Alaskan Congressman Don Young met with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler this week to discuss communication issues facing both rural Alaska and rural America, particularly the development of 21st Century broadband infrastructure in remote and isolated communities.
"Chairman Wheeler and I had a very productive meeting to discuss many infrastructure concerns all across the state of Alaska, ranging from Barrow to Adak and everywhere in between," said Congressman Don Young. "I was quick to remind the FCC Chairman that, more often than not, Alaska does not fit into the same mold as the Lower 48 and this fact needs added attention when the FCC takes on reforms. I was happy to receive the commitment from Chairman Wheeler and his staff to work to ensure Alaska's unique makeup is not overlooked as the FCC continues to work on Universal Service Fund reform."
The meeting between Congressman Young and Chairman Wheeler focused around finding new ways to serve rural and tribal areas across the country. The conversation included discussions on how to maintain a strong and robust Universal Service Fund (USF) and how to uphold the federal mandate of universal service. In addition, the meeting focused on the unique challenges facing Alaska, including the high cost of new construction costs, restrictions of a short building season, and the construction of needed infrastructure for remote communities that depend on these limited communication systems.