ANCHORAGE, Alaska, July 28, 2022 –USDA Rural Development State Director Julia Hnilicka today announced the Department is investing $116 million to provide access to high-speed internet for rural residents and businesses throughout Alaska, part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to investing in rural infrastructure and affordable high-speed internet for all.
“USDA Rural Development is working alongside Tribes, municipalities, and telecommunication companies to connect our remote and rural communities to high-speed internet as quickly as we can. I am deeply proud of the partnerships created through this incredible opportunity and humbled by the passion Alaskans have for working together towards a common goal.” said Hnilicka. “Alaskans deserve affordable, reliable high-speed internet, not only for students of all ages to learn and thrive, but also for entrepreneurs and access to new job markets. From health care to home-care, the Biden-Harris Administration's unprecedented push for equity is providing rural Alaska with enormous opportunities.”
This announcement includes a group of investments from the ReConnect Program,
Bristol Bay Telephone Cooperative Inc. is receiving $34,885,420 to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect 844 people, 22 businesses, and seven public schools to high-speed internet near Bristol Bay, Alaska. Bristol Bay Telephone Cooperative Inc. will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline Program. Eligible households will receive discounts for broadband services in tribal entities and one-time discounts toward the purchase of a computer or tablet. This project will serve New Stuyahok, Levelock, King Salmon, New Koliganek, Naknek, South Naknek, and Ekwok.
Alaska Power and Telephone Wireless Inc. (AP&T) is receiving $29,344,717 to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect 1,236 people, 45 businesses, and a public school to high-speed internet on Prince of Wales Island. AP&T will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program. This project will serve Klawock and Craig.
Unicom Inc. is receiving $31,039,614 to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect 2,165 people, 14 businesses, and three public schools to high-speed internet near Bethel, Alaska. Unicom Inc. will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline Program, the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, and the Affordable Connectivity Program. This project will serve Atmautluak, Nunapitchuk, Kasigluk, Tuntutuliak, Kwethluk, and Kwinhagak.
Cordova Telephone Cooperative Inc. is receiving $21,404,940 to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect 1,190 people and 51 businesses to high-speed internet in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area. Cordova Telephone Cooperative Inc. will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the Federal Communication Commission's Lifeline Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program. This project will serve Eyak.
The Department will make additional investments for rural high-speed internet later this summer, including ReConnect Program funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable, high-speed internet to all communities across the U.S.
USDA is supporting high-speed internet investments in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas through today’s announcement. Several awards will help rural people and businesses in socially vulnerable communities.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ak.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.