ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — More than $100 million in grants have been announced by the federal government as part of a major effort to close the digital divide in parts of rural Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News reports the projects will be an improvement on an existing system that includes a series of microwave transmitters with limited data transmission and vulnerability to bad weather. The grants include $73 million for a partnership between the Alaska Native village corporation for Bethel and telecommunications company GCI. Funding from last year’s federal infrastructure bill and other sources have been lauded by political leaders and officials with Alaska Native organizations and telecommunications companies as providing a unique opportunity to improve telecommunications in many parts of Alaska.
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