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Innovative Broadband Project Receives FAST-41 Coverage as it Seeks to Bring High Speed Internet to Underserved Alaska Native Communities

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Permitting Council Press Office (

WASHINGTON (July 10, 2023) – The Permitting Council is pleased to announce that segment one of the Alaska FiberOptic Project is now covered under the benefits of the FAST-41 program. If permitted, this project will bring broadband infrastructure to Alaska Native Villages in one of the most rural and underserved regions in the country. 

“Bringing the unique benefits of FAST-41 to Tribal communities is pivotal to the work we do at the Permitting Council,” says Eric Beightel, Permitting Council Executive Director. "Providing a permitting process that is accountable and transparent for critical projects serving U.S. communities - especially those who have historically been underserved - is at the core of our mission. We look forward to working with Alaska Native Village community members, project sponsors and government agencies at all levels to ensure that this project has a coordinated and efficient review process.” 

The estimated $51 million project would install fiber broadband infrastructure directly to Alaskan Native Villages along the Yukon River where the digital divide is a persistent issue, benefitting over 500 families. If permitted, it is expected that this project will aid residents and institutions throughout the community, including students in need of broadband technology for schooling, senior citizens, health care providers, small businesses and law enforcement. This project is a partnership between Doyon, Limited, the regional Alaska Native corporation, and Alaska Communications.

“As we work to provide access to life-enhancing and many times life-sustaining high-speed internet in Alaska Native villages, we are excited to receive coverage under the FAST-41 program,” says Sarah Obed, Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Doyon, Limited. “The value of a collaborative and transparent permitting process is an important benefit as we work to ensure that broadband infrastructure reaches communities without delay.”

Funding for this project comes from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. It is a $3 billion dollar program that is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s “Internet for All” initiative, working to provide affordable and reliable high speed internet to everyone in America by the end of the decade. 

This project is one phase of a three-phase project that includes constructing a middle mile fiber optic network underwater and on land to support last mile high speed internet connections for 23 Alaskan Native Villages along the Yukon River. Other agencies with review and authorization responsibilities include the Department of the Army, US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. Learn more about segment one of the Alaska FiberOptics project on the Permitting Council website.

About the Permitting Council

Established in 2015 by Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41), the Permitting Council is a unique Federal agency charged with improving the transparency and predictability of the Federal environmental review and authorization process for certain critical infrastructure projects. The Permitting Council is comprised of the Permitting Council Executive Director, who serves as the Council Chair; 13 Federal agency Council members (including deputy secretary-level designees of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Army, Commerce, Interior, Energy, Transportation, Defense, Homeland Security, and Housing and Urban Development, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairs of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation); and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The Permitting Council coordinates Federal environmental reviews and authorizations for projects that seek and qualify for FAST-41 coverage. FAST-41 covered projects are entitled to comprehensive permitting timetables and transparent, collaborative management of those timetables on the Federal Permitting Dashboard. FAST-41 covered projects may be in the renewable or conventional energy production, electricity transmission, energy storage, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, mining, carbon capture, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and machine learning, high-performance computing and advanced computer hardware and software, quantum information science and technology, data storage and data management, and cybersecurity sectors. 


Last updated: Monday, July 10, 2023