News Column

Reaching Alaska's Broadband by 2020 Goal

July 15, 2014



ANCHORAGE, Alaska, July 15 -- Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, R-Alaska, issued the following news release:

Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell told an audience at the Statewide Broadband Task Force Summit today that cooperation with our Arctic neighbors on developing broadband infrastructure would speed deployment to Alaskans. The task force's objective is to provide broadband service of 100 Mbps to households and businesses throughout Alaska by 2020.

"The Arctic Council and its new business forum can help foster joint infrastructure investment," Treadwell said. "With a newly accessible Arctic Ocean, all eight nations have new customers who need data in remote parts of the North - people in aviation, mining, shipping, emergency response, education, the oil and gas industry, and national security.

"We can work together to take advantage of trans-Arctic fiber cables, polar-orbiting satellites, spot beams from traditional satellites aimed at high latitudes, low earth-orbiting networks, and terrestrial networks like the microwave and fiber systems now being built in Alaska."

The 22-member task force, appointed by Susan Bell, Commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development, completed its draft report last year and held the summit to determine next steps. A final report is due in September. The legislature has asked the Department of Administration for a set of recommendations, due by January 15, on how to leverage state telecommunications expenditures to expand broadband service statewide.

"I thank the task force for their focus and dedication in developing a vision and roadmap for Alaska," Bell said. "Broadband is key to realizing Alaska's economic opportunities, and bringing solutions to educators, public safety officers, and health care professionals."

The draft report can be found on the Alaska Broadband Task Force web site: http://www.alaska.edu/files/oit/bbtaskforce/2013-08-AK-Broadband-Task-Force-Report%7CA-Blueprint-for-Alaska%27s-Broadband-Future.pdf.

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