Satellites may bring web access to more of rural Alaska next year

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - Remote regions of Alaska may be able to connect to the internet by 2020 after an agreement between Pacific Dataport, an Alaska communications company, and Astranis, a satellite technology start-up firm.

    According to a report by KTVA TV in Anchorage, the effort is to provide internet and broadband to remote spots of Alaska. Astranis will begin building the first satellite to be launched in 2020. It's expected to operable by the end of the year.

    In all, two satellites are planned.

    The company claims 4 billion people around the world don't have internet access, a statistic they are working to change by building smaller, lower-cost telecommunications satellites.

    Christine O'Connor, executive director of the Alaska Telecom Association, estimates more than 110,000 people in Alaska don't have access to a wired internet provider where they live.

    She cited a Federal Communications Commission report released in December showing that 14.9 percent of residents go without the service.

    Astranis is based in San Francisco.

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