Alaska Receives $1.9M to Map State’s Broadband Availability

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Awards $1.9 Million to the Denali Commission for the Connect Alaska Broadband Mapping Initiative

Anchorage, AK – Today, the Denali Commission, an independent federal agency in Anchorage, Alaska, received a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to support a comprehensive broadband mapping initiative in Alaska. The Denali Commission was designated by Alaska Governor Sean Parnell as the single entity in Alaska to apply for funding from the NTIA.

The Denali Commission (Commission) will employ the services of broadband mapping leader, Connected Nation, to help map and plan broadband in the state of Alaska. Connected Nation will conduct these mapping activities under the name of Connect Alaska. The $1.9 million grant provided through the NTIA’s State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

The data collected from the Connect Alaska initiative will be displayed in the national broadband map, which will help inform policymakers and provide consumers with improved information on broadband Internet services available in the United States.

“This initiative will deliver a comprehensive and accurate broadband map down to the census block level for all areas of Alaska and develop Alaska’s very first Broadband Steering Committee,” said Krag Johnsen, chief operating officer of the Denali Commission.

The steering committee will be comprised of state, federal and non-profit agency participants, as well as Alaska’s telecommunications providers. In addition to providing guidance for the two-year mapping effort, the steering committee will:
• produce annual reports on the broadband status in Alaska,
• plan research related to broadband adoption, and
• produce an annual work plan for broadband expansion to unserved and underserved areas.

Connected Nation is a prominent voice for the nation’s need for better broadband data and has worked closely with national leaders and provided numerous filings in support of a process for broadband data collection at the national level.

“We are excited to be working with the Denali Commission to help create a comprehensive broadband map in the state of Alaska,” said Brian R. Mefford, Connected Nation’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to being a part of this collaborative effort to increase the accessibility and use of broadband in Alaska.”

See NTIA’s announcement here.

Download press release here.

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