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AIRRAQ Network

Bethel Native Corporation, GCI celebrate partnership with community event

More than 250 Bethel residents gathered to learn more about the Airraq Network and participate in family-friendly Halloween festivities

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Bethel Native Corporation (BNC) and GCI celebrated their partnership on the recently-announced Airraq Network (pronounced EYE-huk) with a community Halloween celebration in Bethel. More than 400 community members attended and the Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC) Multipurpose Building was filled with candy, costumes, and conversations about connectivity.

While the afternoon was full of family-friendly Halloween festivities, the highlight of the event was the Airraq station, where local Airraq enthusiasts demonstrated techniques of the age-old pastime. Airraq is a traditional Yup’ik game similar to cat’s cradle and translates to “string that tells the story.”

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Sen. Lyman and Lillian Hoffman visit the BNC and GCI Halloween celebration.
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Ana Hoffman at the Airraq station.


“It was fun to be with so many members of the community at this gathering.  People of all ages played games, shared stories and had a happy Halloween together.” said BNC Board Chairman Lyman Hoffman. “The Airraq Network will deliver connectivity that will be transformational for the region. The investment being made today is an investment that will continue to serve the next generation.”

The Airraq Network is a 405-mile fiber-optic network that will deliver affordable, 2 gig residential internet speeds and unlimited data plans to more than 10,000 people in 10 Western Alaska communities, including: Bethel, Platinum, Eek, Napaskiak, Oscarville, Atmautluak, Kasigluk, Nunapitchuk, Quinhagak, and Tuntutuliak.

“This event was a huge hit!  It means so much to me and the GCI team to celebrate with our friends in Bethel,” said GCI Rural Affairs Director Jenifer Nelson. “A project and a celebration like this would not be possible without strong partnership with the Bethel Native Corporation and support from the Orutsararmiut Native Council. We’re excited to work closely with our partners and the community at large to bring affordable, high-speed internet to Bethel and nearby Y-K Delta communities.”

Want to learn more about the Airraq network? Watch this video, featuring BNC President & CEO Ana Hoffman: https://youtu.be/t-kzFjnREUo.

About BNC

Bethel Native Corporation is respected as a business leader with offices in Bethel, Anchorage and the Lower 48. Bethel’s companies engage in many diverse lines of business including government contracting, construction, logistical support, environmental remediation and commercial real estate. Learn more about BNC at https://bethelnativecorp.org.

About GCI

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 $4 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.