GCI joins Western Alaska recovery efforts in wake of devastating storm with $25K donation
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications company, joined local, regional and state organizations to respond as the largest storm in decades hit the western coast of Alaska over the weekend. The company’s network, which serves communities across the region, remained largely intact during the event as GCI technicians and network managers monitored the system and responded to power issues and water damage caused by historic flooding.
Broadband internet service was interrupted at times during the storm in Emmonak, Grayling, Kwigillingok, Chevak, Elim, Golovin, Hooper Bay, Newtok, White Mountain, Shaktoolik, Stebbins, St. George, and Unalakleet. Most service was restored in impacted communities by Sunday evening. GCI crews are currently focused on damage assessment in Elim and Golovin where the storm caused power outages and flooding damaged communications equipment. The company recognizes the impact to the network is minor when compared to the destruction across the region.
“Our hearts are with those impacted by this devastating storm and GCI is committed to helping communities recover,” said GCI Chief Communications Officer Heather Handyside. "We know communication is critical to recovery efforts and we’ve been pleased with the overall performance of our network during this extraordinary weather event. And we are so grateful for our technicians and employees who live in the region and worked to keep service intact even as the storm threatened their homes and communities."
“Our crews live in and work in the communities we serve and we’re keeping network recovery efforts front and center to support our customers and our neighbors,” said Vice President of GCI Network Operations Chris Burns. "We’re keeping a close eye on the status of the system. As the storm subsides and floodwaters recede, GCI teams are prioritizing dispatch needs and staging resources and equipment."
Recognizing the significant community impact, GCI made a $25,000 cash contribution to the American Red Cross Alaska Region and donated phones to Red Cross response crews who are supporting of disaster relief efforts in the region.
“Like all Alaskans, we’ve watched with great concern the impact of extreme storms in Western Alaska,” said GCI Chief Marketing Officer Kate Slyker. “While we believe GCI has an important role in helping these communities recover, there are few organizations as important and as capable as the American Red Cross when it comes to disaster relief. GCI is honored to support their efforts in ensuring the health and well-being of the thousands of Alaskans impacted by this devastating storm.”
“The American Red Cross of Alaska is incredibly grateful for the support of GCI during this disaster,” said Taylar Sausen, American Red Cross Region Communication Director. “We rely on partnerships with companies like GCI to help keep our disaster workers connected when responding to communities across the state."
GCI is also reaching out to our community partners, especially Alaska Native and Tribal organizations, to offer its support.
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.