FCC Announces New Telecom Policy for Alaska
The Federal Communications Commission has ended its long-standing “Alaska Bush” satellite earth station policy and instead is allowing open-entry, facilities-based telecom competition in Alaska’s rural communities.
The Alaska Bush communities are rural areas, small in population and isolated in geography. The commission’s Alaska Bush earth station policy prohibited the installation or operation of more than one satellite earth station in any Alaska Bush community for competitive carriage of long-distance phone service.
The FCC said its action promotes development of improved satellite network infrastructure, lower interstate long-distance rates and greater service options ranging from telephone calls and Internet usage to emergency services, telemedicine and distance learning.