For immediate release
May 18, 2022
Contact: Lisa Demer, 907-545-3555 (cell)
Anchorage, AK – Rasmuson Foundation will allocate up to $3 million in 2022 to support Alaska entities preparing for a share of the billions in federal funding intended to close the digital divide nationwide.
The Foundation is particularly interested in assisting efforts that will bring broadband to communities that lack access — or meaningful access — due to prohibitive costs and lagging speeds. The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could bring more than $2 billion to Alaska.
“Today, people must have high-speed broadband service in order to truly be citizens of the world,” said President and CEO Diane Kaplan. “Quality jobs, health care and education all require access to affordable broadband.”
Former Alaska Communications CEO Anand Vadapalli was hired to conduct stakeholder meetings on how the Foundation might provide value and to develop a strategy on how best to engage. Kristina Woolston, formerly of Quintillion, the Arctic broadband network, has been brought on to lead the Foundation’s efforts, which will include grantwriting resources, technical assistance, communication services and regulatory and legal counsel.
With decades of relationships with Alaska nonprofits and communities, the Foundation also has offered to bring parties together to ensure opportunities for engagement and participation.
To provide technical assistance, Rasmuson Foundation has entered into a contract with Tilson Technology, a leading U.S. firm with extensive experience advising clients about designing, building and maintaining telecommunications networks using both wired and wireless technologies. The Foundation is in conversation with the state and Tribal partners on how best to deploy the services.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was passed with the support of Alaska’s congressional delegation and signed into law by President Biden on Nov. 15, 2021.
About the Foundation
Rasmuson Foundation aims to promote a better life for all Alaskans. Main funding areas are solutions to homelessness, health care, the arts, organizational and community development and human services including projects to address domestic violence, child abuse and services for seniors and people with disabilities. The Foundation was created in 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson, a Swedish missionary, to honor her late husband, banker E.A. Rasmuson.