Senator Sullivan Comments on FCC’s Alaska Plan
$1 billion to 15 Alaska telecoms over 10 years
KETCHIKAN, AK – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an order which provides Alaska telecommunication rate-of-return carriers with the financial certainty they need to invest in telecommunications infrastructure and expand broadband capabilities throughout Alaska. This order will provide over $1 billion of federal Universal Service Fund (USF) money to 15 Alaska-based wireless and wireline telecommunications providers over a 10-year period.
“I commend the FCC for acknowledging the significant challenges our carriers face in meeting the communications needs of all Alaskans, especially in rural Alaska,” said Senator Sullivan. “During my recent travels throughout the state, I witnessed firsthand the need for reliable broadband to help bridge the digital divide. Earlier this year, during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, all five FCC Commissioners committed to me that they would work toward an Alaska-specific solution, and I am pleased that after almost two years of hard work from the Alaska carriers, and advocacy from the Alaska Congressional delegation, the FCC upheld their commitment.”
"We are excited to be able to bring faster, better broadband to so many Alaskans over the next 10 years," said Christine O'Connor, executive director of Alaska Telephone Association. "Over the next 10 years 85% of rural Alaskans will be able to access 4G LTE or better wireless service and 90% will have access to 10 Mbps wireline service. The consistent efforts of Alaska's providers to inform the FCC about Alaska's uniqueness and the strong leadership of the Alaska Congressional delegation have resulted in a solution that will dramatically increase broadband service in rural Alaska."
In November 2015, the Alaska Congressional delegation wrote the FCC in support of an Alaska specific solution.