ReConnect Program Allocates $46.5 Million for High-Speed Broadband in Rural Alaska
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $46.5 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Alaska. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.
“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the shortcomings of not being connected, a familiar problem to many Alaskans for far too long. We must continue to help Alaskan communities have the telecommunications broadband infrastructure that is taken for granted elsewhere,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “The announcement of these two grants is incredibly exciting news for Southeast and the Aleutians, and will improve connectivity for families, businesses, schools, other critical community services, and so much more.”
“Gaining access to high-speed internet connectivity can be life-changing, especially for residents in rural Alaska where communication resources and infrastructure are most scarce,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “Thousands more Alaskans across the state will finally experience a utility so many of us take for granted, one that has shown itself to be absolutely indispensable in the age of COVID-19. I appreciate that Secretary Perdue has made these funds available after our numerous discussions and correspondences in which I have called attention to the lack of broadband across our state.”
“Alaskans from our cities, rural areas, and Native villages all deserve access to high quality, reliable broadband,” said Congressman Don Young. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the urgent need for internet access across our state. At this very moment, countless students are distance learning; working parents may be using the internet to learn new skills to help them succeed in the workforce; and some of our most vulnerable populations are utilizing telehealth services. We must ensure that all communities in our state are connected and empowered to thrive. I am grateful to Secretary Perdue for making these crucially needed investments in Alaska, and I remain confident that high-speed internet access will not only help our families prosper, but prepare our economy to come out of this pandemic stronger than ever before.”
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