The Alaska Legislature Calls for RCA Analysis of Broadband in Alaska, Including Coverage Gaps
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2017
Fairbanks – The Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) has opened a public process to gather information about broadband internet service in Alaska, including current and future projects. The RCA will use the voluntary information for a report to the Alaska Legislature. The effort to examine the availability of broadband internet in Alaska is the result of intent language inserted into the FY 2018 budget at the behest of House Finance Committee member Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks).
“The need for broadband internet is growing as Alaska becomes increasingly integrated into a world economy that demands fast websites and the ability to sell products online. However, much of Alaska lacks broadband internet access, which puts us at a disadvantage nationally and internationally,” said Rep. Guttenberg. “I am confident the effort by the RCA to document the coverage gaps in Alaska will provide lawmakers, regulators, and providers with the needed information to make the right decisions to ensure Alaskans can use broadband as a tool to help start a small business, connect with people from across the globe, and enjoy all that is available online.”
Internet service providers, owners of networks capable of carrying broadband traffic, and others are asked to file information about broadband in Alaska by September 8th. The RCA is expected to file a report with the Alaska Legislature by December 1st. Information about the RCA order can be found online at www.rca.alaska.gov.
“The fact that many areas of Alaska have internet speeds well below the national average puts residents of those areas at a distinct economic and social disadvantage. I am anxiously awaiting the RCA’s report because I’m confident it will show that Alaska needs more internet providers and increased competition, which I believe will result in lower prices and better service,” said Rep. Guttenberg.
For more information, please contact Seth Whitten in Rep. Guttenberg’s office at (907) 456-8172.