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GCI Rural Customers to Experience Service Disruptions


ANCHORAGE – GCI customers may experience intermittent service and outages at various hours from August 11 through August 14 due to a wayward satellite interrupting communications services.  

The service outage will impact GCI customers and businesses across Alaska that send or receive services by satellite. The majority of these customers are located off the road system in Western, Southwestern, Northwestern, and Northern Alaska. Services delivered exclusively via terrestrial means will not be affected.

The outage is occurring because an errant satellite will come in close proximity to a satellite used by GCI, Galaxy 18. This “fly-by” will cause transmissions over Galaxy 18 to be periodically interrupted and may result in limited to no-service for a number of customers.

Satellite-based services affected include: long-distance calling, Internet, private lines and networks.

On April 5, 2010 the satellite Galaxy 15 lost its propulsion system that was required to keep it in geostationary orbit. It then began an easterly drift across the equator crossing the path of other satellites. Between August 11 and 14, it will be in the proximity of Galaxy 18, which is the satellite GCI uses for its primary telecommunications to rural Alaska.

GCI is working to ensure rural Alaska’s major medical facilities stay on air during the predicted outages by either redirecting their traffic to another satellite or by installing additional facilities. Emergency services such as 911 will be available on local and cellular telephones as long as a satellite connection is not required.

Calls from the road system, Southeast or Outside to rural Alaska will not be affected. Cable TV will not be affected.

GCI expects the following satellite-based services in the locations described to be impacted:

Long Distance –Customers should first place their call in the normal way. If the call does not complete, the caller should dial 1-888-991-8199 and the call will be routed to a GCI operator to assist in connecting the call (operator charges will not apply). Callers in Barrow, Kotzebue, Nome and the greater Bethel region will be able to make long-distance calls normally.

Internet – All Internet services, including e-mail, websites, ATMs and credit card readers, will not be accessible during the outages.

Cellular – Cellular service will continue to work in the local service area where it is available. Long-distance calling on cellular will not be available with the exception of the greater Bethel region. There, callers will be able to connect to other villages within the region. They will not, however, be able to make long-distance calls outside the Bethel region.

Private Lines and Private Networks – These types of complex business services will be unavailable during outage periods.

Estimated Dates and Times of Service Disruptions (all times Alaska time)

1 August 11, 2010 07:00 AM 08:30 AM 1.5 hours
2 August 11, 2010 06:00 PM 10:00 PM 4.0 hours
3 August 12, 2010 06:00 AM 10:30 AM 4.5 hours
4 August 12, 2010 05:00 PM 10:30 PM 5.5 hours
5 August 13, 2010 05:00 AM 10:00 AM 5.0 hours
6 August 13, 2010 05:30 PM 09:30 PM 4.0 hours
7 August 14, 2010 05:00 AM 09:30 AM 4.5 hours

Please visit www.gci.com <http://www.gci.com>  for additional information about this service disruption.

GCI (NASDAQ: GNCMA) is the largest telecommunications company in Alaska. A pioneer in bundled services, GCI provides local, long distance and wireless telephone, cable television, Internet and data communications services throughout Alaska.

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