Alaska Power & Telephone to provide telemedicine through wireless broadband

Both Alaska Power & Telephone (AP&T) and Organised Village of Kasaan (OVK) have announced the completion of the work and delivery of wireless broadband services to Kasaan, an Alaskan Native community located 25 miles west of Ketchikan on Prince of Wales Island. According to AP&T, it is hoped that by enhancing the local quality of life, business and tribal members will be encouraged to return to or stay in Kasaan. OVK wanted to provide Internet access for the rural community and thus chose AP&T’s impressed by their success in bridging the digital gap in other rural Alaskan locations. The Village procured USD 1 million in grant funds under the Federal “Community Connect Broadband Grant Program” that helped build the infrastructure necessary for the village to gain high-speed access to the outside world. Alaska Power & Telephone Company explained that this project encompassed construction of a mountain-top antenna site above the village on Kasaan Mountain, formation of a community technology center, and delivery of Internet service. Additionally, more than a dozen computers and the other equipment needed to move Kasaan into the digital era.   AP&T explained that immediate key benefits to the community will be met by access to broadband technology such as access to telemedicine, distance learning, connection to other tribal organizations, reduction of travel costs and personal skill-set training in computer and data technologies.  “Coming together with the Village of Kasaan on this project was a natural extension of who we are as an employee-owned Alaskan company, as well as a keystone in AP&T’s broader plans for Southeastern Alaska,” said Michael Garrett, utive vice president of AP&T and COO of AP&T’s Telecom Division in a statement.

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