TERRA – News Releases

GCI TERRA Network Connects Kotzebue to the World

November 26, 2014

Terrestrial broadband delivers high-speed Internet and 3G wireless services above the Arctic Circle

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – GCI (NASDAQ:GNCMA) today announced the commercial launch of TERRA service in the Northwest Arctic Borough. TERRA is delivering, for the first time, terrestrial broadband service to Kotzebue, 33 miles north of the Arctic Circle.  This service will dramatically improve online health, education and government services as well as the broadband data experience for residential and business users.  With the launch of TERRA, GCI has also rolled out 3G mobile wireless services for the residents of Kotzebue.

TERRA is GCI’s terrestrial broadband network serving the rural communities of western Alaska.  Terrestrial broadband provides lower latency and allows for streaming of rich media and the ability to leverage video conferencing, a critical tool for healthcare and education. Using video conferencing, communities like Kotzebue have access to specialty doctors and educators that are not readily available in the community. The lower latency enables significantly fewer delays in transferring data, allowing for better real-time communication.

The launch of 3G wireless service will allow for substantially higher mobile data speeds, providing customers faster web browsing, audio and video streaming, and more. The launch of 3G services will occur in Nome and Unalakleet later this year.

Reaching remote communities in the Arctic, like Kotzebue, is no small feat. Alaska is home to some of the most challenging geography in North America, along with unpredictable and harsh weather conditions. GCI is partnering with organizations, such as STG Incorporated and Ericsson Inc., to construct the infrastructure needed to deliver terrestrial broadband Internet.

“Once again, GCI has used its proven Arctic telecommunications expertise to deliver transformative services to a rural Arctic regional hub,” said Greg Chapados, GCI’s chief operating officer. “We plan to expand TERRA’s footprint in northwest Alaska and along the Yukon with the ultimate goal of ringing the network.  We are grateful for the support of the communities served by TERRA and look forward to watching them grow using the tools that modern communications services can provide.”

Since its inception in 2010, TERRA has grown to deliver terrestrial broadband services to 72 communities and more than 43,000 residents.  TERRA won the 2013 NATOA (National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors) Community Broadband Wireless Network of the Year award and the 2014 Engineering News Record (ENR) Best Projects Regional Award.

About GCI

GCI is the largest Alaska-based and operated integrated telecommunications provider offering voice, data and video services statewide. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com/about.
 


Service Upgrades For Terrestrial Broadband Users In Rural Alaska

Release date: June 10, 2013

Increases Usage Allowances, Reduces Overage Fees, Adds High Usage Plans

ANCHORAGE, AK – General Communication, Inc. (GCI) (NASDAQ:GNCMA) today announced enhancements to its terrestrial broadband Internet service plans available in 67 remote, rural communities in Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

With over a year of successful operation of its hybrid fiber/microwave TERRA system, GCI has gleaned sufficient operational experience to upgrade its Rural Broadband (RBB) service plans that respond to feedback from residential and small business Internet users. Beginning June 5, GCI increased the usage allowance on all RBB plans, reduced overage fees on all RBB plans by at least 50 percent and added two RBB plans for high-usage customers.

“Terrestrial broadband Internet is transforming life in western Alaska as rural Alaskans take advantage of faster speeds, more usages and lower latency,” said Paul Landes, GCI senior vice president. “Over the past year, we’ve gained a lot of operational experience with TERRA, and we are very pleased to be able to offer our RBB customers across-the-board plan upgrades.”

Included usage on existing RBB plans will increase up to 66 percent, and overage fees will be reduced as much as 67 percent, depending on the plan. Two additional plans have been added for high-usage customers, particularly small businesses, providing up to 100 GB of monthly usage.

Today’s announced plan upgrades will be made available to residents of Dillingham and King Salmon-Naknek through local carriers that purchase GCI’s wholesale RBB plans.  The upgrades will be available to GCI cable modem customers in Nome, Kotzebue and Barrow, even though these communities are connected via satellite today.

This summer, GCI is also upgrading services in existing RBB villages that will improve local Wi-Fi coverage.

