Local Access for Education in Rural Alaska

School districts across Alaska are using more distance learning to help protect the health and safety of students and educators during the current health crisis. This means more internet access will be required to access school resources, and that can be hard for families with limited or no internet access. To support school from home and the educational needs of students in rural Alaska, GCI has developed a new service that allows students in these areas to access school-provided content online, from the safety of their own homes, with no impact to their home internet plans.

 

How It Works

Normal internet is delivered through a connection between your home and the local GCI facility. This facility has a connection to one of GCI’s core internet facilities, like Anchorage. Whenever you are requesting a webpage, a video, or just checking your email, that information flows through the core internet facilities and is counted against your usage allowance.

Now, with this new school-provided connectivity, students will have direct access to their school using a secure app. All information flows through the local GCI facility without usage being counted in the core internet facility. If your child is using the secure app, they are limited to the resources provided by the school and can’t access normal internet. When they disconnect from the secure app, everything they do returns to normal internet and is counted against your usage allowance.

How School-Provided Connectivity Works

Frequently Asked Questions

No. The school-provided connection is completely separate from your home internet plan. Students will be provided access to a secure app to establish their connection for school-approved content.
School-provided connectivity is managed through a secure app. Usage will not be counted while logged into the secure app. When they use the app, students will be limited to content provided by their school. If they want to access other content, they will be required to sign out of the app.
When a student is using the secure app and tries to access content that isn’t provided by the school, they will see a notification stating content is not available. 
 
When a student accesses content the school didn’t provide, your usage will be counted. The only way students can access content that counts against your usage is to log out of the secure app. It is your responsibility to manage your child’s access. You can monitor your usage through the MyGCI portal.
No. Your school district is covering the expenses related to this connectivity.
No. Only access to the school’s hosted educational content will be unlimited. Internet access outside of school-approved resources will still be measured and billed according to your home internet plan. 
If you already subscribe to an internet service provided by GCI or one of its partners, you will not need any additional physical equipment to establish your school-provided connection. Just contact your school’s IT department and follow the instructions provided.

If you do not have an established home internet connection, please contact your school.
If you do not have an established home internet connection, or if you have home internet that is not provided through GCI or one of its partners, you will need to contact your school to access this service.
Contact your school for any troubleshooting needs. GCI is unable to assist individual households with school-provided connectivity. 

This service is available in many communities in rural Alaska, only. Check with your school to see if they have chosen to take part in the school-provided internet program. A similar product is available for Anchorage residents, but it has different usage rules and requirements. Contact your school for more information.