Survey crews to visit nine AIRRAQ Network communities in December
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — GCI technicians and contractors will visit nine communities in December to conduct survey work for fiber-to-the-premises deployments expected in the coming years as part of the AIRRAQ Network fiber project. The AIRRAQ Network is a joint Bethel Native Corporation-GCI project that will bring 2.5 gig residential internet speeds, unlimited data and urban-level pricing to 13 Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta communities.
During the surveys, teams from GCI contractor SGV International will identify the best path to connect each home and building in Kasigluk, Quinhagak, Eek, Nunapitchuk, Platinum, Atmautluak, Tuntutuliak, Napaskiak and Oscarville to the main AIRRAQ fiber.
“Our crews continue to make significant progress on the AIRRAQ Network,” said GCI Principal Program Manager Rebecca Markley. “This month, members of the project team will be walking through each of the nine scheduled AIRRAQ communities to note possible routes for fiber, both underground and aerially by connecting to power poles, throughout the community. As long as the weather cooperates, our teams should have this stage of survey work wrapped up before Christmas.”
If crews are unable to reach any of the communities scheduled in December, survey work will be rescheduled for early January.
“It’s great to see the project crews traveling to villages and engaging with the AIRRAQ Network fiber project communities on the ground,” said BNC President and CEO Ana Hoffman. “A lot of preparation goes into large-scale infrastructure projects, and we appreciate the work those teams are doing in Y-K Delta to prepare each of the 13 AIRRAQ Network communities for fiber-optic connectivity in the coming years, helping close the digital divide and bringing digital equity to more than 11,800 Alaskans.”
The AIRRAQ Network is a three phase, more than 900-mile fiber-optic network that will deliver affordable 2.5 gig residential internet speeds and unlimited data plans to 13 Western Alaska communities, including: Bethel, Platinum, Eek, Napaskiak, Oscarville, Atmautluak, Kasigluk, Nunapitchuk, Quinhagak, Tuntutuliak, Tununak, Toksook Bay and Emmonak. The overall project is supported by more than $100 million in broadband grants awarded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) and the USDA Rural Development’s ReConnect program, and by private investment by GCI.
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.
Bethel Native Corporation is respected as a business leader with offices in Bethel, Anchorage and the lower 48. Bethel’s companies engage in many diverse lines of business including government contracting, construction, logistical support, environmental remediation and commercial real estate. Learn more about BNC at https://bethelnativecorp.org/