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TelAlaska Cellular Introduces Cellular Service in King Cove, Cold Bay and Fort Yukon

TelAlaska Cellular wireless telephone service is available for the first time this week in Cold Bay, Fort Yukon, and King Cove, and is also scheduled to launch in Galena, Iliamna, Port Lions, Sand Point, Teller and Unalaska before the end of 2009.

Fort Yukon is the last of the first three service areas to be turned on with service in place thereSept. 2 launched with community events in the City of Fort Yukon Community Room, according to Celine Kaplan, a company spokesperson.

TelAlaska, Inc., the parent company, was founded 40 years ago by the Rhyner family with the installation of landline service in Fort Yukon, where the late Jack Rhyner, then a teenager, and his father Richard refurbished and installed equipment salvaged from a Fairbanks flood. Until then, the community was served by a single public phone at the airport.

TelAlaska Cellular service will be available in Iliamna beginning Sept. 10th and in Galena before the end of September. Service became available in King Cove and Cold Bay the last week of August and the occasion was marked with community meetings, according to Kaplan.

TelAlaska Cellular's first wireless telephone offerings are Local Only and Local and Beyond services that can be purchased with bundled options to include landline service. Other available services from TelAlaska Cellular include text messaging, data packages for Smartphones, roaming services across a nationwide network, voicemail and calling features. A variety of cell phones will be available.
TelAlaska Cellular is using Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) technology, a globally accepted standard that is found in Europe, Japan, Australia and more than 80 other countries.

TelAlaska is a telecommunications solutions company serving 25 rural communities and providing advanced network solutions in urban markets.

"This week's cellular launch in Fort Yukon is a milestone that honors the company's early pioneering work by the Rhyners and its ongoing dedication to improving telecommunications throughout remote rural Alaska, " said Brenda Shepard, chief executive officer. "Our slogan is "Of Course You Can" and today when asked if we have wireless available, we can refer our customers to the words our slogan implies."
Shepard said the company plans to have TelAlaska Cellular phone service available in all TelAlaska communities within five years.

TelAlaska owns Interior Telephone Company, which provides Cold Bay, Fort Yukon, Galena, Iliamna, King Cove, Port Lions, Sand Point and Unalaska's local telephone service and Internet services through arctic.net. TelAlaska also owns Mukluk Telephone Company, the local phone provider for Teller, and Eyecom Cable, the cable television provider for Galena and Unalaska. The companies also serve Seward, Cooper Landing, Moose Pass, Brevig Mission, Elim, Golovin, Koyuk, Little Diomede, Nome, St. Michael, Shaktoolik, Shishmaref, Stebbins, Wales and White Mountain.

Additional information about cellular and other TelAlaska services is available at www.telalaska.com or by calling 1-877-478-2305.

Posted Sept. 9, 2009

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