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GCI to deploy broadband in 65 rural communities in southwest Alaska
Announced Date: 4/16/2012 Published Date: 4/16/2012

General Communication (GCI) and its wholly owned subsidiary United Utilities (UUI) have announced a plan to provide terrestrial broadband Internet service to the residents of 65 remote, rural communities in Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

At the end of 2011, a year ahead of schedule, UUI completed the construction of TERRA-Southwest, the first terrestrial broadband transport network to link Anchorage and the 65 communities. At the beginning of 2012, TERRA-Southwest began providing terrestrial broadband service to community services such as schools, hospitals and health clinics.

As a result of the early completion of TERRA-Southwest, GCI and UUI have accelerated their plans to deploy terrestrial broadband Internet service in the 65 TERRA-Southwest communities. The first phase of deployment will begin in June 2012 and should be completed by mid-October, a year ahead of schedule.

The new Internet service plans will be delivered over different networks depending on the community. In TERRA-Southwest communities other than Bethel and Dillingham, the plans will be delivered over newly deployed Wi-Fi wireless networks and possibly over wireline DSL networks in some UUI communities.

In Bethel, the plans will be delivered over GCI's existing video network and UUI's DSL network. GCI is still working on a service delivery solution in Dillingham, as GCI does not own a local telephone or video network and Dillingham's geographic layout is not ideal for the installation of Wi-Fi service.

GCI will also make wholesale service plans available to other local carriers in the TERRA-Southwest service area, which will enable those carriers to sell Internet service to their customers.