alaska landscape

The USDA ReConnect program has awarded three grants totaling $11.3 million that will add Alaska FTTP based projects. In all, the projects potentially will serve 1,343 people, 52 businesses and other important locations such as schools and fire stations.

The Alaska FTTP awards include:

  • Mukluk Telephone Company Inc. will use a $4.1 million grant to deploy a network connecting 641 people, 24 businesses, two public schools, two fire stations, two post offices and a city hall to high-speed broadband in Teller and Brevig Mission.
  • Matanuska Telephone Association Inc. will use a $1.9 million grant to deploy a network connecting 463 people to high-speed broadband in the Sheep Creek and Kashwitna areas of the Mat-Su Borough.
  • Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative will use a $5.3 million grant to deploy a network connecting 239 people, 28 businesses, a public school and a post office to high-speed broadband in Kaktovik.

Three USDA ReConnect Alaska awards were made previously. In the first round, USDA provided Cordova Telephone Cooperative with almost $19 million to serve 270 homes. In the second round, it is providing about $21.5 million to AP&T Wireless to serve 112 households and $25 million to Unicom to serve 1,456 households.

So far, the second round of the ReConnect program has made 83 awards totaling $642,858,229 in 34 states and territories.

The second round of the program initially was funded at $550 million. Late last month, a USDA official told Telecompetitor that the awards could go above the originally stated figure because some awards and parts of some awards are made as loans. The actual total of the second could bypass what originally was projected by as much as $150 million, the official said.

The same dynamic appears to have been at play in the first round of awards. The original stated budget was $600 million but the eventual awards surpassed $744 million.

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