Task force will work on statewide broadband access

Posted: Thursday, March 03, 2011

A statewide broadband task force will work with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development on a plan to accelerate affordable broadband technology throughout the state.

The 20-person task force will look at how Alaska should expand high-speed Internet to everyone across Alaska, the policies that should be in place to encourage broadband development, and plan for a broadband summit in 2012.

The commerce department oversees the Connect Alaska program, a subsidiary of the national nonprofit Connected Nation, the designated entity developing a statewide broadband inventory map and the Alaska broadband plan. Funding for Connect Alaska and the broadband initiative are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and is administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Agency.

The program’s first priority was to map the state’s broadband inventory, and that map was made public last September. It can be found at www.connectak.org. The task force will convene for its first meeting before the end of March.

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