Alaska Communications progressing through Kenai Peninsula broadband wireless project

Editor’s note: This story has been changed to correct Alaska Communications’ expected service date for wireless broadband and the date of their presentation to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Statewide telephone and internet service provider Alaska Communications plans to begin offering wireless broadband internet to some rural areas of the western Kenai Peninsula in late 2018, company representatives told the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

At the assembly’s June 19 meeting, Alaska Communications External Affairs Director Heather Cavanaugh and its District Operations Manager Stan Masneri described progress on the broadband project that the company began last fall. The two previously spoke to the assembly on the same subject in August 2017, shortly after beginning the project.

The new broadband wireless connections are funded with a grant that Alaska Communications received in November 2016 from the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America fund for rural broadband. The grant gives the company approximately $19.7 million per year for 10 years to bring broadband internet (with speeds at least 10 megabits per second download and 1 megabit per second upload) to between 25,000 and 26,000 Alaska rural Alaskan locations.

On the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska Commications plans to accomplish this by building or leasing broadband towers in Ninilchik, Kasilof, Sterling, Funny River, and the Kalifornsky Beach area. These will connect homes and businesses within signal range to existing fiber optic line following the Kenai Spur Highway. Alaska Communications opened the first of these new connections in Ninilchik during a pilot project in fall 2017. Masneri told the Assembly that the new connections now have eight preliminary “beta customers” in Ninilchik who are getting speeds of up to 50 megabits per second.

As for Sterling, and Funny River, Alaska Communications has acquired or leased land for more towers that it plans to have “turned up and ready to go by the end of this year,” Masneri said.

Other connections are a bit further out.

“We’ll complete the project in 2025,” Masneri said. “It’s a three or four phase project and we’re moving into the second phase right now.”

More in News

The Swan Lake Fire can be seen from above on Monday, Aug. 26 on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Alaska Wildland Fire Information)
State lifts burn suspension

Residents may now obtain permits for burn barrels as well as for small and large-scale brush fires.

A chart produced by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services shows four risk factors in being infected by COVID-19. (Graph courtesy Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)
17th Alaskan dies of COVID-19

There were 23 new positive cases of COVID-19 announced Tuesday.

Noah and Eddie Land of Grace Acres Farm in Kasilof set out produce Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at the Farmers Fresh Market at Kenai Peninsula Food Bank. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Freshness time 2

DoubleUp program helps seniors, families eat healthy

In this July 20, 2013 file photo, several thousand dipnetters converged onto the mouth of the Kenai River to catch a share of the late run of sockeye salmon headed into the river in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file photo/Rashah McChesney)
Dipnetters banned from retaining kings

Dipnetting on the Kenai River opens Friday.

The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska, is seen here on June 1, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Application period for borough relief funds begins Monday

Borough residents can apply for these grants July 13 through July 24.

A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through a race during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Kenai Peninsula Fair canceled this year

Cotton candy, carnival rides and racing pigs will have to wait for… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
State reports 30 new cases; hospitalizations reach new high

The cases include 28 residents and two nonresidents.

photos by Megan Pacer / Homer News 
                                A youth rider takes a turn riding a bull calf during the 60th annual Ninilchik Rodeo on Saturday, July 4 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. The rodeo lasted throughout the July Fourth holiday and celebrated a return to the event’s roots.
Riding high in Ninilchik

Ninilchik Rodeo celebrates 60 years with events new and old.

A closed sign is posted at a retail store shuttered due to the new coronavirus, in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to vote on relief funds for businesses, nonprofits

CARES Relief and Recovery Grant funds would be rolled out in two phases.

Most Read