News Releases

GCI's media contact:

Heather Handyside
GCI, Vice President, Corporate Communications
2550 Denali Street, Suite 1000; Anchorage; AK 99503
907-301-3481 cell  |

YKHC and GCI announce plans to jointly pursue federal funding for fiber internet service to Bethel


Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC), the Tribal health organization for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider, today announced that they will apply to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for a $53 million grant to launch a project to extend high-speed, low-latency fiber internet service to Bethel, Alaska. Read more »

GCI, Bristol Bay Telephone Co-op partner to bring better, more affordable connectivity to Southwest Alaska


GCI and the Bristol Bay Telephone Cooperative (BBTC) recently announced a partnership to improve internet and wireless service to residents and businesses in Southwest Alaska. Read more »

GCI launches first LTE mobile service in Nome


GCI LTE wireless service has made it to Alaska’s Seward Peninsula! The company recently brought its first LTE-capable tower on air in Nome and plans to upgrade two more towers in the community in the coming months. Once the project is complete, GCI mobile customers across much of the city will have access to improved voice service, faster mobile data speeds, and more wireless capacity. Read more »

GCI’s Handyside honored as top communicator


GCI Chief Communications Officer Heather Handyside was recognized as a leader in the field of public relations and communications as one of Ragan’s 2021 Top Women in Communications. The national award honors leaders in the profession who deliver messages in innovative ways, create compelling narratives for internal and external audiences, and remain steadfast through communications crises. Handyside is honored this year alongside leaders from brands like Mastercard, Visa, General Electric and National Geographic. Read more »

GCI expands LTE footprint in Southwest Alaska


With upgrades recently completed on four Southwest Alaska wireless sites, GCI has expanded its LTE footprint in the region. These newly upgraded sites bring improved voice service, faster mobile data speeds, and more wireless capacity to GCI customers throughout Dillingham and Aleknagik. Read more »

GCI announces trailblazing satellite deal to expand its capacity


Today, GCI announced a trailblazing $150 million partnership with Intelsat, a global leader in satellite service. The partnership will dramatically expand GCI’s geosynchronous (GEO) satellite capacity to meet growing demand for communications services in rural communities across Alaska. The deal not only provides GCI continued access to C-band and Ku-band capacity, which is already part of GCI’s satellite service portfolio, it also provides new access to statewide Ka-band capacity. Read more »

GCI wins big at 2021 Best of Alaska Business Awards


GCI was voted Alaska’s top Telecommunications Provider by Alaska Business magazine readers in this year’s Best of Alaska Business Awards. GCI was also selected as the editor’s choice for Best Corporate Citizen. Read more »

GCI completes first marine survey for AU-Aleutians Fiber Project


GCI recently completed the first marine survey for the AU-Aleutians Fiber Project, which will deliver high-speed broadband connectivity to some of the most remote communities in the nation. The survey, conducted by Benthic GeoScience Inc., an Alaska-based company and crew, marks another significant step towards the completion of the multi-year, multimillion-dollar project. Read more »

GCI tech jumps into action, saves neighbors from burning home


A Palmer-based GCI employee rushed into action recently, saving a couple and their two dogs from an early morning house fire. He insists it was just the neighborly thing to do. Read more »

GCI is bridging the digital divide through Alaska Plan investment


Seventeen rural Alaska communities are expected to receive connectivity upgrades in 2021 through GCI’s Alaska Plan buildout. Federal funding from the Alaska Plan helps GCI invest in the technology and infrastructure necessary to connect some of the smallest and most remote communities in the nation. Read more »

Longtime GCI leader retires after celebrated career in rural Alaska telecommunications


Senior Advisor Dan Boyette is retiring this month after a long and storied 30-year career at GCI. Boyette is highly regarded for his work bringing telecommunications services to the state, which included building hundreds of satellite Earth stations across Alaska to connect rural communities — many for the first time. Read more »

Annual GCI TERRA refueling effort keeps off-the-grid towers running and Alaskans connected


GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider, has launched its annual project to refuel 22 remote mountaintop towers that are part of the company’s TERRA network. The TERRA (Terrestrial for Every Rural Region in Alaska) network is a massive $300 million GCI infrastructure project serving 45,000 Alaskans in 84 rural communities. Far from power grids and urban sprawl, situated in some of the state’s most rugged terrain, reachable only by helicopter, these towers must be able to stay running and self-sufficient for months at a time. Read more »

GCI named Alaska’s fastest ISP by


For the sixth-straight year, GCI has been named Alaska’s fastest ISP by GCI set a record high PCMag Speed Index (PSI) score of 149.0 this year, improving on its 2020 score by 15 points. Read more »

GCI Suicide Prevention Fund now accepting applications for 2021 grant program


From now through July 30, nonprofits in Alaska working to lower suicide rates can apply for the 2021 GCI Suicide Prevention Fund. Since 2017, GCI has contributed over $500,000 to nonprofits that help prevent and lower the rate of suicide in the state and their communities by promoting mental wellness and making community-minded connections. Read more »

GCI awards $80,000 in scholarships to 40 Alaska students


Forty Alaska students from 29 communities across the state will each receive $2,000 for the 2021-22 academic year through the GCI Scholarship Program. GCI launched the scholarship program more than 20 years ago to help develop and grow Alaska’s next generation of leaders. Read more »

GCI customers adopting super-fast internet 4 times faster than national rate


Americans are adopting 1 gig internet faster than ever, but GCI customers are upping their home internet speeds even more quickly in Alaska. In fact, GCI customers have signed up for 1 gig internet service at four times the national rate. Read more »

GCI submarine cable expert travels to Aleutian Islands as company preps for game-changing fiber project


