ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-Alaska) today announced that the Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) is receiving a $30.3 million federal broadband grant, made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The grant comes through USDA’s ReConnect Program, which aims to build broadband infrastructure to connect communities across the United States with high-speed Internet access. The TCC grant will help fund a fiber network in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, delivering affordable, high-speed internet for families, businesses and educational facilities.
The TCC project will be supported by the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity and Tribal Lifeline Programs, which will serve the Hughes, Huslia, Alatna, and Allakaket Native Village Statistical Areas as well as communities in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area.
“Congratulations to the Tanana Chiefs Conference and the many communities in the Yukon Koyukuk region who will benefit from the transformative change this investment in broadband infrastructure will bring,” said Senator Murkowski. “Through my work on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, including investments in broadband has been a top priority—from closing service gaps to addressing reliability and affordability in a rural state like Alaska. These investments in expanded connectivity will bring new opportunities for education, healthcare and economic development — really real benefits for Alaskans.
“Access to high-speed, reliable internet can be life-changing for a community, improving the delivery of health care and education, and opening doors for small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Senator Sullivan. “Many of our rural, Alaska Native communities have for too long found themselves without the broadband connectivity that most Americans take for granted. I am pleased to see the significant federal infrastructure dollars we have secured being deployed to break the digital divide and improve the lives and welfare of thousands of Alaskans throughout Interior Alaska.”
“TCC is proud to have secured funding for this vital infrastructure project on behalf of our tribes along the Koyukuk River. This network is an essential part of TCC’s ongoing strategy to bridge the digital divide for our tribal members and improve the standard of living for our people. We appreciate the USDA for this great opportunity and Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and the late Congressman Young for fighting to make these opportunities available to our state,” said TCC head/president Brian Ridley.
In 2022 alone, more than $461.2 million in federal broadband funding has been announced for Alaska, of which more than $210.9 million comes from the USDA Reconnection Program.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov.