Funds to be Used for Subsidizing Satellite Broadband Service in Rural Alaska

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Alaska will benefit from another round of broadband Internet access grants the White House announced Wednesday. The state’s share of the stimulus money is $7 million. The funds will be used to subsidize satellite broadband service for 5,000 households in rural Alaska. Jon Douglas is communications director for Spacenet, the company that will implement the grant. He says rural Alaska presents unique challenges for broadband access.

The grant money will subsidize the installation of the necessary equipment at each house and the monthly service cost for one year. The subsidies are only available in rural Alaska.  Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says getting high speed Internet to rural areas is just as important as electrification was in the 1930’s. He calls it a necessity.

Spacenet will offer the subsidized service through its Satellite Internet provider Starband. The company doesn’t know yet when the subsidies will be available.

Download Audio (MP3)