Breaking: Over $1 billion awarded to Alaska for broadband expansion


The Alaska Broadband Office got more than $1 billion to help deploy broadband throughout Alaska — but fiber to everyone will cost $1.7 billion, sources say.

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration has announced that Alaska has been awarded a staggering $1,017,139,672.42 as part of President Joe Biden’s “Investing in America” program. This funding, allocated under the “Internet for All” initiative, aims to provide affordable and reliable high-speed Internet service to every American.

The announcement was made by President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo during a press conference held at the White House.

“With this funding, along with other federal investments, we’re going to be able to connect every person in America to reliable high-speed internet by 2030,” Biden said.

Raimondo emphasized the significance of this investment, stating, “What this announcement means for people across the country is that if you don’t have access to quality, affordable high-speed Internet service now – you will, thanks to President Biden and his commitment to investing in America.”

The funds for the initiative are part of the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program established by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Each state, along with the District of Columbia and five territories, will administer grant programs within their borders to ensure widespread access to high-speed Internet.

According to a White House fact sheet, Texas will get the largest award of $3.3 billion. California, Missouri, Michigan, and North Carolina will each be awarded over $1.5 billion. The allocation for Alaska is the largest among on a per capita basis, due to the unique challenges the state faces due to its remote geography.

Eligible entities, including states, the District of Columbia, and territories, are to receive their formal notice of allocation on June 30. Following this, they have 180 days to submit their initial proposals outlining the implementation of their grant programs.

Starting July 1, entities can begin submitting their proposals, which will be approved by the NTIA on a rolling basis. Once an initial proposal is approved, eligible entities will be permitted to access at least 20% of their allocated funds to get started.

For more information on the allocations for each state, the District of Columbia, and the territories, InternetForAll.Gov.


  1. I don’t want my taxes paying for Jo Shmo down the street to sit at home and internet work instead of going in to the office like real workers should. This is an act designed to weaken Alaska workforce.

    • So are you saying that people should be forced to work in an office just because? If they’re just as productive working from home, why should it matter?

      • You know, I know, and the world knows that the primary use of the internet is to spread porn and play video games. The villages can’t have their muktuk and eat it too. Internet will destroy their traditional ways of living, what’s left of it.

          • You can spell it however you want to, Forkner. I’m going with the traditional spelling in Merriam-Webster, and at NOAA. ‘

            Also, with the sex trafficking of Native girls from rural Alaska already such a problem, it’s pretty clear what is going to happen when broadband is expanded in these isolated places, where people are bored and boredom leads to stuff we don’t even want to think about.

        • Yes, the spread of porn and material the furthers abuse and objectification of women and children is my greatest concern as well. A study showed that after iPhones and cell data internet access hit the nation, birth rates dropped and depression went up. Real relationships suffered. I know Alaskans can do better.

      • “So are you saying that people should be forced to work in an office just because?”

        Because it’s how work works.

        “If they’re just as productive working from home…”

        They aren’t and you know it.

        “…, why should it matter?”

        Because it’s my taxes, and I don’t want them spent on directly attacking our workforce and letting people work from home in their pajamas. China is laughing at us.

        • I’ve been working from home for 3.5 years now and I’m way more productive than I was in the office because I have zero distractions. I used to have an office next to a very high ranking person in the organization I worked for at the time and he and another coworker would spend an hour or more everyday talking about hunting or what they did over the weekend, but hey, they were in the office!

          And what do you mean “because that’s how it works?” Working from home was a thing long before Covid. There are lots of things that my taxes go to that I don’t like, but we don’t get a line item veto on those kind of things.

          • Cman, when I was an employee at a company back in the later 80s and early-mid 90s, I mostly worked the midnight shift for exactly that same reason: to avoid all the daytime distractions. And the BIGGEST distraction was the constant helicoptering of my bosses, neurotically wanting constant updates and wanting to know every ten minutes “when is the job going to be done?”.

    • You likely benefitted way more from taxes over the years, besides, Alaska’s first people finally get what Aunt Lisa promised.

      • It doesn’t matter. They’re my taxes. You don’t get to decide you can use my money for useless crap. It’s wasteful.

  2. is this part of the inflation reduction act lulz, at least theyre wasting this money domestically instead of on the biddens war in ukraine

  3. Thats a lot of zeros for only about 50,000 people.
    Shoukd we go for our own satellites?
    Just remember to build in annual support money of the system for its realized capital improvement, about 50 years? Who pays that?Alaska or the USA?