About TERRA 

In 2012, GCI began service on TERRA-Southwest, the first segment of the TERRA network that provides terrestrial broadband service to connect western Alaska to the Internet gateway in Anchorage.

GCI recently announced the completion of Phase 1 of TERRA-Northwest that extends TERRA to Unalakleet and Shaktoolik. Phase 2 will extend TERRA to Nome by the end of this year.  Phase 3 will extend TERRA to Kotzebue by the end of 2014.

2013 Terrestrial Rural Broadband Internet Service Community Upgrades

Akiachak Ekwok Kwethluk Nightmute Shaktoolik
Akiak Emmonak Kwigillingok Nondalton South Naknek
Alakanuk Goodnews Bay Levelock Nunam Iqua St. Mary’s
Aleknagik Grayling Lower Kalskag Nunapitchuck Togiak
Aniak Holy Cross Manokotak Oscarville Toksook Bay
Anvik Hooper Bay Marshall Pedro Bay Tuluksak
Atmautluak Igiugig Mekoryuk Pilot Station Tuntutuliak
Bethel Illiamna Mountain Village Pitkas Point Tununak
Chefornak Kasigluk Naknet Platinum Twin Hills
Chevak King Salmon Napakiak Port Alsworth Unalakleet
Chuathbaluk Kipnuk Napaskiak Quinhagak Upper Kalskag
Clarks Point Kokhanok New Stuyahok Russian Mission
Dillingham Koliganek Newhalen Scammon Bay
Eek Kongiganak Newtok Shageluk

 

2013 Terrestrial Rural Broadband Internet Service Plans

Plan Name Speed (down/up) Monthly Recurring Charge  MRC w/                      GCI Cellphone or UUI Telephone NEW Monthly Incl. Usage* NEW Overage Fee per GB
AK Xtreme 512 / 128 Kbps $29.99 $24.99 5 GB $10 
AK Xtreme 2.0 2 Mbps / 256 Kbps $64.99 $49.99 10 GB $10 
AK Xtreme 3.0 3 Mbps / 512 Kbps $74.99 $59.99 15 GB $10 
AK Xtreme 4.0 4 / 1 Mbps $114.99 $99.99 25 GB $7.50 
AK Xtreme 6.0 6 / 2 Mbps $164.99 $149.99 40 GB $7.50 
AK Xtreme 6.0  (new plan) 6 / 2 Mbps $214.99  $199.99  60 GB $7.50 
AK Xtreme 6.0                   (new Plan) 6 / 2 Mbps $314.99  $299.99  100 GB $7.50 

*An additional 5 GB with qualifying smartphone data plan and GCI TV package.

 


GCI TERRA Project Complete in Unalakleet and Shaktoolik

Release date: April 24, 2013

Construction Underway to Expand Broadband Network to Nome and Kotzebue

ANCHORAGE – GCI (NASDAQ:GNCMA) announced today that it 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.

“GCI is proud to add Unalakleet and Shaktoolik to the list of rural Alaska villages that will benefit from the increased capabilities provided by the TERRA network,” GCI president and CEO Ron Duncan said. “GCI’s investment in TERRA reflects our continuing commitment to rural Alaska.”

Terrestrial broadband services to residential customers are available in Unalakleet today. Services in Shaktoolik will be available this summer.

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.

“The importance of Phases 2 and 3 cannot be overstated as they will enable future expansion to communities throughout the Northwest Arctic,” Duncan said. “Several years ago, GCI envisioned creating a terrestrial broadband network as an alternative to satellite-delivery. I am happy to report that this vision is quickly becoming a reality.”

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 fiber optic cable/microwave system that terrestrially connects rural Alaska to the Internet Gateway in Anchorage.

Visit http://terra.gci.com for more information. Follow @terragci on Twitter.
 


GCI Announces Phase 3 of TERRA‐Northwest Expansion

GCI TERRA Project Forges Ahead With Expansion into Kotzebue and the Northwest Arctic Region of Alaska

October 15, 2012

ANCHORAGE – GCI (NASDAQ:GNCMA) announced today that it is moving ahead with the expansion of the TERRA terrestrial broadband network into Northwest Alaska. Phase 3 of the TERRA‐Northwest (TERRA‐NW) initiative will build six new microwave sites between Shaktoolik and Kotzebue, and will enable future TERRA expansion throughout the Northwest Arctic.

