Subscribe / Renew
|► Subscribe to our Free Weekly Newsletter|
|print email to a friend reprints add to mydjc|
September 27, 2022
Alaska Telephone, a subsidiary of Alaska Power & Telephone Company (AP&T), has been selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to receive a $33,017,636 grant award from USDA Rural Utility Service's ReConnect grant program to expand fiber optic connectivity in rural southeast Alaska. Alaska Telephone will invest $11,005,879 in matching funds. The “Klukwan-Skagway Fiber” project will develop fiber optic networks for the Alaska Native community of Klukwan, rural areas near Haines, and underserved areas of Skagway. AP&T estimates that initial construction may begin in 2023, depending on the timing of permitting and environmental approvals. Construction will be a multi-year process, with completion projected for 2028. The project utilizes existing right-of-way and previously disturbed areas, minimizing its environmental footprint and impacts. Chilkat Indian Village, Skagway Traditional Council, Sealaska Corporation, and the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska provided resolutions formally endorsing the project. Additionally, environmental groups the Sustainable Southeast Partnership and Sitka Conservation Society submitted letters of support, citing the project's support for the Southeast Alaska Sustainability Strategy, and the importance of broadband in diversifying southeast Alaska's economy beyond its historical dependency on legacy industries like timber and mining.