More than 1,000 rural Alaskans in five communities along the Yukon River will receive affordable, high-speed internet for the first time thanks to a tribal broadband grant funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
The collaboration between Doyon, Limited and Alaska Communications will connect one of the most
underserved regions in the United States with a fiber-optic cable that will be the foundation for expanding broadband to communities in the region. This transformative project will give rural residents
access to virtual meetings, online classes, telehealth, and online jobs without having to leave their
village or way of life.
The communities served include Fort Yukon, Beaver, Stevens Village, Rampart, and Tanana. Alaska
Communications will deploy a fiber-to-the-home network in each community, offering up to Gigabit
speed service at affordable rates. The network will connect to the Alaska Communications’ core fiber
network in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The project is part of the Alaska FiberOptic Project, a larger collaboration between Calista Corporation,
Doyon, Limited, Gana-A ‘Yoo Limited and Alaska Communications to connect up to 20 communities
along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers with fiber-optic cable. This segment is the first of three segments
to get funding.
The four companies recognize that reliable, affordable, high-speed internet is the foundation for
education, healthcare, economic growth, and quality of life. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the
importance of broadband and illuminated the growing digital divide across Alaska. The Alaska FiberOptic
Project will bridge that divide for many rural communities.
“There is no better time than now to connect our communities,” said Aaron Schutt, President and CEO
of Doyon, Limited. “This project will provide the most reliable, affordable, and fastest internet today and
for the next generation. Today’s announcement is the first step of many, as five villages in our region
will be connected. Doyon looks to use this project as a backbone of connectivity and continue bringing
our villages online. For generations the river has been a transportation hub, and we look forward to
continue the tradition of bringing information and goods across our river system.”
“This is an exciting milestone for Alaska,” said Bill Bishop, president and CEO of Alaska Communications.
“We’re honored to work with our partners on a project that will be life-changing for many Alaskans,
providing the technical expertise and experience building, operating and maintaining critical broadband
infrastructure. We thank the NTIA along with President Biden, Senator Murkowski and Senator Sullivan
for their support bringing this important infrastructure to our country and state.”
“Alaska’s geography, terrain, climate, and vast size have created significant obstacles to developing
broadband infrastructure. But rural Alaska is no less deserving of connectivity. For the first time, some
of Alaska’s most underserved communities will receive high-speed internet access made possible by the
Tribal Broadband Connectivity Grant program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created this
program and made $980 million available for grants to eligible Native entities for broadband deployment. Leading up to its passage, I made sure the program would meet the unique needs of Alaska, with broad eligibility for Native entities. I commend the partnership and coordination of the successful applicants in securing this grant, which will be transformational,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).