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Blog // Connect Alaska

New Connect Alaska Team Hits the Road

By CAK Staff

By Jeremy Thacker, Communications Specialist, Connect Alaska


Connect Alaska is officially in broadband planning mode. The initiative’s new project team is in place and hitting the road.

Project Manager Rich Greenfield and Project Coordinator Therese Dolan recently made their first official visit to the Alaska hub city of Bethel. With a population around 6,000, Bethel is the largest town in Southwest Alaska and is the regional hub for the surrounding 56 federally recognized tribes, most of which are Yup’ik Eskimo.

While Bethel may have some broadband service available, very few who live there have actually experienced it. Connect Alaska is turning to the Bethel Chamber of Commerce and other community leaders to figure out how to change that. The goal is to begin to find real, workable solutions to bridge the gaping technological divide in the area and across the state.

Chamber members made it clear that current bandwidth demand far exceeds supply. That limitation makes it hard for communities to tap into important resources that are available via Internet.

Technology has the power to significantly change the economy by enabling people to live in their Native village and receive effective training without relocating their family. Access to on-line information on health care, nutrition, community planning, and finances will increase the quality of life.

With Connect Alaska’s first official visit to Bethel, the initiative is digging in to make sure the powerful technology that is changing the way we access information, learn, work, and connect to each other is eventually available – and affordable – to everyone living in the Last Frontier.
 


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