GCI Aleutians Fiber Project team ramps up for work in King Cove, Sand Point
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Now that Unalaskans are enjoying affordable, unlimited, 2,000 Mbps internet service (that’s fast!), GCI is continuing its march up the Aleutian Chain! Project crews have already hit the ground running in King Cove where work began on April 3 and are scheduled to start work in Sand Point later this month.
“Our teams will be in King Cove and Sand Point for the next few months digging trenches, deploying tens of thousands of feet of conduit that will house and protect the local fiber network, and connecting local homes and businesses to the new infrastructure,” said GCI Project Manager Mike Bertsch. “Once complete, residents of both communities, each with a population of approximately 900 year-round residents, will have access to 2,000 Mbps internet speeds, some of the fastest in the nation.”
Being mindful of local communities’ customs, culture and priorities when building out the Aleutians Fiber project, GCI has retained cultural monitors through Area M Consulting, which will be involved for the duration of the project. The cultural monitor team, led by King Cove native Sean Mack, will monitor construction and record and identify any unexpected and uncovered historical sites.
“Including the villages, tribes and local residents in the process of the project has been a priority for us since the inception of AU-Aleutians,” said GCI Rural Affairs Director Jenifer Nelson. “We recognize and respect the traditions of those who have long called these communities home and I’m extremely happy that Sean and his team will be working alongside us throughout the project to ensure the preservation of Unangax̂ culture and history."
Nelson, who also grew up in King Cove, says the impact of the Aleutians Fiber Project on the region will be huge.
“When broadband comes to the region, people are not only going to be able to access everything that it offers and have the world at their fingertips, but they’re also going to be able to bring themselves and their culture and their experiences and their economies to the rest of the world,” Nelson said. “It’s truly going to be transformative.”
To ensure access to lightning-fast 2,000 Mbps home internet speeds this year, residents of King Cove and Sand Point must fill out this form on the GCI website. The form gives GCI permission to build out GCI’s fiber network to the premises and to install necessary equipment. Completing this form does NOT commit residents to GCI service but does ensure that the necessary equipment is in place should a resident choose to become a GCI customer in the future. Once the installation crews leave King Cove and Sand Point this summer, they will begin work in other fiber project communities across the state. Local residents who decide to become GCI customers after the crews leave may face significant wait-times before installation crews and specialized equipment return to the community.
The AU-Aleutians Fiber Project runs approximately 800 miles from Kodiak along the south side of the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutians to Unalaska. The project will deliver 2,000 Mbps residential internet speeds and affordable, unlimited data plans King Cove, Unalaska, Sand Point, Akutan, Chignik Bay, Chignik Lake, Chignik Lagoon, Cold Bay, Larsen Bay, False Pass, Ouzinkie, and Port Lions.
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.