Murkowski, Sullivan Applaud An Additional $135.9 Million in Broadband Investment for Alaska
U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-Alaska) applauded the announcement of an additional $135.9 million in federal broadband grants for communities across Alaska. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) announced the grants Thursday for broadband programs in Western, Southcentral, and Southeastern Alaska. Newly announced grant recipients include the NANA Regional Corporation, Inc., Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Kenaitze Indian Tribe (IRA), and Metlakatla Power and Light.
“When I visit Alaska’s rural and remote communities, one of the top issues raised to me is the lack of internet connectivity, as well as the astronomical cost of the limited broadband speeds that do exist—impacting education, healthcare, opportunities for economic development, and more. A specific example that was shared with me: the internet speed is so slow, a community couldn’t even download a grant application to apply for broadband support,” said Senator Murkowski. “As a result of the bipartisan infrastructure law, we continue to see investments in broadband for communities across the state. Improving access, reliability, and affordably for Alaskans – in urban and rural hubs – is paramount.”
“Access to high-speed, reliable internet can be life-changing for a community, enhancing the delivery of health care and education, and opening doors for small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Senator Sullivan. “Many of our rural, Alaska Native communities for too long have found themselves without the broadband connectivity that most Americans take for granted. I’m glad to see the significant federal infrastructure dollars we secured being deployed to break down the digital divide and improve the lives and well-being of thousands of Alaskans across Alaska.”
These grants were largely made possible by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that both Senators Murkowski and Sullivan played roles in crafting. Alaska has now received more than $2.5 billion total from the IIJA, which includes broadband investments, with billions more expected to flow to the state in the months and years ahead.
GRANT DETAILS [provided by NTIA]:
- NANA Regional Corporation: $68.5 million to install fiber directly connecting 1,379 unserved Native American households, 451 businesses, and 212 anchor institutions, such as libraries and schools, with 1 Gbps symmetrical service.
- Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska: $49.9 million to install fixed wireless and deploy Low-Earth Orbiting Satellite-enabled service to directly connect 14,032 unserved Native American households with qualifying broadband service of no less than 25/3Mbps for all with options up to 100Mbps symmetrical speeds, where available.
- Kenaitze Indian Tribe (IRA): $7 million to install fiber directly connecting 1,055 unserved Native American households of which 45% are below the 150% poverty line with qualifying broadband service at speeds up to 336/36 Mbps.
- Metlakatla Power and Light: $10.5 million to install fiber directly connecting 586 unserved Native American households, as well as businesses and government entities, with fiber to the home service of 1Gbps symmetrical.