Bruce Rein, a 24-year GCI employee and subsea fiber expert, is bringing his international cable-laying experience to the GCI AU-Aleutians Fiber Project team. Rein is currently onboard the F/V Norseman II conducting the first phase of the marine cable route survey for the bold, two-year project that will deliver urban-like internet speeds and help close the digital divide in the region. Read more »

GCI donates $10,000 to Unalaska Women’s Shelter and Food Bank


GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider, announced a $10,000 donation to the Unalaska Women’s Shelter and Food Bank. The facility serves as a safe space for women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes. Read more »

ABC, FOX, CW channels restored for GCI customers


GCI announced today that it has reached an agreement with Vision Alaska and Coastal Television to broadcast ABC, FOX and CW channels for its customers statewide. Read more »

GCI Aleutians Fiber Project enters next phase, launches marine survey


GCI has launched the marine survey for the AU-Aleutians Fiber Project, which will deliver high-speed broadband connectivity to some of the most remote communities in the nation. The survey, conducted by an Alaska-based company and crew, marks a significant milestone in the multi-year, multi-million dollar project. GCI is on track to meet its ambitious goal of delivering fiber service to Unalaska in late 2022. Read more »

GCI reveals landmark commitment to bring 10 gig internet speeds to Alaska, will deliver 2 gig in 2022


GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications company and leader in technology and connectivity, announced today it will deliver 2 gig internet access to 77% of Alaskans in 2022 and is on track to provide 10 gig speeds in the next five years. GCI will be the first in the state, and among the first in the country, to make 2 gig widely available to customers, highlighting its commitment to expand and improve connectivity in Alaska. Read more »

GCI supports Iḷisaġvik College Pre-College Summer Camp with $10,000 donation


GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications company, recently made a $10,000 contribution to Iḷisaġvik College and its Pre-College Summer Camp program. The donation ensures students have access to a learning environment that perpetuates and strengthens Iñupiat culture, language and traditions. Read more »

GCI launches program to provide free internet to Alaskans in need


GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider, today announced it will deliver free internet to Alaskans in need as part of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP). The EBBP, a temporary program the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced earlier this year, will provide internet to qualifying households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. GCI will offer its standard internet plan for free to those who qualify. Read more »

GCI, Wells Fargo partner to make AU-Aleutians Fiber Project a reality


GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications company, is working with longtime partner Wells Fargo to support GCI’s AU-Aleutians Fiber Project through the bank’s New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) group. Wells Fargo acted as the NMTC investor through another valued partner—Clearinghouse CDFI. Clearinghouse acted as the community development entity (CDE) providing the NMTC allocation. Read more »

GCI’s Victor Esposito elected to Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers board of directors


GCI Vice President of Engineering Victor Esposito has been elected to the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) board of directors. SCTE, a subsidiary of CableLabs, has been a cable telecommunications leader for more than 50 years and is critical for the advancement of technology, standards and workforce education within the industry. Read more »

GCI supports the FCC’s effort to launch a national 3-digit suicide prevention lifeline


Providers across the country are taking steps to prepare their networks and customers for the implementation of a nationwide three-digit number to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is scheduled to launch in 2022. To lay the groundwork for the life-saving service, the Federal Communications Commission has directed connectivity providers nationwide to require 10-digit dialing for all calls by October 24, 2021. As the state’s largest telecommunications company, GCI and its subsidiary, United Utilities, Inc. (UUI), are helping to ensure Alaskans are prepared to make the change from seven-digit dialing to 10-digit dialing for all calls. Read more »

GCI mobile data speeds in Anchorage outpace other major cities


GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider, voiced its objection to a recent report by RootMetrics ranking New York City as the fastest mobile city in the country with an aggregate median download speed of 46.3 mbps. GCI’s wireless network in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, offers 2 times faster speeds with an average speed of 114.81 mbps based on 2020 drive tests. Read more »

GCI project manager moves to Unalaska to lead local oversight of AU-Aleutians Fiber Project


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. Read more »

GCI commits $500,000 to support UAF’s new Alaska Esports Center


GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications company, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks are partnering to bring collegiate Esports to the next level. Through a 10-year, $500,000 commitment by GCI, UAF students at the new Alaska Esports Center will have access to lightning-fast 1 GIG internet speeds as they navigate the competitive landscape of games like Overwatch and League of Legends. Read more »

GCI expands 5G wireless coverage along Seward Highway


Less than a year after launching Alaska’s first 5G wireless network, GCI completed 5G upgrades to a wireless tower along the Seward Highway, south of Anchorage, greatly improving mobile data speeds and enhancing voice service between Bird Point and 20 Mile River. This is GCI’s 77th 5G-capable wireless site. Read more »

GCI recognizes Beverly Hoffman with Trailblazer of the Year Award


GCI’s corporate philanthropy program, GCI Gives, presented Bethel resident Beverly Hoffman with its annual Trailblazer of the Year award to recognize her role in the development of the Bethel Pool and Wellness Center, a facility that was built after years of planning, advocacy and fundraising spearheaded by Hoffman and the YK Delta Lifesavers organization. Read more »

GCI announces executive leadership promotions


GCI today announced additions to the company’s leadership team with the promotion of William Wailand to Senior Vice President, Heather Handyside to Chief Communications Officer, Duncan Whitney to Chief Product Officer, Holly Henningsen to Vice President of Consumer Sales and Operations, Manoj Manoharan to Vice President of Internet & Business Products, and Tyler Samples to Vice President of Business Finance & Administration. Read more »

GCI makes annual charitable giving commitment at virtual event


GCI Gives has committed $2 million in 2021 in direct donations, in-kind services and products to Alaska organizations, including an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. The challenges faced by so many Alaskans over the past year helped GCI realize the power of its giving more than ever. Each year, GCI donates to more than 150 Alaska nonprofits. Donations have totaled more than $12 million over the last six years. Read more »

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