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Alaska Company Receives $3.4 million Broadband Award


Recovery Act continues to support broadband infrastructure in Alaska

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today announced an Alaska company is getting more than $3.4 million to expand and improve wireless broadband services to households, businesses and key community organizations in the Cordova area.

Copper Valley Wireless, Inc. (CVW) is receiving a $1,747,795 grant and a $1,747,796 loan for the Cordova Microwave Project as part of broadband infrastructure projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in eight states.

“The continued focus of investing in broadband infrastructure in more rural parts of Alaska means the ability to attract new business, provide jobs, and improve health care delivery and educational opportunities,” Begich said. “The Obama Administration clearly recognizes the importance of expanding the availability of affordable broadband for our underserved communities. This is just the latest in a series of broadband investments made possible in Alaska by the Recovery Act.”

The funding for The Cordova Microwave Project will extend middle-mile connectivity from Naked Island to Cordova. According to the project description, households, businesses and community facilities are currently not served by broadband, except through satellite. In addition to over 800 households, broadband will be made available to the Cordova schools, Prince William Sound Community College, the Coast Guard, a medical center, the Native Village of Eyak, the police department, State Troopers and to the public health nurse. 

In announcing the selection of broadband projects today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the projects will create jobs and, once the networks are completed, provide a platform for rural economic growth for years to come.

“The Obama Administration understands that bringing broadband to rural America provides a gateway for businesses and key anchor institutions – such as libraries, schools, public buildings and community centers to provide services to thousands of Americans,” Sec. Vilsack said.

Other broadband awards for Alaska that have come through the Recovery Act include:

· $88 million for United Utilities, Inc. to provide middle mile broadband services to 65 communities (Jan 2010);

· $25.3 million for Rivada Sea Lion, LLC for 4G high-speed broadband internet service covering 29,000 rural residents in 53 villages (Dec. 2009);

· $1.9 million for broadband mapping and planning awarded to the Denali Commission (Nov. 2009).

Sen. Begich was pleased to support the ARRA last year, which is slated to bring $1.6 billion to Alaska over two years.

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