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GCI Project Manager to Lead Local Oversight in Unalaska for AU-Aleutians Fiber Project

by | Apr 15, 2021 | News, Telecom & Tech

John Burnett, a 40-year veteran in the Alaska cable and telecommunications industry, has relocated to Unalaska to facilitate local work for GCI’s Alaska United Aleutians Fiber Project.

Burnett will also serve as a resource for local community members for the duration of the ambitious $58 million high-speed internet project.

The Aleutians Fiber Project is a bold, two-year plan to close the digital divide in the Aleutians by deploying an 860-mile subsea fiber system to Unalaska, Akutan, King Cove, Sand Point, Chignik Bay, and Larsen Bay.

By deploying fiber, the Aleutians Fiber Project will be able to offer 1 GIG speeds—considered some of the fastest available across the nation—to GCI customers in the region. GCI’s fiber network, the largest in Alaska, already ensures that 77 percent of all Alaskans have access to 1 GIG internet speeds. GCI and Alaska rank among the nation’s leaders in access to 1 GIG service and speeds.

After living in several Alaska coastal communities like Petersburg, Seward, Homer, and Kodiak, Burnett said arriving in Unalaska immediately felt like coming home. He’s eager to be involved in the Aleutians Fiber project because of the opportunities it will bring to Alaskans who live in the region. The project will make high-speed internet a reality in the region—one of the most remote areas of the nation.

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Burnett says he was happy to come out of retirement and move to Unalaska for this project. He is especially looking forward to being on the ground, working with people in a community as part of a project that has the ability to bring life-changing opportunities to the people who live there.

“Bringing fiber into a community that has never had that level of service is like going from a slow crawl to a Ferrari,” Burnett says.

“I’ve gotten to see firsthand what this does for a John Burnett with his dog, Archie.community throughout my decades working on these projects for GCI. I’m so excited and proud to experience that again here in Unalaska and the Aleutians.”

John Burnett and his dog, Archie.

GCI

“John has been a part of many significant projects in our company’s history, especially projects in coast communities heavily involved in commercial fishing,” says Dan Boyette, GCI vice president and general manager of the Aleutians Fiber Project.

“In 1993, he was living in Kodiak and he played a large role in bringing fiber to Alaska for the first time. When we were ready to launch the Aleutians Fiber Project, we knew we needed John on the job because he knows how to get things done. We’re glad he jumped out of retirement to be a part of this.”

Burnett hopes to be a resource for people in Unalaska and the surrounding communities throughout this project, ready to answer questions, comments and concerns about the project.

Alaska Business Magazine May 2021 Cover

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