  4. It would’ve been cheaper and much more reliable to just hire Blackwater to build-out the necessary infrastructure as they’ve got the right mindset that embodies efficiency and effectiveness, all the while meeting – beating cost and schedule constraints while ensuring ruggedness and hardened equipment to withstand our unique conditions.
    Watch this infrastructure build-out to 3x-4x in cost of the next few years? I wonder how many more Sr Level Executives will be convicted for graft and imbezzelment?

  5. I’m for developing the bush, but really? This much when the nation is going broke?

    As already stated, at least it’s not going to Ukraine.

    • $1 billion would buy almost 1.7 million Starlink terminals. One plus a spare for every Alaskan. Or 10 (1 plus 9 spare) for every rural Alaskan.

      Love how many of the articles say broadband is still not possible in much of rural Alaska, while Starlink has been available since November.

      • $1billion decided by our approximate 750,000 population is $1,333 for every man, woman and child in the state… The government could purchase a residential Starlink package, for every single one of us and provide about 6 months of service! Of course a 3 month old child probably wouldn’t have much use for it, but would the government reimburse me for the starlink I’ve already bought and use? It’s the same cronyism we’ve seen for decades… buying votes with my tax dollars!

  6. Darned if you do; darned if you don’t. Keep an accurate accounting of covid funds. Votes? Not so much. Of course globalist corporation Reuters Corporate Elections Accounting Procedures are professionally accounted for using generally professional accounting procedures – how ever long it takes. US Federal International Corporation the certification for president process is essentially merely ceremonial, n’est ce pas?

  7. And absolutely proper this spending is, given how integral high-speed broadband internet is to the traditional native subsistence culture.

    (Actually, the “subsistence” part has not changed, only the nature of what Alaska Natives are now subsisting and dependent on, and beholden to, that being federal dollars rather than whales, caribou and seals.)

  8. Prediction: This vast amount of money will do very little to improve broadband service in “non-rural” Alaska, where competition is illusory and subsidies non-existent. We may talking about the “urban-rural divide” but it may be with roles reversed.

  9. How much is it per person, or is it free based on income? I see most of homeless with cell phones could they now get laptops so they can stream. Star link is expensive unfortunately unless you can get assistance.

    • …..but they need broadband in the Bush to track the caribou migrations, the river salmon stocks, and the best blueberry picking locations. And when none of that is working out, they need the closest locations for McDonalds and Papa Johns for speedy delivery. And don’t forget Netflix and the best hook-up dating sites in the North.

      • All of that tax money for a few thousand
        Bush people who want the toys of Whites, but resent Whites for colonialism. Very mixed up people. And Joe Biden wants to hire 87,000 IRS agents to patrol taxpayers and get more money into the Alaska Bush. Pathetic!
        Trump 2024.

        • You need to read up on the latest budget agreement that doesn’t allow for the IRS agents. Where have you been for the last month? And I don’t think the natives of Alaska or the lower 49 states are confused at all. I think they appreciate the four wheels and the snow goes and the rifles and all the other improvements to their life. You are resented though for colonialism and stealing their land. But that’s on you.

          • Gregory, you seem like a nice fellow. But where do you get the idea that Natives, Indians, First People, etc ….”owned” any land.
            They fought each other to the death to “occupy” lands, but there never was “ownership.” That is an appeasement and a legal fiction invented by Lefties and liberals. Besides, they couldn’t “own” all of that land because they couldn’t control it or hang on to it……and they didn’t need much land to survive. What they couldn’t defend and hang on to, was lost and captured by others. Recorded human history will bear out that over the millennia(s), people lost their land all the time. Look how the Roman armies swept up new lands throughout Europe.
            Ghengas Khan, Alexander the Great, “took” huge pieces of real estate.
            Alaska Natives never “owned” the land. They occupied it for survival. Many headed south for thousands of years ago for warmer weather and better hunting.
            There was no “theft,” as you seem to believe.
            The theft we have today are Native peoples getting endless free handouts from the government and preferential treatment for resources, education, etc.. “That” is the real theft.

  10. Don’t kid yourself. This isn’t about the villages, this is about enriching Alaska telecom companies. That said, the final price will greatly exceed reliable satellite service. No one will buy it but governments.

  11. More Alaskan grift courtesy Lisa. Meanwhile, SpaceX continues to build out the polar constellation with every launch out of Vandenberg. 8 launches so far in 2023, 399 working satellites, with more to come. Cheers –

  12. Pretty sure you lucky Alaskans wouldn’t have gotten this from a Trump administration, where it was always Infrastructure Week, which became a running joke.

