The City of Gustavus has hired Virginia-based consultants ICF International to develop a plan for expanding high speed Internet access in the community.
Gustavus residents currently get 3G and satellite Internet service, but access is spotty and speeds are less than one-fifth the national average.
The city received $235,000 in last year’s state capital budget to plan and design a community broadband network. City officials hope to build the infrastructure to serve Gustavus for the next 20 years. They also hope the planning effort can serve as a model for other rural Alaska communities facing issues with Internet access.
ICF will begin the planning process this month by assessing community and stakeholder needs, including local residents and telecommunications companies.
Gustavus is considered the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The community of 460 residents is located about 48 air miles northwest of Juneau.
- The National Endowment for the Arts has named a Chilkat weaver from Juneau as one of its nine National Heritage Fellows. Anna Brown Ehlers, 62, has been recognized for her mastery of this challenging art form that's specific to Southeast Alaska and parts of British Columbia.
- The state Legislature's conference committee cut $8 million from the University of Alaska's budget on Wednesday, a softer blow than the nearly $22 million reduction proposed by the state Senate.
- “Real Boy” is the story of a trangender youth who is building a career as a musician in the Bay Area of California. The film was directed by Shaleece Haas, a former news intern at KCAW in Sitka.
- Gov. Jay Inslee called a third special session Wednesday and demanded that House Democrats and Senate Republicans get to the table and get a deal.