Connecting Alaska to the World

GCI is the first to have wholly-owned route diverse and redundant fiber systems that connect Alaska to the Lower 48. We are continuing that investment with a recent upgrade to 100G interfaces. The improved connectivity supports economic growth for Alaska, vital national defense communications and other critical needs. Our fiber systems are route diverse and meet all required separation specifications of the Department of Defense.

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Arctic Expertise: More than 30 years of operating excellence
More than 30 years of operating in Alaska means GCI has the expertise to design, build and operate networks in harsh Arctic conditions. Our networks are purpose-built with a smart mix of technology to ensure the availability and quality you need. In key locations on Alaska’s North Slope and the Northwest Arctic, we operate a combination of high-capacity microwave and satellite systems. We do this because fiber optic cables buried in the Arctic can be vulnerable: the fiber may be disrupted by jagged pieces of ice — or ice keels. If the depth of water is less than the draft of the ice keel, the keel interacts with the seabed as the ice moves. This action forms an elongated groove — called a scour or gouge. Even with extra precautions, the risk of cable damage due to ice scour is a big concern, especially because subsea cable in the Arctic can’t be reached for repair for up to 9 months of the year.

North Slope: High Availability Broadband network using multiple technologies
Multiple technologies such as fiber optics, microwave and high-capacity satellite services ensure high network availability for the North Slope.

Prudhoe Bay – GCI owns and operates the only redundant fiber optic network that connects Alaska’s North Slope to the Lower 48 states. Our network path was designed to avoid and mitigate hazards that could interrupt service. In addition to choosing the right path, our construction methods improve reliability. We bury conduit three feet below the surface, and use special fiber cable that is proven to perform in low temperatures. This redundant fiber network will allow producers and operators to move high-cost support functions to a more cost-effective location – a critical option given low world energy prices.

Utqiaġvik – For the largest community in America’s Arctic, GCI provides service via high-capacity C-band and Ku-band satellite services. We chose to maintain proven satellite technology over fiber optics because of the risks of ice scour and other hazards that easily damage subsea fiber. GCI’s satellite service provides reliable, cost-effective connectivity.

Northwest Arctic & Western Alaska: Committed investment that’s changing communities.
GCI’s TERRA network is a revolutionary high-speed, high-capacity network that provides broadband access to 84 communities and 45,000 Alaskans. TERRA was designed as a ring--the gold standard for telecommunications reliability. This reliable, low-latency service provides critical access, speed and data capabilities for health, education, government and business customers. 

Aleutians: New options to connect business and consumers

Unalaska is a busy maritime hub and activity along the Aleutians will only grow as the changing Arctic opens new opportunities for transportation and commerce. The seafood industry in Unalaska is a good indication; for the 20th year in a row, Dutch Harbor was the largest fishing port in the nation. To meet the needs of this growing region, GCI is exploring the feasibility of delivering high-speed internet to Unalaska through a subsea fiber connection to the TERRA network. As GCI considers future options, we will continue to provide internet and wireless service to Unalaska residents and business customers through high-speed satellite.

The Kenai Peninsula & Kodiak Island: Unrivaled connectivity

GCI owns and operates the only fiber optic network that connects Kodiak Island. Fisheries, healthcare providers, schools, governments and businesses rely on this fiber system. GCI designed the network with a ring topology that provides diverse routing. It addition to Kodiak Island, the network serves population centers on the Kenai Peninsula including Kenai, Soldotna, Homer and Seward.

Southeast: The first and only comprehensive fiber optic network
GCI has the first and only comprehensive fiber network in Southeast Alaska. The robust fiber ring serves the needs of our state capital and other key communities including Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg and Hoonah.