The Bartlett Earth Station, pictured above, was originally built in 1969 by RCA communications for use by the federal government as a state-of-the-art communications facility. It was one of the first geostationary earth stations in Alaska and was the facility used to downlink the first live television event in Alaska, the Moon Landing. RCA purchased the facility in 1973. RCA later renamed the division responsible for the earth station to Alascom who became the site owner/operator until it was purchased by AT&T. The site was decommissioned and left abandoned in the 1990's. Talkeetna Alaska Teleport purchased the site from AT&T in early 2019 with the mission of repurposing the site and bringing it into the digital era and back to the forefront of telecom development in Alaska.
Talkeetna Alaska Teleport (TAT), located in Talkeetna, Alaska, is an international provider of satellite and fiber-based communications, providing connectivity for the Pacific Ocean Region and neighboring landmasses. Strategically located in interior Alaska, it creates a unique ability to utilize Alaska's Arctic climate and northern latitude, while simultaneously providing low-cost space and power for critical gateway and data center infrastructure. Talkeetna's Arctic environment provides the opportunity for reduced cooling requirements for many months of the year. The facility is positioned at 62.333 degrees N latitude enabling connection to polar-orbiting satellites for longer durations than lower latitudes while maintaining significant reductions in utilities and infrastructure expenses compared to higher latitude locations. TAT's knowledge of satellite communications allows us to leverage our location and critical infrastructure to offer an unmatched facility in the Arctic for antenna hosting, co-location, construction, pad space, engineering, and maintenance and technical support.
TAT is owned and operated by Microcom. Microcom's telecom infrastructure and teleport development began in the 1980s in Alaska and expanded to Hawaii in the year 2000. Microcom has focused on finding unique solutions to its customers’ diverse communications needs for over 35 years. Where others thought it could not be done, Microcom has forged ahead to develop new residential and small-business satellite communication systems. Microcom’s first focus was on building rural cable television systems in communities throughout Alaska. These early facilities consisted of community owned and operated systems that distributed services purchased from cable television programmers and connected each community to the world. Microcom’s unique methods of antenna construction and system design have met the test of the wide variety of geographic challenges encountered along the way. Microcom pioneered the development of direct-broadcast home satellite television service in Alaska and Hawaii. At first, it was thought satellite technology would never be available in Alaska & Hawaii, but Microcom proved it could be done, and developed the first systems for use in Alaska. This has led to the growing number of direct-broadcast subscribers in Alaska and Hawaii today. Microcom directly influenced a key element of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which allowed the service to develop in Alaska the same as in the Lower 48, without restrictions on the larger antenna size required. Microcom worked with Congress to overcome obstacles to the success of this important, multi-channel video programming service. Without Microcom’s direct participation, satellite technology in Alaska would not have achieved the level of success seen today.
Talkeetna Alaska Teleport's facility is located at 475 feet above sea level. Situated in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley at the foothills of the Alaska Range, the facility experiences an average annual precipitation of 686 mm | 27 in which is 31% less than the global average annual precipitation. With minimal cloud cover due to the Alaska Range located 60 miles NW of the facility, TAT experiences clear skies most days, especially in the winter.