Funding High-Speed Internet Access for Rural Residents and Businesses in Southeast Alaska and the North Slope
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Sept. 23, 2022 –USDA Rural Development State Director Julia Hnilicka today announced the Department is investing $64 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 healthcare to home-care, the unprecedented push for equity of the Biden-Harris Administration is providing rural Alaska with enormous opportunities.”
This announcement includes a group of investments from the ReConnect Program,
- Alaska Power and Telephone Wireless Inc. is receiving $33,017,636 to connect 211 people and five businesses to high-speed internet in Haines Borough, the Hoonah Angoon Census Area and the Skagway Municipality in Alaska. Alaska Telephone Company will make high-speed internet affordable by implementing the FCC's Lifeline Program. This project will serve Skagway and Chilkat.
- Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative Inc. is receiving $30,970,030 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, Alaska. ASTAC will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs. This project will serve the socially vulnerable communities of North Slope Borough and portions of the Anaktuvuk and the Point Lay Alaska Native Village Tribal Areas.
USDA has announced $858 million in the third round of ReConnect funding so far and plans to make more investment announcements under this program in the coming weeks. Today’s announcement follows the USDA’s July 28 announcement that it invested $116 million through the ReConnect Program to help Alaskans access high speed internet.
USDA is supporting high-speed internet investments in Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. Many of the awards will help rural people and businesses on Tribal lands and people 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.