The head of the Federal Communications Commission says he got the message this week about the importance of internet access in Rural Alaska.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski traveled to Dillingham and New Stuyahok on Thursday, to look at Project “Terra Southwest,” which will bring broadband service to 65 communities in Western Alaska.
GCI is using a combination of grants and loans from the federal stimulus program to build the network.
Most of the system should be finished by the end of the year. Schools, clinics and hospitals will see an immediate boost in connectivity. Homes and business will have to wait another year, while GCI installs equipment to provide service.
But once the system is in place, can Rural Alaskans afford it?
That was one of the main concerns of a statewide task force on broadband access that Genachowski met with at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage on Friday.