Construction kicks off in Akutan for GCI’s Aleutians Fiber Project
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Construction is underway and Akutan is one big step closer to fiber-optic connectivity through GCI’s Aleutians Fiber Project. With the final permits in place, crews are preparing the remote Aleutian community for the arrival of fiber-optic connectivity next year. The project will bring 2.5 gig consumer internet speeds, unlimited data, and urban-level plans to local residents.
Crews are currently in Akutan constructing the cable landing station and have started work to deploy fiber-to-the-premises throughout the community.
“The Aleutians Fiber Project is going full steam ahead with work in the final stages in King Cove and Sand Point and ramping up in Akutan,” said GCI Principal Program Manager Rebecca Markley. “Once work is complete, the digital divide will effectively be closed in three more communities and we’ll be beyond the halfway point of the Aleutians Fiber Project’s first phase.”
As GCI approaches the halfway point of the project’s first phase, work is gradually ramping up on the project’s second phase. In October, crews completed cable landing station site surveys in the six phase two communities.
“Cable landing stations serve as the connection point between the subsea fiber and local access network,” said Markley. “The site surveys are one of several steps that need to be complete before construction can begin in these communities in the coming years.”
The first phase of the $100 million project is partially funded by a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s ReConnect Program. It includes an 800-mile-long subsea fiber-optic backbone, deployed in 2022, and the delivery of high-speed internet to Unalaska, King Cove, Sand Point, Akutan, Chignik Bay and Larsen Bay.
The second phase of the project leverages the 800-mile subsea fiber to deliver to six more communities in the region. The Native Village of Port Lions, in partnership with GCI, was awarded a $29.3 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to bring connectivity to Chignik Lagoon, Chignik Lake, Cold Bay, False Pass, Ouzinkie and Port Lions.
For more information about the Aleutians Fiber Project, visit: https://www.gci.com/aleutianfiberproject.
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.