Phase 3 of TERRA‐NW will offer service to the residents, businesses, and government/not‐for‐profit institutions in Kotzebue. Two notable institutions are Maniilaq Association, the regional Native health corporation, and Northwest Arctic Borough School District, which are currently linked to the rest of Alaska and the world via satellite service. Access to low latency, high speed terrestrial broadband will enhance the ability of these organizations to deliver better care to patients and distance learning to schools and students.

GCI is currently deploying broadband cable modem service in Kotzebue. The deployment is expected to be complete by the end of October. When Phase 3 of TERRA‐NW is completed, cable modem users in Kotzebue will have access to the same low latency, high speed terrestrial broadband service that Bethel users enjoy today.

Maniilaq Association has long been a GCI customer and a worldwide leader in telehealth. “Today, satellite latency continues to hinder our advanced applications like video teleconferencing and electronic health records. After the completion of the TERRA‐NW project, latency will be massively reduced and our ability to deliver telehealth applications at our regional hospital will be greatly improved,” said Eugene Smith, chief information officer of Maniilaq Association.

“The main benefit of the Phase 3 expansion of TERRA‐NW will be higher speed, lower latency data service, supporting education, healthcare and Internet, enhancing the quality of life and economic opportunity for rural communities throughout the Northwest Arctic Borough,” said Ron Duncan, president and chief executive officer of GCI. “GCI embarks on this project with the future of all Alaska in mind. We deeply appreciate the support provided to GCI by communities, their leaders, and our customers throughout the state.”

GCI has applied for the necessary permitting from the Bureau of Land Management and anticipates that Phase 3 construction will begin next year and will be complete by the end of 2014.

Phase 3 of TERRA‐NW will include a 205 mile microwave extension of TERRA. This extension will include six new microwave towers and associated facilities, five of which will be remote, prime‐power repeater sites. Phase 3 is projected to cost approximately $28 million. It will be constructed and owned by GCI’s wholly owned subsidiary, Unicom.

A map of the Phase 3 TERRA‐NW Project is available here.

In 2011, GCI completed TERRA‐Southwest which included over 400 miles of new fiber optic cable and 13 new microwave towers connecting GCI’s network in Anchorage, Alaska to 65 communities in Southwest Alaska. Phase 1 of TERRA‐NW includes five new microwave towers connecting Shageluk, the northern end of TERRA‐Southwest to the communities of Unalakleet and Shaktoolik. Phase 1 is being constructed this year and is scheduled for completion in December 2012. TERRA‐NW Phase 2, which will connect Shaktoolik to Nome, Alaska is already permitted and will begin construction in 2013 with completion scheduled for December 2013.

More information, pictures and project updates on TERRA can be found at: http://terra.gci.com

GCI is the largest telecommunications company in Alaska. The company’s cable plant, which provides voice, video, and broadband data services, passes 80 percent of Alaska households. GCI operates Alaska’s most extensive terrestrial/subsea fiber optic network, which connects not only Anchorage but also Fairbanks, and Juneau/Southeast to the lower 48 states with a diversely routed, protected fiber network. The company’s satellite network provides communications services to small towns and villages throughout rural Alaska. GCI is in the process of constructing Alaska’s first truly statewide mobile wireless network, which will seamlessly link urban and rural Alaska for the first time in the state’s history.

A pioneer in bundled services, GCI is the top provider of voice, data, and video services to Alaska consumers with a 70 percent share of the consumer broadband market. GCI is also the leading provider of communications services to enterprise customers, particularly large enterprise customers with complex data networking needs. More information about the company can be found at www.gci.com.

The foregoing contains forward‐looking statements regarding the company’s expected results that are based on management’s expectations as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward looking statements due to uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside GCI’s control.
 


