GCI launches LTE wireless service in two more Bristol Bay communities
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Persevering through weeks of unpredictable winter weather, GCI crews have turned up LTE wireless service in two more Bristol Bay communities. The newly upgraded sites bring improved voice service, faster mobile data speeds, and more wireless capacity to GCI customers in Manokotak and Clark’s Point.
GCI also completed upgrades in Dillingham and Aleknagik in 2021 as part of its goal to expand LTE wireless coverage in Southwest Alaska.
“I’m extremely proud of our team, from the engineers to the technicians, who made this project possible,” said GCI Project Manager Frances DeBlare. “Working in remote communities has no shortage of challenges and this was no exception. Our crews dealt with weeks of severe and unpredictable weather that not only included record breaking snowfall, but also subsequent power outages, windstorms, and temperatures that dipped to nearly 30 degrees below zero. It is yet another example of the lengths we’ll go to keep our customers connected.”
The project to upgrade wireless service in Southwest Alaska leverages network improvements from a previous partnership between GCI and Nushagak Electric and Telephone Cooperative (NETC).
“NETC and GCI have long worked together to deliver quality connectivity to the region,” said NETC Telecom General Manager Trung Vo. “NETC’s plan to bring unlimited internet to our service area by 2023 coupled with GCI’s launch of LTE wireless service in the region is a large step forward as we work together to close the digital divide between rural and urban Alaska.”
These upgrades were part of an effort to improve connectivity in 17 rural Alaska communities through GCI’s 2021 Alaska Plan buildout. Federal funding from the Alaska Plan helps GCI invest in the technology and infrastructure necessary to connect some of the smallest and most remote communities in the nation.
“We’re excited to improve service to the residents of Manokotak and Clark’s Point and continue GCI’s expansion of LTE service throughout the Bristol Bay region,” said Vice President of GCI Wholesale Business Krag Johnsen. “With help from our partners at NETC, GCI has been able to improve service for thousands of residents in the region. Better connectivity means more opportunities for small businesses, access to healthcare and education, and more ways to keep in touch with friends and family. These upgrades are prime examples of GCI’s long-standing and continued commitment to rural Alaska and to closing the digital divide.”
The Alaska Plan, adopted by the FCC in August 2016, provides federal funds to Alaska’s telecommunications providers in order to support investment in rural wireless and internet service upgrades. Federal funding helps make rural investment and maintenance possible in extremely remote, costly and difficult-to-serve communities. GCI, along with other Alaska providers, receives a portion of Alaska Plan funding each year.
For more information about GCI’s Alaska Plan investment, visit: https://www.gci.com/about/alaska-plan.
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 $3 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.