STATION, ALASKA-US Reps. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-Alaska) announced today that the Tanana Leadership Conference (TCC) has received a $30.3 million federal grant, made possible. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The grant comes through the USDA’s ReConnect Program, which seeks to build broadband infrastructure to connect communities across the United States with high-speed Internet access. TCC’s donation 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 plan will be supported by the FCC’s probable connection and the Tribal Lifeline program, which will serve the Hughes, Huslia, Alatna, and Allakaket Native Village Statistical Areas and communities in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area.
“Congratulations to the Tanana Chiefs Conference and the many communities in the Yukon Koyukuk region that will benefit from this transformational investment in broadband infrastructure.” said Senator Murkowski. “Throughout my work on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, including funding for primary outreach, it was a top priority — from closing service gaps to addressing credit and affordability in such a rural state as Alaska. These investments in expanded connectivity will bring new opportunities for education, health care and economic development, truly benefits of life for Alaskans.
“Access to high-speed, reliable internet can be life-changing in a community, increasing 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 found themselves longer without the broadband connectivity that most Americans take for granted. I’m pleased to see the significant federal infrastructure dollars we’ve secured deployed to pay the digital divide and improve the lives and well-being of thousands of Alaskans across Interior Alaska.
“TCC is proud to have secured funding for this vital infrastructure project for our tribes along the Koyukuk River. This network is a key part of TCC’s ongoing plan to bridge the digital divide for our tribal members and improve livelihoods for our tribe. We thank the USDA for this substantial opportunity and Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and recently the Young Congress to fight to make these opportunities available to our state.” said TCC CEO/President Brian Ridley.
In 2022 alone, over $461.2 million in federal funding was announced for Alaska, of which over $210.9 million is derived from the USDA Reconnect Program.
To learn more about rural investment resources, visit www.rd.usda.gov.