General Communication (GCI), the largest Alaska-based service provider, announced the launch of what it believes is the state's first 1 Gbit/s Internet service, called 1 GIG red.
GCI will launch the new 1 GIG red service across its Anchorage cable modem system, rather than to selected neighbourhoods. The operator stated that in a city that presents substantial climate and topographical challenges, and covers an area larger than Rhode Island, it is committed to providing almost all of its Anchorage cable modem customers with access to the 1 GIG red services by the end of 2015.
At the same time as it begins the roll-out of 1 GIG red in Anchorage, GCI is also upgrading all other red Internet markets across Alaska, including Mat-Su, Juneau, Fairbanks, Kenai/Soldotna, Sitka and Ketchikan. In these markets GCI will offer broadband of up to 500 Mbit/s, compared with the current maximum red speed of 250 Mbit/s, previously the highest speed Internet service available in Alaska. GCI plans to expand 1 GIG red to further Alaska communities during 2016 and beyond.
GCI noted that a new cable modem, which it will provide to all of its red Internet customers at no charge, is required to receive the new 1 Gbit/s and 500 Mbit/s services.
GCI's cable systems, which deliver voice, video and broadband data services, pass around 80% of Alaskan households. GCI claims to operate Alaska's most extensive terrestrial and subsea fibre and microwave network which connects Fairbanks, Western Alaska and Juneau/Southeast Alaska, as well as Anchorage, to the lower 48 states via a diversely routed network. In addition, GCI's satellite network supports services to small towns and communities throughout rural Alaska.
The company claims a 70% share of the consumer broadband market in Alaska, offers facilities-based quad play services, and is also a major provider of communications services to enterprise customers in the state.