Who's who in Rural Broadband


Firm aims to bring Bush Alaska up to speed online...By Margaret Bauman Alaska Journal of Commerce

Alaska Journal of Commerce: High-speed Internet service bound for...the purpose of the Rural Alaska Broadband Internet Access Program, Mora said, is to provide economic, employment and educational opportunities...

ANCHORAGE - GCI today announced a new initiative in its Village Internet program to expand broadband service in rural Alaska. This latest project, funded in part through a grant administered by both the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and the State of Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development, will bring broadband service to 12 of the most rural communities in Alaska that currently lack such access.

by Martin Cary Comtech Review...In remote Alaskan villages, the public school is usually the center of the community. Often the largest building, the school frequently functions as a town meeting hall, a recreation center, the town library, and—in the past few years—the technology hub. Through the Universal Services Fund or "E-Rate,"a federal program that helps make telecommunications equipment and services affordable for rural and disadvantaged schools, Alaskan students and teachers have high-speed Internet access in the most remote villages.

Fixed Wireless Broadband Internet ~ as slick and fast as greased lightning!
MCGRATH, ALASKA - April 22, 2002 – McGrathAlaska.net (
http://mcgrathalaska.net), a local Internet Service Provider in the middle of the “boonies” on the west side of the Alaska Range, has just completed another upgrade of service. The Kuskokwim River community of McGrath is located along the Iditarod Trail. Ernie Baumgartner, General Manager of McGrathAlaska.net said “ We just rolled out a faster....

US$11B Needed for Rural Broadband UpgradeBy Margret Johnston, IDG News Service

The WCA's mission is to advance the interests of the wireless carriers that provide high-speed data, Internet, voice and video services on broadband spectrum through land-based systems using reception/transmit devices in all broadband spectrum bands. The WCA is an established leader in government relations, technology standards and industry event organization.

Published on Monday, July 02, 2001 - 12:00 AM PST Source: General Communication Inc.
GCI (Nasdaq: GNCMA) president Ron Duncan announced today the company's plan to launch high-speed Internet service in all the Alaska communities it currently serves by 2004. The service is expected to provide 152 communities across the state with high-speed Internet services delivered via cable modem, DSL and wireless technologies.


Association for community networking...infostructure centric...informed board of directors...committed!

Community networking clearinghouse of information...lots of links

The first article is a chapter which has not yet been published Realizing Cultural and Community Sustainability Through Internet Innovations in Alaskan Native Villages A detailed review of strategies for community involvement to produce measurable outcomes. Many grant templates and online self-directed resources are included in the appendix.

Common Ground for Alaska, Jamaica, and Rural Idaho-What can we show and do to motivate our people to embrace the potential of the Internet?

Programs / Studys:

State of Alaska rural broadband initiative, USDA funded program administered throught the DCED Regulatory Commission of Alaska.


NTIA Rural Broadband Report


Remote Work Central provides the best value in remote high speed satellite internet access, availability, reliability, and secure connectivity for telecommuting and telework. Utilizing virtual private network and other secure technologies, our virtual teams provide Software Development, Information Technology outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing services.

Founded in 1949, the Alaska Telephone Association (ATA) sets out in the first paragraph of its Bylaws its goal: "maintaining of high grade telecommunications services to the public."

Regulatory Commission of Alaska...A regulatory agency whose responsibilities include oversight of the telecommunications industry in Alaska.

Alaska Telephone Company
Regional ILEC

Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative
Regional ILEC

Bristol Bay Telephone Cooperative
Regional ILEC

Copper Valley Telephone Cooperative
Regional ILEC

Cordova Telephone Cooperative
Regional ILEC

Ketchikan Public Utilities Telephone Division
Regional ILEC

Matanuska Telephone Association
Regional ILEC

Nushagak Electric & Telephone Cooperative
Regional ILEC

OTZ Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
Regional ILEC

TelAlaska, Inc.
Regional ILEC

United Utilities, Inc.
Regional ILEC

Yukon Telephone
Regional ILEC


Federal Communications Commission

Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service

Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Services

Federal-State Joint Board Rural Task Force

US Department of Agriculture...Rural Utilities Service...federal organization supporting the development of Rural Utilities, including many telecommunications facilities in Alaska...also connected with numerous other rural development initiatives ...

On January 29, 2003, Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman announced the new Rural Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. For FY 2003, RUS has made available $1.4 billion in loans and loan guarantees to provide broadband services in rural communities. These loans will facilitate deployment of new and innovative technologies to provide two-way data transmission of 200 kbps or more, in communities with populations up to 20,000. Details on loan types and amounts, eligibility, and application procedures are available in 7 CFR 1738, the Notice of Application Deadline, and RUS Bulletin 1738-1, Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program Application Guide.

General Links to Broadband:

Rural Broadband Coalition (RBC) is a technology and provider-neutral national advocacy and service association. RBC serves Internet service providers, telecommunication companies/utilities, for-profit utilities, rural electric cooperatives, municipalities, public utility districts, tribal communities, technology companies, government organizations, associations and other interested parties that are dedicated to supporting the deployment of broadband Internet access to rural America.

Mission Statement: To advance broadband rural deployment in the United States by means of wireless broadband options, either as stand-alone networks or as components of hybrid systems.

Mission Statement: The Rural Broadband Initiative is a grassroots, nonprofit community organization based in Wilton, Maine that addresses issues relating to the deployment of high-speed Internet access in rural parts of the state and the nation.

MN Rural Broadband Promotion Project...Minnesota Rural Partners and Community Technology Advisors with support from the Blandin Foundation are conducting a study to learn which broadband market development activities result in more broadband users and more uses of broadband. We will be following the process on this web site.

