Skip to content

Alaska Phone Firm Awarded $33m USDA ReConnect Grant to Broaden Fiber Optic Connectivity in Klukwan, Haines, and Skagway Areas

JUNEAU, Alaska–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Alaska Phone Firm (ATC), a subsidiary of Alaska Energy & Phone Firm (AP&T), has been chosen by the US Division of Agriculture (USDA) to obtain a $33,017,636 grant award from USDA Rural Utility Service’s ReConnect grant program to broaden fiber optic connectivity in rural southeast Alaska. Alaska Phone Firm will make investments $11,005,879 in matching funds. The “Klukwan-Skagway Fiber” challenge will develop fiber optic networks able to 100 Mbps symmetrical service and better for within the Alaska Native group of Klukwan, rural areas close to Haines, and underserved areas of Skagway. This joint funding by ATC and USDA will deliver new, extremely reasonably priced, technology-driven alternatives to households and companies all through the area.

AP&T estimates that preliminary building could start in 2023, relying on the timing of allowing and environmental approvals. Development will probably be a multi-year course of, with completion projected by 2028. The challenge makes use of present right-of-way and beforehand disturbed areas, minimizing its environmental footprint and impacts.

Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska was a key supporter of the request. Tribal President Richard (Chalyee Éesh) Peterson, acknowledged: I’m enthusiastic about this challenge and the impression it is going to have on our distant communities in Southeast Alaska. Within the final three years, the pandemic has proven us how distant our communities actually are. By closing that connectivity hole, we’re offering extra alternatives for our youth, employment alternatives for residents, and limitless potential of progress for our tribes and village companies.”

AP&T’s CEO Mike Garrett mirrored:The Klukwan-Skagway Fiber challenge will spur financial progress and considerably improve high quality of life in very distant, hard-to-serve areas, empowering rural Alaskans with choices for distant work, distance studying, telemedicine, and extra. The outpouring of assist we obtained from indigenous organizations was a useful part of AP&T’s software. Particular because of US Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan for the unimaginable work they’ve carried out growing and supporting packages like ReConnect. We stay up for demonstrating our gratitude for making this challenge a tremendous success for rural stakeholders, who helped to make this historic funding attainable.”

Chilkat Indian Village, Skagway Conventional Council, Sealaska Company, and the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska supplied resolutions formally endorsing the Klukwan-Skagway Fiber challenge, emphasizing highly effective synergies between trendy telecommunications know-how, indigenous tradition, and tribal priorities. Moreover, environmental teams the Sustainable Southeast Partnership and Sitka Conservation Society submitted letters of assist, citing the challenge’s assist for the Southeast Alaska Sustainability Technique, and the significance of broadband in diversifying southeast Alaska’s economic system past its historic dependency on legacy industries like timber and mining.

For years, rural southeast Alaska has struggled to attain financial sustainability, with villages like Klukwan experiencing explicit hardship. USDA’s and AP&T’s new funding in fiber optic belongings will assist present wonderful alternatives for financial diversification and resiliency, giving stakeholders a brand new path ahead to a profitable future.

Alaska Energy & Phone Firm (OTC: APTL) is an employee- and investor-owned utility offering numerous utility providers in over 40 communities in rural Alaska. Extra info on AP&T could be discovered at: www.aptalaska.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.