Alaska Power and Telephone

Alaska Directional

A Palmer-based telecommunications company has nearly completed a 300-mile-long fiber-optic cable network called AlCan ONE that stretches from North Pole to the border. From there, it’ll connect up with a new Canadian fiber-optic cable and become Alaska’s first all-terrestrial connection to the World Wide Web. And along the way, it’ll bring high-speed broadband to outlying Alaskan communities that until now have only had limited internet service.


The utility that provides power to Tok is looking into using liquefied natural gas as a way to reduce the cost of generating electricity for the Alaska Highway community. KUAC’s Tim Ellis reports.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

A Native village corporation near Tok and the utility that serves that area have partnered up on a venture to build a small hydroelectric project that could reduce the area’s high energy costs. Alaska Power and Telephone officials say the partnership will now seek state and private funding and for the $19 million project.

KUAC file photo

Alaska Power Company customers in Tok and other small communities in the eastern Interior saw their electricity bills go up this year.  Utility rate hikes are nothing new in rural Alaska, but they aren’t always strictly due to rising fuel prices.  Some Alaska Power customers are frustrated because they’re being charged more in part because of efforts to conserve electricity – and generate it themselves.

KUAC file photo

Business and community leaders in Tok are trying to revive a plan to cut the area’s high energy costs by generating electricity using biomass. That’s a type of fuel made from grinding timber like black spruce into chips. Backers of the plan want the state to give them a break on timber-sale contract conditions to help attract financing for a biomass-fired powerplant. They say that’s what put the plan on hold last year.

Tim Ellis/KUAC file photo

The Alaska Division of Forestry has given the go-ahead to a long-term timber sales contract that would allow a company to harvest trees on state forest land around Tok. The timber would be used as fuel for a proposed biomass power-generating station that would provide electricity for the community – and make the area safer from wildfires.

A citizens advisory panel has given qualified support to the state Forestry division’s plan to sell timber around Tok for a proposed biomass-fueled heat and power plant that’s been proposed to help cut the cost of electricity for that community.

Photo courtesy of Alaska Power and Telelphone

Line-repair crews have restored power to most of the Tok area, and work continues in Tanacross and the Alaska Highway community of Dot Lake, which are still blacked-out due to damage inflicted by high winds on Sunday.

Alaska Power and Telephone spokesman says about 300 homes were still without power as of Tuesday morning – and probably will be for the rest of the week in several areas around Tok.