U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, Tuesday acknowledged the announcement of an additional $ 53,959,517 million in federal broadband grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP).
The grant recipients include Igiugig Village, Alaska Tribal Spectrum, Alaska Village Initiatives, Alutiiq Tribe of Old Harbor, Benhti Economic Development Corporation, Chugachmiut, Huna Totem Corporation, and Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Tribal Broadband.
“Today’s announcement will help support our goal of providing Alaskans access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet. These broadband investments will serve dozens of rural communities across the state, supporting schools, hospitals, businesses, and households—helping ensure that broadband access is no longer considered a luxury in rural Alaska,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “As Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and a lead author of the bipartisan infrastructure law, I’ve made it a priority to close the digital divide in rural Alaska—an effort that will truly change lives and communities.”
“As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, the lack of Internet access in so many Alaskan communities was a driving force behind my work to ensure that the broadband provisions of the bipartisan infrastructure bill focused on the truly unserved,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “These funds will go a long way toward the goal of connecting all Alaskans, which will unlock limitless possibilities in terms of telehealth, education and small business opportunities, and importantly, allow Alaskans to connect with one another.”
Igiugig Village: $8,000,000 for Planning, Engineering, Feasibility, and Sustainability Studies project will serve 16 Alaska Native Villages and complete in-depth feasibility studies, last-mile design, and construction cost estimates.
Alaska Tribal Spectrum: $29,500,000 to install a wireless network using a Tribally-controlled 2.5Ghz spectrum and/or satellite service to directly connect a total of 2,569 unserved Tribal households, 125 unserved Tribal businesses, and 89 Tribal community anchor institutions with qualified broadband speeds.
Alaska Village Initiatives: $7,000,000 to construct last mile wireless deployment infrastructure in 13 of the Alaska Native Villages in the Consortium by utilizing 2.5Ghz licensed spectrum. Additionally, the project will also deploy fiber to the premise in one Alaska Native Village.
Alutiiq Tribe of Old Harbor: $500,000 to upgrade equipment in the current system in order to deliver qualifying broadband service to 72 unserved Tribal households.
Benhti Economic Development Corporation: $999,997 for the pre-construction planning, engineering, design, and permitting of last mile network services. The project will create a shovel ready project to build broadband networks in the Native Village of Minto and of Manley Hot Springs.
Chugachmiut: $991,974 to provide satellite internet service subsidies for the Native Village of Nanwalek and the Native Village of Port Graham.
Huna Totem Corporation: $2,467,546 to provide minimal upgrades to network and customer equipment in addition to providing Native households with three years of subsidies service.
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Tribal Broadband: $4,500,000 to purchase and install Starlink to 1,410 homes and 9 community anchor institutions.