5th communication tower to be built in Nikiski

Other towers were approved in Ninilchik, Nikolaevsk, Cohoe and Bear Creek

The Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)

The Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo)

A fifth communication tower will be constructed to help expand rural internet access in Nikiski following approval by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly during its Dec. 1 meeting.

The tower will be constructed via a lease agreement with Alaska-based internet service provider SPITwSPOTS, Inc. The assembly unanimously approved the construction of the first four towers, in Ninilchik, Nikolaevsk, Cohoe and Bear Creek in October.

The borough specifically allocated between $1.2 and $2 million in CARES Act money for the purpose of expanding public access to the internet.

According to a map of the site location, the tower will be constructed on the eastern corner of the intersection of Holt-Lamplight Road and Escape Route in Nikiski at Nikiski Fire Station 3.

Reliable internet access has been of special interest during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the number of people who are working remotely or from home. A survey of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District students on Nov. 24, for example, showed that 1,844 KPBSD students were enrolled in Connections Homeschool program. This is compared to 1,801 students on Oct. 21 and 1,772 on Sept. 24.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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