GCI expands its Bethel wireless footprint with launch of new cell site
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – With the launch of a new wireless site in Bethel, GCI’s cellular voice and data service footprint in the community is larger than ever before. The new, 95-foot-tall site, located along BIA Road, fortifies and expands GCI’s wireless service north of the Bethel airport. GCI has invested more than $6.5 million in its Bethel wireless network, so far, in 2022-23.
Crews have also been working throughout 2023 to upgrade hardware on GCI’s other Bethel-area towers including upgrades in July to the Bethel Headend, TERRA and Ptarmigan wireless sites. GCI performed similar upgrades to the site at the Bethel United Utilities, Inc. store and recently decommissioned service on its Yuut Elitnaurviat site, streamlining the coverage footprint for the community.
“In addition to expanding our footprint, the work that has been conducted over the past year in Bethel lays the foundation for substantial service improvements in the coming years,” said GCI Chief Customer Experience Officer Maureen Moore. “Once the AIRRAQ fiber network is operational, we’ll be well positioned to complete the final steps necessary to bring the game changing benefits of fiber middle mile infrastructure to our Bethel wireless network.”
The AIRRAQ Fiber Network is a 405-mile fiber-optic network that will deliver affordable 2.5 gig residential internet speeds to more than 10,000 people in 10 Western Alaska communities, including Bethel. Project crews are currently conducting highly-detailed fiber route surveys for the joint Bethel Native Corporation-GCI project.
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.