Alaska Communications (NASDAQ: ALSK) has achieved a milestone in its broadband network expansion program, reaching over 16,000 rural Alaska residents with high-speed internet, with a goal of serving more than 32,000 rural Alaskans. The program started in 2017 and will continue through 2025. Communities now served with new or upgraded internet speeds include Delta Junction, Fairbanks, Homer, Hope, Kenai, Klawock, Larsen Bay, Ninilchik, North Kenai, North Pole, Seldovia and Soldotna. The company plans to deliver high-speed internet to Coffman Cove, Hoonah, Kake, Kasilof, Sterling and Thorne Bay by Dec. 31, 2020.
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Alaska Communications Field Technician Kristine Barber installs fixed wireless at a home in Sterling, Alaska. (Photo: Business Wire)
The network expansion is funded in part through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) program.
"Alaska Communications is pleased to reach this important milestone expanding its high-speed broadband network to rural Alaskans. We know how critical broadband is for education, healthcare, economic development and quality of life. We thank the FCC along with Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan and Congressman Young for their support bringing this important infrastructure to our state," said Bill Bishop, Alaska Communications president and CEO.
Once complete, the project will be the single largest deployment of affordable broadband under any one program in Alaska. Internet speeds are a minimum 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. However, the company has sought to deliver higher speeds, up to 50 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload, whenever possible. The company is offering reliable, unlimited internet with no data caps for one, flat rate of $89.99 per month. Alaska Communications does not charge overage fees for data usage.
The FCC created the CAF II program in 2011 to facilitate the deployment of high-speed internet access in high-cost locations by transitioning Universal Service Fund money that was supporting rural landline voice service to the build-out of broadband infrastructure in rural communities. Under the terms of the current order, the FCC will provide approximately $19.7 million per year for 10 years, starting in 2016, to assist Alaska Communications in deploying broadband to about 32,000 locations in Alaska.
About Alaska Communications
Alaska Communications (NASDAQ: ALSK) is the leading provider of advanced broadband and managed IT services for businesses and consumers in Alaska. The company operates a highly reliable, advanced statewide data network with the latest technology and the most diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous U.S. For more information, visit www.AlaskaCommunications.com or www.alsk.com.
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Alaska Communications Media Contact:
Heather Cavanaugh, 907-564-7722
Director, External Affairs and Corporate Communications
Tiffany Smith, 907-564-7556
Manager, Board and Investor Relations