Terrestrial Broadband Internet Service Operational in 40 Remote Rural Communities

October 10, 2012

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – General Communication Inc., (GCI) (NASDAQ:GNCMA) and its wholly owned subsidiary, United Utilities, Inc. (UUI), have delivered terrestrial broadband Internet service to the residents of 40 remote, rural communities in Bristol Bay and the Yukon-­‐Kuskokwim Delta. Efforts continue to connect an additional 25 communities to the state’s only high-­‐speed broadband terrestrial service in Western Alaska.

In the first week of October, GCI launched its new broadband service in 16 new communities:

Akiachak Kwethluk Oscarville
Akiak Marshall Pilot Station
Atmautluak Mekoryuk Russian Mission
Chevak Napakiak Scammon Bay
 Hooper Bay Napaskiak
 Kasigluk Nunapitchuk

The high-­‐speed broadband service is available in these communities as a result of TERRA-­‐Southwest, a network established by more than 400 miles of fiber-­‐optic cable and 13 new microwave towers.

Communities that launched high-­‐speed broadband service earlier this year include:

Port Alsworth Ekwok Mountain Village
Alakanuk Grayling Newtok
Aniak Igiugig Nightmute
Iliamna Koliganek Nunam Iqua
Kokhanok Levelock Platinum
Newhalen New Stuyahok Saint Mary’s
Nondalton Emmonak Toksook Bay
Pedro Bay Goodnews Bay Tununak

GCI and UUI offer a range of new Internet service plans in these recently launched communities. Download speeds will be eight to 16 times faster than what is available today on similarly priced plans for those served by the satellite-­‐based WISP system. Customers will experience a substantial increase in service quality because TERRA-­‐Southwest eliminates satellite-­‐related latency. For more information about the communities served, new service plans and technical terms, go to gci.com/TERRA.

GCI will post updates on gci.com about service dates and ordering procedures as the deployment progresses.

The next communities scheduled to receive high-­speed broadband service are:

Aleknagik Kipnuk South Naknek
Anvik Kongiganak Togiak
Chefornak Kwigillingok Tuluksak
Chuathbaluk Lower Kalskag Tuntutuliak
Clarks Point Manokotak Twin Hills
Dillingham Naknek Unalakleet
Eek Pitkas Point Upper Kalskag
Holy Cross Quinhagak
King Salmon Shageluk

 


GCI Announces Plan to Deploy Terrestrial Broadband Internet Service in 65 Remote Rural Communities

April 16, 2012

Deployment in Southwest Alaska One Year Ahead of Schedule

ANCHORAGE, AK – General Communication, Inc. (GCI) (NASDAQ:GNCMA) and its wholly owned subsidiary, United Utilities, Inc. (UUI), today announced their 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 critical community service providers 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 and should be completed by mid-October of 2012, a year ahead of schedule.

GCI and UUI will offer a range of new Internet service plans starting as low as $24.99 per month. In communities currently served by the satellite-based WISP system, download speeds will be eight to 16 times faster than what is available today on similarly priced plans. Customers also will experience a substantial increase in service quality because TERRA-Southwest eliminates satellite-related latency. For more information about the communities to be served, new service plans and technical terms, go to www.gci.com/TERRA.

“We’re proud to be able to provide terrestrial broadband Internet service for the first time to the residents of Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta,” said Ron Duncan, GCI president and CEO. “TERRA-Southwest is bringing 21st century telecommunications to southwest Alaska, and GCI has already started work to extend the network and its benefits to northwest Alaska.”

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 (digital subscriber line) networks in some UUI communities.  Both GCI and UUI will provide the plans in all UUI communities.

Since Wi-Fi coverage is affected by many factors, including the unique topographic features of each community, the first phase of the Wi-Fi deployment may not achieve full availability of the service plans throughout a given community.  After the first phase is complete, GCI and UUI will evaluate the resulting coverage and determine whether additional steps are needed to achieve additional coverage.

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.

GCI will post updates on www.gci.com/TERRA about service dates and ordering procedures as the deployment progresses.

 

GCI (NASDAQ:GNCMA) is an Alaska-based integrated communications provider and the second largest wireless provider in Alaska. As a pioneer in bundled services, GCI provides local, long distance and wireless telephone, video services, Internet and data communication services throughout Alaska. For more information, visit www.gci.com.