AT&T to continue providing South Pole link

United States Antarctic Program

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AT&T has won a $10 million contract to connect federal workers at the South Pole with the rest of the world.

The contract, awarded earlier this month by the Navy, covers five years. AT&T will link the telecommunications network of the U.S. Antarctic Program to the public telecommunications infrastructure. AT&T was the incumbent on the contract, a company spokeswoman said.

The telecommunications network of the U.S. Antarctic Program provides communications needs for several agencies that conduct research or operations on or near Antarctica. Annually, close to 3,000 Americans work in Antarctica, sent there by the National Science Foundation, the military, the Transportation Department or other federal agencies.

The agencies and their contractors work at and communicate from a handful of permanent bases and temporary camps in Antarctica, with many of the people who visit the continent conducting research in areas such as climatology, biology and geology.

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