Alaska Communications progressing through Kenai Peninsula broadband wireless project

Alaska Communications progressing through Kenai Peninsula broadband wireless project

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 2019, company representatives told the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

At the assembly’s May 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

From right, Soldotna City Council members Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings, Dan Nelson and Jordan Chilson listen to testimony during a council meeting on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Council to mull limits on use of Soldotna ADUs as short-term rentals

Accessory dwelling units refer to subordinate, detached units

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Wildlife Troopers and CES rescue hunter missing for 12 hours

State troopers were notified around 6 p.m. Wednesday that the hunter hadn’t returned

The Alaska State Capitol awaits a legislators forming new majority coalitions and the return of Gov. Mike Dunleavy after the winners of the general election were announced Wednesday. The Senate will have a 17-member bipartisan ruling coalition, while the House arrangement remains uncertain due to at least one likely recount and questions about partisan alignments. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Bipartisan majority formed for new state Senate

Eight Republicans join nine Democrats after many years of Republican rule

Dr. Michael Reyes manipulates ROSA during a demonstration at Central Peninsula Hospital on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Knee surgeries get assist from robot arms

Robotic Surgical Assistant, called ROSA, is a new addition to CPH and the first in Alaska

During a hearing at the Juneau Courthouse, 34-year-old Anthony Michael Migliaccio pleaded not guilty after he was arrested on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of a 55-year-old Juneau woman. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Man arrested in Juneau killing pleads not guilty

News follows a two-month investigation.

Kenai Finance Director Terry Eubank presents during a budget work session on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai tries again to fill city manager position

After 1st round of negotiations fall through, Kenai to pursue Eubank for role

Soldotna Montessori Charter School kindergartners parade with balloons around the school playground on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Balloons on parade

Montessori kids put spin on traditional Macy’s parade

Most Read