Alaska Telephone Company (ATC), which is a subsidiary of Alaska Power & Telephone Company (OTCMKTS:APTL), has announced on September 23, 2022 about being selected by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), to receive a $33,017,636 grant award from USDA Rural Utility Service’s ReConnect grant program. It will expand fiber optic connectivity in rural southeast Alaska.
On Friday, APTL stock ended flat at $75.05 with more than 516 shares, compared to its average volume of 23 shares. The stock moved within a range of $75.05 – 75.05 after opening trade at $75.05.
Alaska Telephone Company Awarded $33m USDA ReConnect Grant to Expand Fiber Optic Connectivity in Klukwan, Haines, and Skagway Areas
ATC will invest a sum of $11,005,879 in matching funds. The Klukwan-Skagway Fiber project is to fiber optic networks capable of 100 Mbps symmetrical service and higher. It will be for the Alaska Native community of Klukwan, rural areas near Haines, and underserved areas of Skagway.
This joint investment by ATC and USDA is to bring new and highly affordable, technology-driven opportunities to families and businesses throughout the region. As per estimates, initial construction could start in 2023, depending upon the timing of permitting and environmental approvals. Construction will continue for several years, with the final project being completed in 2028.
The project utilizes existing right-of-way and previously disturbed areas, minimizing its environmental footprint and impact. Chilkat Indian Village, Skagway Traditional Council, Sealaska Corporation, and the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska provided resolutions formally endorsing the Klukwan-Skagway Fiber project, emphasizing powerful synergies between modern telecommunications technology, indigenous culture, and tribal priorities.
AP&T’s CEO Mike Garrett reflected: “The Klukwan-Skagway Fiber project will spur economic growth and significantly enhance quality of life in very remote, hard-to-serve locations, empowering rural Alaskans with options for remote work, distance learning, telemedicine, and more. The outpouring of support we received from indigenous organizations was an invaluable component of AP&T’s application. Special thanks to US Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan for the incredible work they have done developing and supporting programs like ReConnect. We look forward to demonstrating our gratitude by making this project an amazing success for rural stakeholders, who helped to make this historic investment possible.”