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GCI completes first phase of TERRA-Northwest broadband network project in parts of Alaska
Announced Date: 4/25/2013 Published Date: 4/25/2013

Alaska telecommunications company GCI announced that it has completed a significant portion of the expansion of the TERRA terrestrial broadband network into Northwest Alaska.

Phase 1 of the TERRA-Northwest (TERRA-NW) initiative, which includes the installation of five new microwave towers and three remote repeaters, connects the network in Shageluk to Unalakleet and Shaktoolik. GCI funding for the project was supplemented by a grant awarded by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

TERRA-NW connects to TERRA-Southwest, a terrestrial middle mile project connecting 65 remote communities in Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. TERRA-Southwest is a hybrid fibre optic cable/microwave system that terrestrially connects rural Alaska to the Internet gateway in Anchorage.

Construction has already started on Phases 2 and 3 of TERRA-NW. Phase 2 is a 135-mile span between Shaktoolik and Nome including three remote repeaters and one village microwave site. Phase 3 is a 205-mile span between Shaktoolik and Kotzebue, including 5 remote repeaters and one village microwave tower.

GCI anticipates construction to Nome to be complete by the end of 2013 and construction to Kotzebue to be complete by the end of 2014. Like Phase 1, Phases 2 and 3 will be constructed and owned by Unicom, a wholly owned subsidiary of GCI.

GCI President and CEO Ron Duncan said, "GCI's investment in TERRA reflects our continuing commitment to rural Alaska. The importance of Phases 2 and 3 cannot be overstated as they will enable future expansion to communities throughout the Northwest Arctic".