Lawmaker to Host Saturday Workshop on Lack of Broadband Access, Possible Solutions

Nov 30, 2017

Updated: Fairbanks state Representative David Guttenberg will host a workshop Saturday on the UAF campus that'll explore the lack of broadband internet access in Alaska and what’s being done to make it more available. See editor's note for link to live webcast of workshop.

Guttenberg has been working on legislative solutions to the problem, which he says is largely caused by private-sector internet service providers that won’t improve availability because it’s not profitable. He says it’s one of the main sources of complaints he gets from his constituents.

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“If the private sector is not going to fill the need – and it’s not, because they’re complaining about it, daily – then something has to be done,” Guttenberg said during testimony during a Nov. 22 hearing before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

He says he’s invited experts to the workshop to discuss the problem in Alaska and how it’s been addressed by other communities around the Lower 48 that have formed cooperatives through municipal governments to improve service.

“I’m bringing up providers from the electric co-ops, from the muni’s, from NTIA – which is a federal agency that’s not with the FCC but supports building up public-private partnerships,” Guttenberg said,  referring to the National Telecommunications and Information Agency, which advises the president on federal telecommunication policy.

The Building a Better Broadband workshop will be held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Murie Auditorium on the UAF’s West Ridge.

More information is available online at heyfairbanks.com or by calling or e-mailing Guttenberg at his Fairbanks legislative office: Representative.David.Guttenberg@akleg.gov.

Editor's note: The workshop will be webcast, and the livestream is accessible via this link:
http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/4jzoh