GCI Launching 2 Gig Internet for Alaskans in Early 2022
GCI Founder and CEO Ron Duncan announced from the Alaska Esports Center in Fairbanks that the telecommunications provider is planning to bring 2 gig internet service to more than three-quarters of Alaskans early next year.
“Our vision when we started the company was to bring state-of-the-art telecommunications to everyone in Alaska. It’s been a long haul with lots of changes and challenges along the way, but we’ve made fantastic progress,” said Duncan. “Today more than three-quarters of Alaskans have access to 1 gig service, which is the latest, greatest, highest speed connectivity that you can get.
“We’re going to change that.”
In addition to the 77 percent of Alaskans that currently have 1 gig internet access, GCI is partnering with Quintillion to bring 1 gig service to Kotzebue, as well as to Nome and Bethel. GCI is also building a fiber network out to Dutch Harbor, which will bring 1 gig service to Unalaska, King Cover, Akutan, Sand Point, Chignik Bay, and Larsen Bay.
According to the company, 2 gig speeds will be available in those communities in a future phase of the upgrade project.
“We’re [launching 2 gig internet service] because we believe in the technology and because we believe that Alaskans deserve to have state-of-the-art telecommunications. Since we started the company, we focused on closing the digital divide,” Duncan said.
“Our job at GCI is to be looking down the pipe to be thinking about the services that you’re going to need in two years, even though you don’t know what they are yet or what you’re going to use them for. And that’s part of what the 2 gig Revolution really is all about.”
Communities in Alaska that already have access to GCI’s 1 gig service will be the first to experience 2 gig service when it’s available. Those communities include Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kodiak, Petersburg, Sitka, Eagle River, Fort Greely, Kenai, North Pole, Seward, Valdez, Wrangell, Girdwood, Homer, Ketchikan, Palmer, Soldotna, and Wasilla.
Greg Chapados, GCI president and COO, said of the announced 2 gig service, “No other Alaska provider has made this commitment to achieve this goal. GCI has assembled a team of talent that’s committed to planning Alaska’s communications future—and then executing that plan.
“Today’s announcement proves that we’re not done yet… we’re not backing down. We believe in Alaska’s long-term future and we will continue to invest statewide in support of Alaska’s economic recovery.”
In This Issue
50 Years of ANSCA
Fifty years ago, as the Watergate scandal swirled around then-President Richard Nixon, he signed into law the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). It was the largest land claims settlement in the nation’s history and a stark departure from agreements forced on Tribes in the Lower 48.