Thirty thousand residents of Southwestern Alaska will get broadband internet service under a grant announced today (Thursday) – using federal stimulus money.
The twenty five million dollar grant to the Rivada Sea Lion corporation will provide reliable, high-speed service to fifty three un-served communities in a ninety thousand square mile part of the state. In a brief mention of the project late yesterday, White House staffers said it will provide satellite and wireless service — rather than traditional cables – and will offer low-price internet to homes, businesses, schools, health centers and traditional tribal and government facilities.
Jonathon Adelsteen, with the U-S Department of Agriculture, said the grant is one of the first to be awarded using stimulus money – but many more will come next year.
We are focusing at USDA on really reaching rural areas that are otherwise hard to reach that aren’t well-served by broadband in order to promote their economic development. Having broadband is a critical element of rural communities reaching their highest potential for economic growth and for vitality. We are therefore focusing in the first round on some of the most remote communities to be sure we put the funding out in the most remote areas first.
Rivada Sea Lion is headquartered in Anchorage and is a subsidiary of the Village Corporation of Hooper Bay.