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ASTAC Awarded ReConnect Grant to Connect Nuiqsut to Atqasuk with Fiber

We are thrilled to announce that Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative, Inc. (ASTAC) has been awarded a generous grant of $25,000,000 to support the expansion of our fiber network from Nuiqsut to Atqasuk, Alaska. This significant investment will enable us to bring high-speed internet access to underserved communities in the Arctic region, enhancing connectivity and opportunities for residents and businesses alike.

The grant, provided by the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service ReConnect Program, reflects a shared commitment to bridging the digital divide in rural Alaska. With this funding, we will be able to extend our fiber network infrastructure, providing reliable and fast internet access to the residents of Nuiqsut, an essential step in empowering these communities with the tools necessary for educational, economic, and social development.

“We are immensely grateful to the USDA for their support,” said CEO/GM Jens Laipenieks at ASTAC. “This grant will make a significant difference in the lives of the people of Nuiqsut, who have long awaited improved connectivity. It aligns perfectly with our mission to connect all the North Slope communities and foster growth through technology.”

The expansion project will include the installation of new fiber optic cables, network infrastructure upgrades, and the provision of affordable broadband services to homes and businesses in Nuiqsut. By bringing high-speed internet to the area, residents will have improved access to online education, telehealth services, e-commerce, and more, ultimately contributing to the economic development and quality of life in the region.

Jens Laipenieks added, “This project is not just about today’s connectivity; it’s about ensuring equal opportunities, access to education and economic participation in the digital age for current and future generations of Alaskans. We are excited to collaborate with the community of Nuiqsut and local partners to make this vision a reality.”

The ASTAC team would like to express its sincere gratitude to the USDA and Rural Utilities Service for their commitment to expanding broadband access in remote areas of Alaska. We also thank the residents of both Nuiqsut and Atqasuk, and the surrounding communities for their patience and support as we work together to bring faster, more reliable connectivity to the region.