Project Grant


Grant Description
Purpose: The QSH Nome to Homer Express Route serves dual purposes. First, it extends the existing network and completes a ring connecting previously constructed network Fairbanks to Nome via Prudoe Bay and Point Hope. This project's route from Nome to Homer and leased facility from Homer to Fairbanks result in a redundant survivable ring connection to various cable systems toward the Lower 48. Second, it provides connectivity along the newly constructed route at Emmonak, Naknek, King Salmon, Igiugig, and Homer.

55% of the project area is measured as unserved. The households below 150% of the poverty level (excluding Fairbanks and Kenai Peninsula reached by leased network) is 24%. Connecting these communities with a fiber network will enable last-mile providers to offer unrestricted connectivity to end users, enabling distance learning, telehealth options, and economic development in traditionally remote and isolated areas.

Activities to be performed: QSH Parent Holdco and QSH Subsea Operations will design, plan, and survey the subsea routes. They will engage with the local residents and manage the necessary landing and ROW to place a combination of subsea (821 miles) and terrestrial and submerged fiber for 230 miles to Homer. The fiber build will result in a new/resilient middle-mile network through un/underserved communities with a commitment to open access and carrier-neutral non-discriminatory interconnect. The period of performance is expected to be four years.

Expected outcomes: The Nome to Homer Express Route will provide a diverse connection capable of up to 30 TB with upgrades, connecting to cable systems terminating reaching the Lower 48 and beyond. For the six immediately served communities and the ten indirectly served, the new system will provide a competitive alternative to the existing service offerings. Most end-user offerings in the area have capacity caps resulting from middle-mile capacity limitations. Based on previous deployment by the applicant on their Phase 1 system, the cost of service by last-mile providers came down, and utilization caps were removed as a result of ample available capacity on the middle mile.

Intended beneficiaries: The six directly connected communities with a population of 10,695 in Nome, Emmonak, Naknek, King Salmon, Igiugig, and Homer, and the indirectly affected communities with a population of 13,052 in Hooper Bay, Toksook Bay, Eek, Oscarville, Napaskiak, Bethel, Goodnews Bay, Togiak, Dillingham, and Levelock benefit from the availability of fiber connectivity that removes capacity constraints for last-mile providers. Available capacity results in lower costs to end users in all of these communities, and removal of utilization caps by last-mile providers enables applications like telehealth, which improves health outcomes, online learning opportunities, which improves education outcomes, and commercial applications for these areas. There is national security benefit from this diverse, redundant secure fiber path in a geopolitically significant region. The applicant's satellite ground station teleport at Utqiagvik (Barrow) at 72 degrees-N is the northernmost satellite ground station location on U.S. soil.

Subrecipient activities: A subsidiary of QSH Parent Holdco LLC will build, own, manage, and operate the Nome to Homer Express Project.
Place of Performance
Anchorage, Alaska 99518-1283 United States
Geographic Scope
Single Zip Code
Related Opportunity
QSH Parent Holdco was awarded Project Grant 0240MM503 worth $88,896,494 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in July 2023. The grant has a duration of 4 years and was awarded through assistance program 11.033 Middle Mile (Broadband) Grant Program. $61,903,326 (41.0%) of this Project Grant was funded by non-federal sources.


Last Modified 6/21/23

Period of Performance
Start Date
End Date
6.0% Complete

Funding Split
Federal Obligation
Non-Federal Obligation
Total Obligated
59.0% Federal Funding
41.0% Non-Federal Funding

Activity Timeline

Additional Detail

SAI Number
Award ID URI
Awardee Classifications
Small Business
Awarding Office
Funding Office
Performance District
Lisa Murkowski
Dan Sullivan
Mary Peltola
Modified: 6/21/23