In addition to providing middle mile satellite connectivity, Alaska Communications is collaborating with New Horizons Telecom to design and install the equipment needed to deliver internet access directly to students’ homes in their villages in western Alaska.
Communities served include Alakanuk, Emmonak, Hooper Bay, Kotlik, Marshall, Mountain Village, Nunam Iqua, Pilot Station, Russian Mission and Scammon Bay. These represent some of the most remote and hard-to-serve communities in Alaska.
“We’re pleased to work with LYSD to provide transformative satellite internet service to these communities,” said Bill Bishop, president and CEO of Alaska Communications. “This service will support learning with purpose that helps ensure tradition, culture and quality education. We know how critical broadband is, especially for education in rural Alaska. We thank the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) along with Senator Murkowski and Senator Sullivan for their support bringing this important infrastructure to our state.”
Most of the project is funded by the Emergency Connectivity Fund, an FCC program to help schools and libraries support remote learning in underserved communities. LYSD applied for and received the funding with Alaska Communications as its chosen service provider. Service will be available at no cost to students, school staff and library patrons in the school district’s service area through June 30, 2023.
Service will be available this fall. Eligible residents will sign up for their home internet service directly with LYSD. Alaska Communications also provides fiber connectivity to LYSD’s Kusilvak Career Academy in Anchorage. This academy provides a one-of-kind opportunity for rural students to receive career tech courses through a partnership with the Anchorage School District.
“The opportunity to expand this vital educational support tool directly to the homes of our students, teachers and other members of our school community is incredible,” said Gene Stone, superintendent, LYSD. “Reliable, high-speed internet is a critical factor in student success. We’re pleased to combine our efforts with Alaska Communications’ leadership in serving Alaska.”