Alaska Communications to invest $40 million to expand fiber broadband network in 2024

(UI) – Through capital investments and innovative technologies, Alaska Communications is doubling down on its focus to provide Alaskans with broadband solutions that meet the demands of today’s fast-paced world.

Since 2017, the broadband provider has deployed high-speed internet to more than 25,000 unserved or underserved locations, through the CAF II program. In 2023, it brought affordable, reliable, high-speed internet to new locations in Delta Junction, Fairbanks, Nenana, North Pole, Salcha, Nikiski, Anchor Point, Homer, Soldotna and Ninilchik, offering speeds up to 50 Mbps.

Last year, the company invested $65 million in capital in its network and facilities. In 2024, the company plans to invest another $40 million.

Among these investments is Alaska Communications’ state of the art fiber to the home network, which currently delivers the fastest upload speeds in Alaska. In the last two years, Alaska Communications deployed fiber to the home to about 10,000 homes in Fairbanks and Anchorage, along with a fiber build to a multi-dwelling unit in downtown Juneau. The company’s fiber to the home network differs from other hybrid fiber networks in that it extends the fiber to each individual building. With other hybrid fiber networks, homes are connected to the fiber line via a copper cable, and multiple homes share the same line, so speeds may fluctuate. Read more about the company’s work in the Anchorage Daily News.

“Fiber is the gold standard, but we are always focused on deploying the right technologies, like fixed wireless, which can be better suited for certain environments,” said Matt McConnell, Alaska Communications president and CEO. “We’re planning a fixed wireless pilot in Juneau that would deliver speeds up to 300 Mbps.”

The company is also participating in the Alaska FiberOptic Project, a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Alaska Native Regional Corporations and tribal entities that support communities along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. The project will bring high-speed fiber internet to up to 21 communities for the first time, creating new economic opportunities for rural residents. Fiber construction in the Yukon River will commence this summer.

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