$63 Million in Broadband Investments Announced for Alaska
Improving High-Speed Internet Affordably in Rural Alaska
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-AK) today announced that communities on the North Slope and in Southeast Alaska will receive a total of $63 million for high-speed internet network buildout / deployment projects. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ReConnect Program grants, awarded to the Alaska Telephone Company and Arctic Slope Telephone, will help improve broadband access, including its affordability, for rural communities.
“Having reliable internet has become a basic service that many in urban areas take for granted. In far too many remote communities in Alaska, I’ve seen and heard firsthand accounts of the unreliability and high cost of internet, with some households paying upwards of $300 a month alone for an unstable service. Connectivity means so much—for telehealth, education, our economy and so much more. That’s why I led the infrastructure bill and why I’ve made it a priority to expand broadband infrastructure and accessibility for unserved and underserved areas,” Senator Murkowski said. “I’m pleased to see these grants for Alaska and what it will mean to so many of these rural communities for years to come.”
“It’s great to see the USDA continuing to award significant resources to assist with delivering high-speed internet access to rural Alaska—an essential component of 21st century infrastructure,” Senator Sullivan said. “Last month, I hosted a broadband summit in Anchorage with critical stakeholders from federal agencies, including from USDA, state and local governments, Alaska Native communities, industry, and other key partners as Alaska prepares to receive significant funds from the bipartisan infrastructure law. As these federal funds from various agencies come to Alaska, it is critical that all Alaskan stakeholders are coordinated in their response. If we coordinate well and work together, we have the potential to connect every community across our state.”
GRANT RECIPIENTS [provided by USDA]:
- Alaska Telephone Company: $33 million to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 211 people and five businesses to high-speed internet in the Haines Borough, the Hoonah Angoon Census Area and the Skagway Municipality. Alaska Telephone Company will make high-speed internet affordable by implementing the FCC's Lifeline Program, which will serve Skagway and Chilkat Alaska Native Village areas.
- Arctic Slope Telephone: $30.9 million to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 476 people, 15 businesses and a public school to high-speed internet in North Slope Borough. Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative Inc. will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs and will serve communities of North Slope Borough and portions of the Anaktuvuk and the Point Lay Alaska Native Village Tribal Areas.