Akiak activates broadband internet



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After four months of construction and years of waiting, the village of Akiak activated high speed internet for all of its residents on November 15. It is the first community in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta to offer broadband to all of its residents.

Chief Akiak Mike Williams Sr. said the first thing his son-in-law did that morning was download a movie.

“He said he did it in a minute,” Williams Sr. said.

He said the same task would have taken dozens of hours with the internet service they had before.

“We are ready to celebrate today in our community, and everyone is invited,” said Williams Sr.

Akiak will offer the service to residents free of charge for the first year. The village is paying for its broadband project with coronavirus relief funding. After the first year, Internet service will still cost a fraction of what it used to cost, and it will be twice as fast.

Akiak’s broadband is powered by satellites in low earth orbit. This is a newly available technology that can provide high-speed internet access to rural areas that cables cannot reach.

Although Williams Sr. and the Tribe have been talking about broadband for years, the construction project started and ended in just one summer.

“I am very excited and very, very proud of what we have been able to do as a tribal government,” said Williams Sr.

He said that Akiak will now turn his attention to helping other tribes in the YK Delta bring high-speed internet to their communities.

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