    Just think of how many more people will now be able to participate in the deep philosophical discussions taking place in the MRAK comments section!!

  13. What commerce has become of the broadband internet in village communities thus far? I don’t see much return (ROI) on these millions, now billions, of taxpayers money. A thorough accounting of all this “insentive” should occur. The muuktuck must be worth it.

  14. Tasted it, smelled it, saw muuktuck juice being spit into the seat back on flights out to Hooper, Scammon and Chevak. Then a couple days later smelled more spit of muuktuck in other aircraft. Then spit more wherever.
    Lovely manners.
    Keep ur muuuuktuk,,,,

      • Greg, I know of nobody who calls it “mungtuk”.

        In the NANA region, it is “muktuk”, exclusively.

        Maybe you are confusing it with bean sprouts?

        • No I know what you’re talking about mung beans. It’s called mungtuk from the native whalers on St Lawrence Island in the native village of Gamble where I once lived. They are siberian yupik folks and I’d have to believe as one of the original Whale hunters, they know what it’s called. But you can Google mungtuk and see that I’m right. Also a secondary more colonial version is called muktuk like you suggest.

        • It’s all the same thing, bowhead whale. It has different spellings from whatever region you’re from but I prefer to go with the original spelling from the people who actually harvest it. We would get a share which is about a 5 lb sack of it and trade it for smoked salmon from people inland who didn’t have access to it. It was awesome to see. 10 to 15 runs tied bow to Stern wagon train style, pulling in this giant 50 ton whale. Then giant ropes the size of my thigh with blocks and tackles and bulldozers pulling it up onto the beach so that it could be butchered. Some were so large that they had to take the tail off in the water to try to lighten the load.

          • I liked beluga muktuk, in particular. Although it took me a few times to realize that you don’t actually eat muktuk, you just suck the fat out of it, and then spit out the residual connective tissue.

    • Some of the best local cuisine I ever tasted was some shake and bake bearded seal. Awesome. The Mungtuk… Not to my liking. One nibble tasted like I had taken a shot glass full of canola oil and slammed it down. But the whale meat was good once you let it drain of blood for a couple of weeks.

      • Our favorite during whaling season: muktuk and a beer. But not Bud Light. That’s for sissy whalers.

  15. Only a hardened cynic would see this is a payoff to Big Tech, the public-relations wing of the Democrat Party, those in charge of controlling, censoring all that Americans see, hear, and search on internet.
    Challenge for Alaska Native leadership will be persuading young, rebellious, computer-savvy progeny that their borders, language, and culture, what makes them and their heritage special, must never be replaced by cyber-addiction, that the tragic fantasy of happiness and more stuff is only a keystroke away, that the Secret of Life is what Big Tech and Big Government say it is.

  16. Obviously, the sea ice interferes with cable. So an overland route would be preferable with an access road to make repairs. This would solve many problems and protect the whales from getting tangled up in fiber optic lines. A road to Nome seems to be in the budget.

  17. They need at least a billion dollars just to build the terminals to get the cable from the ocean floor to land without it being destroyed by the ice that frequently dredges up the cable.
    Most of the Muktuk harvested ends up in the dump. In 1978 a film crew video taped tons of wasted whale meat discarded at the dump because so many whales were harvested that spring season they had no place to store it.
    Thats when the IWC started issuing quotas on harvesting of Bowhead whales and also is the primary reason the polar bears habitually spend more time seeking food on land near villages instead of the sea ice the same as homeless choose to stand in line for free food at the soup kitchen.

    Whale meat gets left in the ice cellar too long and spoils ever since the bush flights have become so regular that it is too convenient to send a family member to town for KFC and McDonalds for happy meals which is the preferred diet along with pallet loads and loads of soda.

  18. Probably perusal of internet resources would provide an answer to my short-sighted question, but I distinctly recall when I was in 6th grade (sixties) hearing about how the latest communication technology was going to allow team-taching city teachers in classrooms to work side by side with other students in bush classrooms, and that installation of communication earth satellites would allow view of the Miss America pageant in real time, which eventually came to be … ? Yes? Yes, I recall the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department telephone party-line emergency calls, too. Each of those advancements mebbe coulda been nixed fer costs. Aren’t there going to real tangible benefits to the proposed improvements?

Comments are closed.