Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

By CVN Staff 

Internet rates raise questions

 

January 12, 2012



Alaska Power and Telphone is currently marketing 8MB of Internet speed to folks for $160/month. Currently in the community, the largest block of folks (approximately 500) are paying $50/month and receiving a mere 256K of Internet speed. From folks paying for the 256K speed, that totals $1600 to AP&T for the same total 8MB of speed. To put it another way, folks paying for 256K service at $50/month are paying ten times the rate per unit of speed than those who are able to afford the highest Internet speed rate.

If folks paying $50/month were to have their speed increased to 1MB/month, AP&T would still be receiving $400/month for that 8MB of speed from these folks compared to the $160 they receive from folks able to pay more per month. For many people, $50/month for Internet service is already a huge stretch in their budget.

What are the barriers to AP&T modifying their service rates and speeds to better serve the community? A flick of the switch in the AP&T office? Other? Is it time for the Alaska Public Regulatory Commission to start regulating Internet service as they do phone and electrical service? In today’s environment, affordable high-speed Internet service is a necessity for commerce and communications.

Kathleen Menke