multiple gateway clients. Schumann founded Microcom in 1984 and was soon joined by his wife, Sandra Blinstrubas, the company’s current president. Together they transformed Microcom from a single employee operation into a leading-edge, multistate organization. Their son, Alexander, recently became Microcom’s general manager, further solidifying the family business. “It has been a long and very exciting road building Microcom over the years,” Schumann says.

The creation of PDI was imperative for Microcom, which sells and installs satellite data communications systems. The company had spent decades battling a shortage of satellite capacity and having to tell customers “no.” In 2017, Microcom and other investors established PDI for one purpose: to build and launch satellites that would provide coverage to all of Alaska.

Today, PDI provides wholesale middle mile backhaul (cellular and broadband) through Aurora (GEO HTS) and OneWeb low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite networks to various enterprise customers, including telecoms, nonprofits, hospitals, health clinics, schools, libraries, governments, and tribal organizations. Microcom provides retail satellite broadband from Aurora, OneWeb, Viasat, HughesNet, and Starlink to individuals and small companies. “We offer Alaska the newest broadband technologies,” Schumann says. “And we reach everyone.”

PDI is already working toward the next, exciting phase of the Aurora Network: adding a second, much larger satellite at 154°W longitude. The undertaking symbolizes PDI’s commitment to providing innovative solutions all across the state—not just in hubs or urban areas— increasing competition and improving services for Alaskans. “What drives us is knowing that what we do has such a positive effect on people’s lives,” Schumann says.

For more information, contact:
Pacific Dataport Logo
Chuck Schumann, CEO
4701 Business Park Blvd., Unit J-24
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
(907) 264-0001 |