TERRA-SW Project Construction Complete
GCI Will Turn Up High-Speed Terrestrial Broadband Service for Schools, Hospitals and Businesses Next Month
October 17, 2011, ANCHORAGE —GCI today announced the substantial completion of construction on TERRA-Southwest (TERRA-SW), its project to extend terrestrial broadband service to Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (Y-K Delta). GCI will begin to move existing customers in the area, including health corporations and schools, to the TERRA-SW network in November. The new broadband Internet afforded by TERRA-SW will be available to households in 2012. TERRA-SW is being led by United Utilities, Inc. (UUI), a subsidiary of GCI.
“GCI is on the verge of connecting some of the most remote, rural communities in the United States with the rest of the world through TERRA-SW,” GCI President and CEO Ron Duncan said. “For the first time in history, we will be providing terrestrial broadband to 65 communities in Southwest Alaska, improving access to education, healthcare and public safety and creating new economic opportunities for residents and businesses.”
TERRA-SW has established a broadband connection between Homer and Bethel one year ahead of schedule. The connection is a result of the installation of 400 miles of fiber optic cable and 13 microwave towers, including four towers installed on remote mountaintops TERRA-SW will provide middle-mile terrestrial broadband service to remote, rural communities in Bristol Bay and the Y-K Delta, making broadband available to over 9,000 households and nearly 750 public, non-profit and private community institutions, including regional healthcare providers, school districts and Alaska Native organizations.
TERRA-SW is funded with an $88 million loan/grant combination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service Broadband Initiatives Program established pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
View video of TERRA-SW construction.
GCI is an Alaska-based company providing voice, video and data communication services to residential, commercial and government customers. Founded in 1979, GCI introduced long-distance competition to Alaska and has since grown to be one of the nation’s premier integrated telecommunication providers. The company employs more than 1,600 Alaskans and has a current run rate of $630 million. GCI has a 45 percent share of the state’s long-distance market, and is the state’s largest provider of internet services with cable modem, wireless and dedicated access. Its cable television services pass 90 percent of the state’s households with 64 percent penetration. Digital cable and cable modem service is available to 99 percent of its subscribers. The company offers facilities-based local telephone services in 22 cities throughout Alaska and has earned a 35 percent statewide market share. GCI’s services are connected through company-owned fiber optic, satellite and metropolitan area network facilities to the Lower 48 states. This broadband platform is the only one of its kind in Alaska and allows the company to provide customized services to the Alaska market. Please visit www.gci.com for more information.