ANCHORAGE, ALASKA-GCI and United Utilities Inc., in cooperation with Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, are hosting TERRA-SW Milestones, an event bringing together the facilitators and beneficiaries of the historic project to extend terrestrial broadband service to the Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta regions.
The agenda includes remarks by Senator Mark Begich, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, and U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathon Adelstein; as well as by officials representing the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, BBAHC, the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, the Southwest Regional School District, and more.
TERRA-SW Milestones will present the dramatic progress being made on the project and the opportunity it is bringing to the region. Attendance and remarks are expected from the many TERRA-SW stakeholders including a variety of local, state and federal officials and representatives of the organizations and people of Southwest Alaska that are benefitting from this important project. After the presentations and lunch, some attendees will participate in site visits to New Stuyahok and Manokotak, Alaska to see construction progress and tour village clinics and schools.
TERRA-SW recently reached the project mid-point. In July, cable was laid at the bottom of Cook Inlet between Homer and Williamsport and in Kachemak Bay and Iliamna Bay. Heavy-lift helicopters also delivered communications and power modules to several remote, mountaintop microwave-repeater sites for construction. In addition, construction of the pole-hung fiber optic segment in the mountain pass between Williamsport and Pile Bay is nearing completion and construction on village microwave towers in Levelock, New Stuyahok, Koliganek, Ekwok, Naknek, Dillingham, Manokotak, Goodnews Bay and Platinum are also nearing completion.
TERRA-SW will provide middle-mile terrestrial broadband service to 65 remote, rural communities in Bristol Bay and the Y-K Delta, including Bethel, Dillingham and King Salmon. Upon completion, TERRA-SW will make broadband available to over 9,000 households and nearly 750 businesses in the covered communities. The project will also serve numerous public/non-profit/private community institutions and entities, such as regional healthcare providers, school districts and other regional and Alaska Native organizations. TERRA-SW is funded with an $88 million loan/grant combination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service Broadband Initiatives Program established pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.
The invitation-only event will be held at the Kanakanak Hospital, 6000 Kanakanak Road, in Dillingham, Following morning speeches and lunch, attendees will depart for site visits in the villages of Manokotak and New Stuyahok, Alaska. The event takes place on Thursday, August 25 from 10:00a.m. – 5:30p.m.
Please note this is an invitation-only event.