WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Alaska received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Alaska is receiving $5,567,800.00 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.
"I thank Governor Dunleavy for his support of the Internet for All initiative and ensuring we close the digital divide in Alaska and our Alaska Native communities," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "These planning dollars are key to Alaska's success to connect the most remote areas of the state to jobs, healthcare and education."
“Broadband continues to be one of the top issues raised to me by Alaskans, which is why I worked so diligently to ensure our needs were well represented in the bipartisan infrastructure law. By investing in the planning and deployment of broadband infrastructure, we will improve access to healthcare, education, and public safety, bringing greater digital equity to our state,” said Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. “As we work to continue to improve connectivity for all Alaskans, this announcement is welcomed news.”
“We have one overriding goal with this historic broadband investment, and that is to connect every community, every village and every Alaskan, to high-speed internet,” said Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan. “The Alaska Broadband Summit we convened over the summer was the first step for all stakeholders—state, federal, local, private sector, tribal—to coordinate efforts so that we effectively and efficiently deploy these federal funds. The significant BEAD and Digital Equity Program grants announced today will build on that progress, enabling the state to plan, avoid duplication of efforts, and ensure all Alaskans are covered.”
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About Alaska’s Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.
Alaska will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Identification of unserved and underserved locations;
- Planning and capacity-building of the Alaska Office of Broadband;
- Creation of a comprehensive "Connect North!" Five-Year Action Plan;
- Development of Climate Threat Assessment;
- Improving quality of service and lowering the cost of high-speed Internet service, while allowing Native Alaskans to maintain a traditional cultural lifestyle and the ability to fully participate in the global economy;
- Research to understand barriers to high-speed Internet service adoption.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.
Alaska will receive $567,800.00 to fund various activities including:
- Development of a statewide digital equity plan;
- Providing resources to the Digital Equity working group;
- Community engagement with regional stakeholders;
- Conducting listening sessions via the Alaska Federation of Natives, other native entities, and the Alaska Municipal League.
Internet for All
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.