Recently, I was fortunate to go on vacation for a week with the family. Tucked away on the island of Sitka, Alaska, it was a week full of fishing, hiking and combing the beach for sea creatures. In my mind, I was going to be farther away from technology than I had been in a long time and was a bit worried about being out of touch. Although there was no Starbucks or Chipotle, AT&T had just installed a cell tower. Even here, the World Wide Web was available to make my life better.

A few uses of the web while in a remote fishing village:

The Shralp Tide by Shralp software application (available on the iTunes App store) lets you check the tide from your phone. The kids want to see starfish, sea anemones and kelp on the beach, so you do not want to show up at high tide when they are covered up.


Marine&Lakes USA by Navionics (available on the iTunes App store) offers navigation charts on the mobile phone so you don’t get lost or run into a shallow spot. You don’t want to run the boat aground and have to swim back in 53°F water!


Fish and plant identification – Did you know that there are more than 100 types of Rockfish?


Trail maps
and monitoring of the snow – I quickly found out which trails were open and fairly clear from snow. We conquered Gavin Hill trail (3500’ elevation at the top); I was the only one to get up to my knees in snow


For the wife to fact check me when I throw out suspect information about some mountain I have climbed in the past.
Downloading a new book on my Kindle and keeping up with the Mavericks-Heat scores.


Obviously Facebook, so that everyone back home can see how much fun we are having or so that everyone back home can make fun of the “whopper” fish I kept catching .

And of course – being the dedicated employee that I am – I wouldn’t like to get too far behind on e-mail. I occasionally jumped on the network to at least keep up with what’s going on back in the real world.


Not everyone would think of data centers and networks while on their vacation; however, as we relaxed one evening after a hard day of hiking, I noticed that three of the four adults were on their smartphones.

I thought to myself that the networking business is not a bad place to be right now.

About the Author

Eric Leichter

Eric Leichter is director for business development for CommScope Mobility Solutions, focused on fiber and power solutions for remote radio deployments. He has over 15 years of experience with telecommunications and optical fiber solutions, including roles supporting application and field engineering, product management, standards and training. While supporting a mix of wireless, data center, campus, and outside plant applications, Eric has experience with a multitude of vendor and generic solutions sets. He is a multiple patent holder, has provided several dozen published articles and conference presentations, and is a LEED Green Associate. Eric has an engineering degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and an MBA from Gardner-Webb University.

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1 comment for "Who Thinks About Data Centers In Alaska?"
Larry Mathias

I was in Alaska two weeks ago. While on a whale-watching tour, I waited until the whales were on the surface, and then using the iPhone app: "Dog Tricks/Barking Machine" [ (], I hit the high-pitch whistle. It actually attracted the whales to the fishing boat and we had whales within 3 feet of us.

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