Over $1B committed to enhance broadband in Alaska

Federal officials have announced over $1 billion in new funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for Alaska to build out the state’s broadband infrastructure to connect communities to high-speed internet.

The funds coming from the IIJA’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program were announced by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). A goal of the program is to bring high-speed internet to every American, including every Alaskan.

Alaska’s BEAD allocation is the single largest investment announced for the state since passage of the IIJA. It comes after 18 months of grant awards from NTIA’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect program, which were similarly funded by IIJA.

Christine O’Connor, executive director of the Alaska Telecom Association, said the BEAD allocation for Alaska would go a long way toward connecting unserved Alaskans with reliable, affordable, high-speed broadband. 

“Alaska Telecom Association members have been connecting Alaskans for over 100 years and we look forward to working together to connect everyone in our great state,” she said.

Details on when the funds will actually be made available, the process for applying for them and how many years they would be spread over are still to be announced.


Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both R-Alaska, also noted that Alaska was selected to receive more than $100 million in USDA ReConnect Round Four funds and $88 million in NTIA Middle-Mile program funds to assist with broadband deployment statewide.

Murkowski said the BEAD allocations will make a huge difference on broadband access in communities across the state.

“One of my highest priorities when authoring and negotiating the bipartisan infrastructure law was sharing the unique circumstances Alaskans face with our infrastructure. I’m proud to have been a voice for rural Alaskans and will continue to help deliver much-needed investments for our state’s infrastructure,” Murkowski said.

“These funds will go a long way toward the goal of connecting every single Alaskan, which will unlock limitless possibilities in terms of telehealth, education and small business opportunities. Importantly, it will better allow Alaskans to connect with one another,” said Sullivan.