District : Alaska Federation of Natives
State : Alaska
Level : P-12
Community Type : Tribal
Related Tags : NETP24
Bringing Internet Access to Alaskan Tribal Lands
While the digital access divide may be closing quickly in much of the country, geography and a lack of physical infrastructure present unique challenges in those locations still waiting for reliable broadband. Through a $35M grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, 73 Alaska Native Tribal governments, Alaska Native Corporations, and tribal organizations will benefit from a Use and Adoption Award.
Beginning with a needs assessment and input from target populations, the project will eventually increase access to connectivity and devices. Recognizing that digital health, safety, & citizenship are key components of digital access, the project will also include designing and implementing a training program to build digital skills and familiarity with broadband resources and technology among Alaskan Native populations.
When completed, the project will serve 62 Alaskan Native communities, provide subsidized internet service for an estimated 2,777 Alaskan Native households, provide broadband devices to an estimated 8,877 individuals, and employ and train 10 IT technicians. This is to say nothing of the increased educational opportunities, employment upskilling, and digital cultural possibilities that will be available for generations to come.