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ACS Announces $6.8 Million Gift to the University of Alaska


ANCHORAGE, Alaska, December 08, 2009 - Alaska Communications Systems President and Chief Executive Officer Liane Pelletier and University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton today announced a gift of business continuity services for the university's mission-critical online applications, enabling service continuity of core university functions should a major disruption occur.

The gift is worth an estimated $6.8 million.

"This generous gift from ACS allows the University of Alaska System to operate smoothly and efficiently should something happen to our Data Center here in Fairbanks," Hamilton said. "It's important that our 32,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff members know that the online functions they rely on-key aspects such as payroll, accounting, student loan processing, student and human resource records management and electronic teaching tools---have backup support for as long as needed."

The ACS gift provides the University with a back-up data center for its most important systems at ACS' facility in Hillsboro OR, along with all the necessary connectivity, for the university's core systems. This will allow UA to continue online operations that would otherwise be disrupted in the wake of a major disaster or outage. Technology staff members make backup data tapes daily and store them off-site, but if the university's primary data center were to go off-line for an extended time period, business operations would be disrupted. With the ACS gift, these online functions will continue in a near seamless manner.

"ACS is proud to give back to the community and support the mission of the university," said Pelletier. "Our remote data hosting facilities are an excellent example of how ACS is bringing state-of-the art enterprise applications to Alaska, a state with a heightened exposure to natural disasters. We are pleased to offer business continuity infrastructure for one of the state's largest and most important institutions."

The gift comes at no cost to the university for five years, including maintenance at the Oregon facility.

"With the use of online technology as the dominant method of conducting the university's business, everything from human resources to student grades, it's essential we have a solid business continuity plan with no single point of failure," said Steve Smith, chief information technology officer for the UA System. "This is good stewardship of valuable online resources and is possible thanks to our partnership with ACS."

Mary Rutherford, president of the UA Foundation, said the company's generosity sets a wonderful example of philanthropy. "The university's many constituencies---our students, faculty, staff, alumni, business partners and athletics boosters---all benefit from this gift," Rutherford said.

The gift includes the secure physical location in Hillsboro with space and connectivity for university equipment; connectivity between the university and the outside world in the event of a disaster; and the maintenance, and all environmental systems required for such an off-site facility. The gift agreement extends to 2015.

About Alaska Communications Systems
Headquartered in Anchorage, ACS is Alaska's leading provider of broadband and other wireline and wireless solutions to Enterprise and mass market customers. The ACS wireline operations include the state's most advanced data networks and the only diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous United States. The ACS wireless operations include a statewide 3G CDMA network, reaching across Alaska from the North Slope to Ketchikan, with coverage extended via best-in-class CDMA carriers in the Lower 49 and Canada. By investing in the fastest-growing market segments and attracting the highest-quality customers, ACS seeks to drive top and bottom-line growth, while continually improving customer experience and cost structure through process improvement. More information can be found on the company's website at www.acsalaska.com or at its investor site at www.alsk.com.

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