May 6, 2021 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy today signed Administrative Order No. 322 to establish the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband (Task Force) to address the growing need for reliable, high speed connectivity for all Alaskans.
“On the heels of a global pandemic, now more than ever do we see the critical role that the internet plays in nearly every part of life and the importance of good connectivity for every Alaskan,” said Governor Dunleavy. “We have a large amount of federal pandemic relief funding coming to Alaska, with potentially more on the way if an infrastructure bill passes Congress, and there is a lot of discussion surrounding broadband. The Task Force on Broadband will convene the stakeholders involved in delivering and using broadband, particularly in rural Alaska, to identify the communities that need to be connected and upgraded, and provide recommendations back to our administration on how best to get Alaskans connected with high speed, affordable internet.”
Closing Alaska’s digital divide important to meet the growing demand for bandwidth to support basic government functions, commerce, innovation, economic development, and a high quality of life at home for Alaskans. The Task Force will assess remaining gaps in the system and technologies used to deliver broadband and provide recommendations to the Governor on State of Alaska on state involvement in broadband infrastructure development, and equitable use of state funds to assist in the buildout of broadband networks to get more Alaskans connected. The recommendations are to be submitted to the Governor by October 1, 2021.
The Task Force will consist of 11 voting members and two ex officio members, including:
- Department of Education and Early Development Commissioner Michael Johnson
- Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Commissioner Julie Anderson
- One representative of the Alaska Municipal League or a similar organization that represents municipalities in the state;
- One representative of an organization that is representative of Alaska natives in the state;
- One representative of an organization that represents regional rural interests in the state;
- One representative of the telecommunications industry;
- One representative of a statewide organization representing business communities throughout Alaska.
- Two Mayors (one from a city, borough, or municipality located on the road system and one from a city, borough, or municipality located off the road system)
- One representative of the General Public
- One representative of a rural Alaska school district
- Two Ex-officio members, one each from the Alaska House of Representatives and from the Alaska Senate, chosen by the Senate President and the Speaker of the House.