GCI is bridging the digital divide through Alaska Plan investment
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Seventeen rural Alaska communities are expected to receive connectivity upgrades in 2021 through GCI’s Alaska Plan buildout. Federal funding from the Alaska Plan helps GCI invest in the technology and infrastructure necessary to connect some of the smallest and most remote communities in the nation.
In 2021, 11 communities will get faster wireless service through LTE upgrades, including Kodiak, Nome, Valdez, Kotzebue, Tok, Dillingham, Manokotak, Aleknagik, Clark’s Point, Becker Ridge, and Fritz Creek. Additionally, six communities will get terrestrial internet service for the first time: Nikolai, Lime Village, Rampart, Central, Lake Minchumina, and Takotna.
“As technology evolves, access to reliable connectivity is more crucial than ever, especially for those who live in remote communities,” said Juliana Wayman, senior director of GCI Regulatory Affairs. “Through GCI’s Alaska Plan projects, more Alaskans can stay connected in their homes and on-the-go with wireless devices. Increased connectivity also expands entertainment options and enables Alaskans to grow small business opportunities, access online government services, and keep in touch with friends and family.”
The Alaska Plan, adopted by the FCC in August 2016, provides federal funds to Alaska’s telecommunications providers in order to support investment in rural wireless and internet service upgrades. Federal funding helps make rural investment and maintenance possible in extremely remote, costly and difficult-to-serve communities. GCI, along with other Alaska providers, receives a portion of Alaska Plan funding each year.
“While GCI is a key provider of wireless and wireline services throughout rural Alaska, we can’t do it alone,” Wayman said. “With the leadership of the Alaska Telecom Association, support from Alaska’s federal delegation and the dedication of 16 other providers across the state, keeping Alaskans connected is a group effort requiring innovative solutions to serve a state unlike any other. Through that collaboration, it’s our goal to be good stewards of Alaska Plan funding and investment so we are able to expand broadband access and better connect rural Alaska and close the digital divide.”
From Aleknagik to Utqiagvik and beyond, nearly 79,000 rural Alaskans in 105 communities have access to faster data speeds and improved broadband access using a variety of technologies because of the Alaska Plan. GCI appreciates what this smart program allows us to do in rural Alaska as we work together to bring fast connectivity to all corners of the state.
For more information about GCI’s Alaska Plan investment, visit: https://www.gci.com/about/alaska-plan.
Headquartered in Alaska, GCI provides data, mobile, video, voice and managed services to consumer, business, government, and carrier customers throughout Alaska, serving more than 200 communities. The company has invested more than $3 billion in its Alaska network and facilities over the past 40 years and recently launched true standards-based 5G NR service in Anchorage, now the nation’s northernmost 5G service area. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com. GCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Broadband Corporation (Nasdaq: LBRDA, LBRDK, LBRDP). Learn more about Liberty Broadband at http://www.libertybroadband.com.