Connecting Alaska: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Delivers Over $1 Billion More for Broadband Deployment Across the State
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-Alaska) today joined the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in announcing over $1 billion in new funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for Alaska to build out the state’s broadband infrastructure to connect communities to high speed internet. The funding comes from the IIJA’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, which is the backbone of delivering upon the law’s promise to bring high speed internet to every American—including every Alaskan.
Alaska’s BEAD allocation of $1,017,139.42 is the single largest investment announced for the state since the passage of the IIJA. The announcement follows 18 months of grant awards from NTIA’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program and USDA’s ReConnect program, which were similarly funded by IIJA. Over the past two weeks alone, Alaska has also been selected to receive $100.5 million in USDA ReConnect Round Four funds and $88 million in NTIA Middle-Mile program funds to assist with broadband deployment throughout the state.
“These BEAD allocations are truly historic and will make a huge difference on broadband access in communities across Alaska. I’m glad the administration listened to the delegation’s calls for investment in our state and recognized the need for greater deployment throughout Alaska. We are now on the verge of providing thousands of Alaskans in rural communities with better, faster, more reliable access to the internet—a basic necessity that many in the Lower 48 take for granted,” Senator Murkowski said. “One of my highest priorities when authoring and negotiating the bipartisan infrastructure law was sharing the unique circumstances Alaskans face with our infrastructure. I’m proud to have been a voice for rural Alaskans and will continue to help deliver much-needed investments for our state’s infrastructure.”
“This historic funding announcement is exciting news for Alaska,” said Senator Sullivan. “As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, the lack of Internet access in so many Alaskans communities was a driving force behind my work to ensure that the broadband provisions of the bipartisan infrastructure bill focused on the truly unserved, my work on improving Alaska’s broadband maps, and my relentless advocacy for Alaska with various federal officials who I have brought to see Alaska’s unique challenges. These funds will go a long way toward the goal of connecting every single Alaskan, which will unlock limitless possibilities in terms of telehealth, education and small business opportunities. Importantly, it will better allow Alaskans to connect with one another.”
“The BEAD allocation for Alaska will go a long way toward connecting unserved Alaskans with reliable, affordable, high-speed broadband. Alaska Telecom Association members have been connecting Alaskans for over 100 years and we look forward to working together to connect everyone in our great State. We thank Senators Murkowski and Sullivan for their tremendous work advocating for Alaskans and brining these critical infrastructure dollars to our State,” said Christine O'Connor, Executive Director of the Alaska Telecom Association.
Today’s BEAD announcement follows 18 months of work by Senators Murkowski and Sullivan to successfully position Alaska to receive a major award that reflects the true costs and needs for building out a robust high speed internet network for the state. As part of this effort, the delegation sent a letter to Alan Davidson, the Assistant Secretary for NTIA, reiterating the importance of fully considering Alaska’s unique needs when developing the state’s BEAD allocation.
To date, Alaska has received more than $4.9 billion in infrastructure investments through the bipartisan IIJA.
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