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Iḷisaġvik College Receives Donation to Improve Internet Connectivity

Apr 23, 2021 | Education, Telecom & Tech

Quintillion, the only telecommunications provider to build a subsea fiber-optic network in the US Arctic, and Alaska Communications, a leading provider of advanced broadband and managed IT services, announced a substantial donation to Iḷisaġvik College in Utqiaġvik.

The donation provides increased bandwidth for Alaska’s only tribal college and will significantly expand Iḷisaġvik’s internet speed and capacity.

“Iḷisaġvik College is infinitely grateful for the generous donation from Quintillion and Alaska Communications. We have experienced higher class volumes during the pandemic since we moved completely to virtual distance learning, so the donation comes at an unprecedented time when we need it most,” says Iḷisaġvik College President Justina Wilhelm.

“We are fortunate for this partnership and look forward to continuing to work together. Savakta Atautchikun!”

Last year, the novel coronavirus pandemic prompted Iḷisaġvik College to make operational and educational decisions that limited the number of staff, faculty, and students on its campus. Since then, the college frequently reached it’s limit of bandwidth availability.

This donation will not only benefit students through increased internet speed in and out of the classroom but also professors and faculty members using internet-based learning resources.

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It helps to ensure that Iḷisaġvik is not bandwidth constrained in its virtual education activities now and also once students and faculty return full-time to the campus and classroom.

“Access to broadband is critical for education. Quintillion is invested in Alaska’s future, and the future of the North Slope, so we’re honored to be able to help the college create an environment that supports positive students outcomes,” says Quintillion Chief Revenue Officer Mac McHale.

“One of the traditional Inupiat values is cooperation, and it’s a value shared by Quintillion. We’re proud to partner with Alaska Communications to bring improved services to Iḷisaġvik and its students.”

“Through high quality programs and instruction, Iḷisaġvik College is helping grow and develop Alaska’s future leaders,” says Bill Bishop, President and CEO of Alaska Communications. “We’re proud to support the college and its students through this donation.”

This marks the second donation provided by Quintillion and Alaska Communications to the college in as many years. In August 2019, the companies donated capacity after learning Iḷisaġvik had the lowest bandwidth of all tribal college in America. Quintillion will provide the additional broadband capacity on its subsea fiber network and Alaska Communications, Iḷisaġvik College’s internet service provider, will deliver the local bandwidth and internet content to the college.

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