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History-making Broadband Meeting Now Underway in Alaska

(March 11, 2011) - Connect Alaska is celebrating a history-making milestone for the Last Frontier State. Friday, March 11, marks the first meeting of Alaska’s first-ever Broadband Task Force. The 21-person team was announced last month by Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) Commissioner Susan Bell and will support the department in its mission to expand quality broadband service throughout the state.

“The inaugural convening of the new Broadband Task Force is especially significant in the state of Alaska where vast, rugged landscapes and remote, isolated communities offer connectivity expansion challenges that many states would consider unthinkable,” said Brent Legg, director of stakeholder relations and development for Connected Nation. “But it’s a challenge being met head-on by the new team.”

DCCED oversees the Connect Alaska program, a subsidiary of the national nonprofit Connected Nation, the designated entity developing a statewide broadband inventory map and the Alaska broadband plan.

“Alaska’s new Broadband Task Force is the critical link between pinpointing Alaska’s unique broadband expansion challenges and finally delivering the Internet’s life-saving and lifestyle-improving services to all Alaskans,” said Connected Nation Strategic Program Office Executive Director Ernie Wood. Wood was among the members of Connected Nation's senior leadership who traveled to Anchorage for the Task Force’s landmark meeting.

Alaska’s Broadband Task Force is charged with figuring out the best way to expand high-speed Internet service to all corners of the nation’s largest state. The group will make recommendations on policy changes that will encourage new investments in broadband and create a plan of action, including a timeline, to connect every Alaska community to quality broadband service.

By Jeremy Thacker, Communications Specialist, Connect Alaska