CTAC leads successful community-wide economic development efforts: We know public policy, We understand technology, We have extensive experience, We bring leaders to your table.

Good blog with information on worldwide rural broadband efforts.

C/NET News Blog on Broadband initiatives.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1889. Its members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate the activities of telecommunications, energy, and water utilities.
NECA administers complex regulatory and financial programs. Our expertise includes: rate and tariff development, industry database management, compliance auditing, economic forecasting, trend analysis, regulatory policy analysis.

The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), "the voice of rural telecommunications," is the premiere non-profit association representing more than 560 small and rural telephone cooperatives and commercial companies.

OPASTCO is a national trade association representing more than 550 small, independently owned local exchange carriers (LECs) and their affiliate telecommunications companies. Primarily serving rural areas of the United States and Canada, these commercial telephone companies and cooperatives range in size from fewer than 100 to as many as 100,000 access lines and collectively serve more than 2.5 million customers.

USTA is the premier trade association representing service providers and suppliers for the telecom industry. USTA's 1,200 member companies offer a wide range of services, including local exchange, long distance, wireless, Internet and cable television service. USTA's members provide local telephone service across the country, ranging from the very largest telecom companies, like Verizon, BellSouth and SBC to companies with only a few hundred customers.

USDA and Regulatory Commission of Alaska...a progressive approach!

High-speed Internet service bound for rural communities
By Robert Howk Alaska Journal of Commerce


The State of Alaska is looking for companies that are capable of bringing state-of-the-art Internet access to small, economically strapped communities in remote areas. And there is $7.5 million in federal grant money in the bank to get the job started.Information about the program, visit the web page: www.state.ak.us/rca/broadband.html

Tina Dickinson
Communications Specialist
Fax: 907-269-8125

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 05, 2004 No. 04-012
Edgar Blatchford
PO Box 110800
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0800

Department of Community and Economic Development Awards
Federal Grants For Internet Access in Rural Alaska
(Anchorage) - The State of Alaska’s Department of Community and Economic Development is in the process of awarding grant funds to assist in the establishment of broadband Internet service in rural Alaska.

Under a continuing state and federal effort to make Internet service more affordable to communities in rural Alaska, $15 million has been allocated to assist service providers in the
deployment of broadband. To date, the state has potentially awarded more than $4 million dollars in grant requests. The program was established through the efforts of Senator Ted
Stevens, who continues to advocate for the development of modern communications infrastructure throughout the state.

“This effort helps to provide rural Alaska residents with improved access to world markets and potential new economies,” said Edgar Blatchford, Commissioner of the Department of
Community and Economic Development. “This can clearly help to improve the quality of life in many of these communities through education and technical training. In the future, we hope to
have more community centers equipped with Internet access,” said Blatchford.

The grant awards were made through a program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA) - Rural Development. "Funding provided through this program was supported by Senator Ted Stevens," said Alaska Rural Development State Director Bill Allen. "These dollars will go a long way in the effort to ensure that residents of rural Alaska will not be left behind as we work to provide affordable broadband Internet service to all Americans. Broadband makes e-commerce possible,” said Allen. “As more rural residents of our state are provided with this cutting edge technology, it will become easier for them to market goods and services over the world wide web. It is my hope that this will result in rural residents getting a greater share of the value of the goods they produce," said Allen.

DCED Awards Federal Grants for Internet Access in Rural Alaska

The grants are being jointly administered by the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development and the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. Potential grant recipients of the $4 million are: GCI Communications Corp.; United Utilities, Inc.; and Yukon Telephone Company/Supervisions Cable Television. Communities where service may be implemented are: Allakaket, Anaktuvuk Pass, Chefornak, Crooked Creek, Dot Lake, Eek, Grayling, Holy Cross, Kongiganak, Kwigillingok, Kipnuk, Lower Kalskag, Mentasta Lake, Newtok, Nightmute, Red Devil, Sleetmute, Stony River, Shageluk, Tanacross, Tetlin, Tununak, Tuntutuliak, Tyonek, Upper Kalskag, and Wainwright.


Internet Telephony

I recently read a note on the digital divide network regarding FCC Chair Michael Powell making reference to VoIP regulatory issues and the liberties at hand.

...Michael Powell discussed Skype and how applications like that are
changing world of media and telco regulations a few months ago at
AlwaysOn. You can listen to his speech from the AlwaysOn server as a
streaming DRM'ed Real or Windows Media file...


At 18 minutes into the speech, Michael Powell responds to this quote...

³I knew it was over when I downloaded Skype. When the inventors of
KaZaA are distributing for free a little program that you can use to
talk to anybody else, and the quality is fantastic, and it¹s free ­ it¹s
over. The world will change now inevitably.²

-21 minutes in, MP - "One of the hardest things I'm trying to convince
governors presidents and leaders of the world [about]. Your kidding
yourself if you think you can trap this in your little glass bottle like
you're accustom to doing. The phone system right now is regulated on
all kinds of metrics that will not ever work again."

"We're very accustom in law to regulating based on geography, distance,
and time. All of which the internet shatters. Time becomes almost
imperceptible, distance is unimportant, and geography is fiction."

"Go ahead... make this world hostile for VOIP. It will just go to


skype perhaps of interest

Digital Divide perhaps of interest

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SKYPE...in use!

Download and installation was a breeze...the interface is very clean and very similar to yahoo messenger!

I purchased 10$ Euro of SKYPEOUT service...connection to the PSTN and have been making calls all over the world...at ~ 2 cents per minute...initially had some difficulty with 9503# error but it appears to have corrected inself.

Good service. End users note that the connection is clear and uninterupted...naturally there is

The only benefit over yahoo net2phone is the ability to access other SKYPE user free of charge.

Will continue testing...more later