As part of their ongoing research on the role of telecommunications in the socio-economic development of rural Alaska, UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) has received funding to study the impact of broadband (high speed Internet) on rural communities in Southwest Alaska.
The research is sponsored by ConnectAlaska , with funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce under its State Broadband Planning initiative. Broadband is being extended to 65 communities in Southwest Alaska through a project called TERRA Southwest , implemented by GCI with grants and loans from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In the first phase of the research, ISER is conducting a telephone survey of Southwest Alaska residents to learn about their current use of the Internet, how they may use new broadband capacity and what questions or concerns they have about broadband. ISER will also conduct interviews with community leaders and key informants such as tribal leaders, managers of local businesses, managers of Native corporations and nonprofit organizations, health care providers and providers of government services.
The results of this first phase of the research will be submitted to the State of Alaska’s Broadband Task Force . A second phase of the research is planned to conduct a similar survey approximately a year after broadband has been installed in all of the TERRA communities to find out how broadband is actually being used by residents and organizations.
For more information, contact Professor Heather Hudson, ISER director, at (907) 786-5408 or email@example.com. Also see the ISER website .
Click here to see past ISER research and events on rural telecommunications.