Murkowski, Sullivan Announce Over $116 Million in Infrastructure Funding for High Speed Internet in Alaska
July 28, 2022
U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-AK) today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding over $116 million to improve high-speed internet access in numerous Alaska villages and communities. These grants were made possible by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), led by Senator Murkowski. The grants come through USDA’s ReConnect Program, which aims to ensure high-speed internet for all communities across the United States.
Alaska has now received more than $2.1 billion from the IIJA, with billions more expected to flow to the state in the months and years ahead.
“In nearly every rural and remote community I visit, broadband and connectivity are not just topic of conversations, but top priorities for residents and businesses alike,” Murkowski said. “I’ve met countless Alaskans who’ve shared the impact that their lack of connectivity has on their lives—including telehealth, education, the success of small businesses, and staying in touch with the people they care about. I kept this in mind as we wrote our bipartisan infrastructure bill, and I’m proud to see this announcement, knowing the real-life benefits it will bring to Alaska communities. Bristol Bay, Klawock, Craig, Prince of Wales, Hyder, Atmautluak, Nunapitchuk, Kasigluk, Tuntutuliak, Kwethluk, Kwinhagak, Bethel, and more are the latest to reap the rewards as our infrastructure law continues to benefit Alaskans.”
“I am pleased to see the USDA is continuing to award significant resources to assist with delivering high-speed internet access to rural Alaska,” Senator Sullivan said. “As these federal funds from various agencies continue to come into Alaska, it is critical that all Alaskan stakeholders are coordinated in their response. That’s why I’m hosting the Alaska Broadband Summit and Workshop on August 9 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center,” said Senator Sullivan. “This day-long summit will bring together critical stakeholders in Alaska from the U.S., state, and local governments, Alaska Native communities, federal agencies, industry, and other key partners to discuss coordination as Alaska prepares to receive significant broadband funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Those interested can join the summit in person or virtually. If we coordinate well and work together, we have the potential to connect every community in Alaska. We hope everybody interested can come.”
Grants directed to Alaska through the ReConnect Program include:
- Bristol Bay Telephone Cooperative Inc.—Over $34 million to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect over 800 people, more than 20 businesses, and seven public schools in New Stuyahok, Levelock, King Salmon, New Koliganek, Naknek, South Naknek, and Ekwok Alaska Native Village Statistical Areas, Dillingham, and Lake and Peninsula Borough.
- AP&T Wireless Inc.—Over $29 million to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect over 1,200 people, more than 40 businesses, and one public school to high-speed internet to serve Klawock, Craig, and Prince of Wales-Hyder.
- Unicom Inc. —Over $31 million to deploy a fiber-to-the premises network that will connect over 2,100 people, 14 businesses, and three public schools in the Bethel Census Area to high-speed internet, benefitting Alaskans in Atmautluak, Nunapitchuk, Kasigluk, Tuntutuliak, Kwethluk, and Kwinhagak Alaska Native Village Statistical Areas and the Bethel region.
- Cordova Telephone Cooperative Inc. —Over $21 million to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect over 1,100 people and more than 50 businesses to high-speed internet in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area and the Eyak Alaska Native Village Statistical Area.
For more information on Alaska’s latest grant recipients, click here.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov or contact your nearest visit USDA Rural Development state office.
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