780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

Internet Speeds Promise Greater Access for Nome

Silhouette of internet tower in Noorvik, Alaska, at sunset.
One of many internet towers in rural Alaska — this one, in Noorvik. Some customers in the Alaska Bush connect to internet through village-based towers, like this one, that relay signals from remote repeater sites, powered by diesel generators. Photo: Lauren Frost, KNOM.

Alaska internet providers Quintillion and GCI recently announced faster internet speeds are coming to Nome and Kotzebue.

GCI says the 1 Gigabit service should bring the two towns’ internet connectivity on par with speeds in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

Alaska’s bush residents have long contended with little connection to the outside world. A few decades ago, KNOM’s young radio volunteers would mail cassette tapes with their voices to the Lower 48 to avoid pricey phone calls.

For the first time, Nome and Kotzebue residents can now access unlimited internet through Quintillion’s fiber network cables. The company took pride in being the first to lay cables across the Arctic, connecting the Asian, European, and North-American fiber networks. However, the connection has remained slow, at speeds nearly 40 times slower than this deal promises, with high monthly rates.

Outside regional hubs, village internet is notoriously unreliable and too expensive for most family budgets. “It’s not only broadband, it’s cellphone service, landline services… We’re paying monthly bills of $150 to over $300 for only two lines of cellphone and they don’t even work in our homes. Even our workplaces don’t have internet or computers,” Blanche Garnie from Teller said last summer.

However, change may be on the horizon. Quintillion says the company is working with Bering Straits Native Corporation and is hopeful for a future solution that extends eastward to the villages surrounding Nome.

Image at top: An internet repeater site near Noorvik.

Did you enjoy this The Nome Static story?

Consider supporting our work by becoming a one-time or recurring donor.

Share this story


Recent Posts

Front Street Resurfacing Receives New Funding

The long-awaited resurfacing of Front Street in Nome continues to move forward, thanks in part to an additional $363,800 in funding from the State of Alaska’s 2025 budget. The project has been in the works since 2019 when the Department of Transportation (DOT) allocated $5.5 million in Community Transportation Project

Read More »

Local Athletes, Competitors Shine at WEIO 2024

Regional residents descended on Fairbanks last week to take part in WEIO 2024. The annual event that began in 1961 celebrates native sports and culture. Competitors from the Seward Peninsula and nearby region are bolded below.  Seal Skinning 1st Place: Casey Ferguson, Anchorage, 2 min 2.19 sec 2nd Place: Marjorie

Read More »

Sockeye Salmon Limit Lifted on Pilgrim River

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has announced a waiver on annual per-household harvest limits for sockeye salmon on the Pilgrim River, effective 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 15. Recent escapement projections indicate that the escapement goal for sockeye salmon at the Pilgrim River weir will be met,

Read More »

New Garbage Truck, Trash Bins Now Expected in August

A new garbage truck for Nome has experienced mechanical issues, preventing its arrival on the first barge of 2024 as expected. The delayed shipment was also set to include new commercial dumpsters and residential trash bins. According to Ron Stevens, Operations Manager for Alaska Waste, Nome won’t need to wait

Read More »



Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.