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  |  hhandyside@gci.com

GCI supports Yukon River communities on heels of dismal salmon season

11/22/2021

Historically low Yukon River salmon runs this year prompted GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications company, to purchase $25,000 worth of salmon for residents of the Interior to supplement their poor subsistence harvest. The salmon will be distributed by the Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) who hosted a trip to Yukon River communities in July for Alaska nonprofits, government agencies, and corporations. Read more »

Air Force veteran returns to the Aleutians to manage major fiber project

11/11/2021

Once assigned as the program manager for the Cobra Dane radar, a long-range detection defense system near the end of the Aleutian Chain on Shemya Island, GCI Project Manager Mike Bertsch is back in the Aleutians to help lead the GCI AU-Aleutians Fiber Project. GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider, is closing the digital divide in the Aleutians with a more than 800-mile subsea fiber project, and Bertsch is calling on his 20-year IT and telecommunications career in the Air Force to help lead the charge. Read more »

Weathering late-October windstorm, GCI crews push forward with Unalaska groundwork

11/3/2021

The weather. It’s not only a common topic of casual conversation, but a very real factor in the construction of GCI’s AU-Aleutians Fiber Project. During a late October storm, GCI crews in Unalaska had to batten down the hatches as hurricane force winds battered the community, tearing roofs off houses and flipping over vehicles. Despite the inclement weather, groundwork in the community was only interrupted for 24-hours before crews continued pushing onward. Read more »

GCI team makes big strides to close digital divide in rural Alaska

11/1/2021

While much of the conversation around connectivity in the state has focused on high-profile mega projects, GCI’s Alaska Plan buildout – and the hard-working team that supports it – has taken big steps toward closing the digital divide in 2021, albeit with less fanfare. Approximately 27,500 Alaskans this year have benefitted from GCI’s aggressive internet and wireless network projects that have improved service in 17 rural communities. Read more »

Amid Alaska’s mountaintops and midnight sun, GCI crews haul hundreds of loads of fuel to mountaintop TERRA towers

10/29/2021

After a non-stop effort under the midnight sun, the final load of fuel for the season has been delivered to GCI’s mountaintop TERRA towers. As part of an annual refueling effort, GCI crews used specialized helicopters to deliver nearly 113,000 gallons of fuel to 22 towers on remote Alaska mountaintops. TERRA is a 3,300-mile hybrid fiber-microwave network serving many of Alaska’s rural communities. Read more »

GCI supports early childhood education in Nome with $5,000 donation to Nome Preschool Association

10/27/2021

GCI recently made a $5,000 contribution to the Nome Preschool Association to help cover the organization’s operating costs, ensuring families and children in the community have access to affordable early childhood education opportunities. The Nome Preschool Association, like many nonprofits across the state, has faced budgetary challenges over the last year and a half as they’ve been forced to cancel or scale down in-person fundraising efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more »

GCI reminds Alaskans to dial 907 for all Alaska calls

10/18/2021

GCI, the state’s largest telecommunications company, and its subsidiary, United Utilities, Inc. (UUI) are making final preparations for a transition to 10-digit dialing for all local and Alaska calls starting on October 24, 2021. At the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), this effort is laying the groundwork for the implementation of a nationwide three-digit number to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more »

GCI partners with Catholic Social Services to support Afghan refugees in Alaska

10/11/2021

With approximately 100 Afghan refugees preparing to call Alaska home, GCI is lending a helping hand. In partnership with Catholic Social Services’ Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services (RAIS) program, GCI is donating 100 phones and the first month of service to ensure families have access to vital resources as they begin their new lives. Read more »

It’s about to get real: GCI crews in Unalaska prepare to begin groundwork for AU-Aleutians Fiber Project

10/8/2021

Crews will soon begin construction on Unalaska’s local network in preparation to connect to GCI’s 800+ mile subsea optic fiber. Materials to deliver fiber-optic connectivity directly to homes and businesses have begun to arrive on the island and, now that permits have been approved, GCI crews are ready to start digging. Read more »

GCI Deploys CommScope Remote MACPHY Device for DAA

10/6/2021

With support from CommScope, GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider, is the first company to successfully deploy the CommScope RD2322 RxD as a Remote MACPHY Device (RMD) into a service-providing network. With the upcoming launch of the service in 19 Alaska communities, GCI will be among the nation’s leaders in 2 gig internet deployment. Read more »

Application period opens for GCI Gives grant program

10/1/2021

GCI’s philanthropy program, GCI Gives, has opened the application period for its 2022 grant cycle. From October 1 through November 15, Alaska nonprofits have the opportunity to apply for funding from GCI, one of the state’s largest corporate philanthropic contributors. Read more »

With the second phase of its marine survey complete, GCI’s subsea fiber project continues on track

9/24/2021

The GCI AU-Aleutians Fiber Project team remains on track with the project’s aggressive timeline to deliver high-speed internet to the Aleutians. Last week, the team returned to port in Homer after completing the geotechnical phase of its marine survey, conducted to analyze samples of the seafloor along the subsea fiber route. Read more »

Connecting her hometown—and thousands of Alaskans

9/20/2021

GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider, is getting closer to delivering fiber connectivity to the Aleutians. For one team member, the project is personal. King Cove native and GCI Senior Manager of Corporate Communications and Community Engagement Jenifer Nelson is a key member of the Aleutians Fiber Project team, serving as a liaison to the six remote Alaska communities that will enjoy urban internet plans, speed and prices when service is turned up starting in 2022. Read more »

GCI AU-Aleutians Fiber Project gets green light to begin groundwork

9/17/2021

The GCI AU-Aleutians Fiber Project has reached another important milestone this week, receiving clearance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service to begin groundwork to prepare homes and businesses for the urban-level internet speeds that will be delivered by the company’s subsea fiber project scheduled to come online in Unalaska in 2022. Read more »

GCI donates nearly $100,000 to 14 nonprofits focused on suicide prevention in Alaska

9/10/2021

This Suicide Prevention Month, 14 organizations have even more support for their community projects to prevent suicides in Alaska thanks to GCI’s Suicide Prevention Fund. Each year, GCI donates money to nonprofits in Alaska that put in tireless work to prevent suicides in their communities. GCI’s giving is targeted to organizations that serve small, rural communities in Alaska, as well as larger programs that reach Alaskans in bigger cities. Read more »

Annual refueling effort for GCI’s mountaintop TERRA towers nears completion

9/8/2021

With more than 89,200 gallons of diesel delivered over 223 helicopter trips, 18 of GCI’s 22 mountaintop TERRA towers have been topped off with fuel to keep the sites powered 24/7 for another year. Far from power grids, these towers, reachable only by helicopter, rely on the annual refueling effort in order to stay running and self-sufficient for months at a time. The remaining sites are slated to be refueled by mid-October. Read more »

GCI launches free virtual mental health and wellness challenge during Suicide Prevention Month

9/1/2021

GCI, Alaska’s leader in connectivity, has launched a free wellness challenge for Alaskans to find connection with their fellow community members. The GCI Wellness Challenge encourages Alaskans to complete four mental health wellness challenges for the chance to win tech prizes. This challenge was launched to coincide with National Suicide Prevention Month and the announcement of this year’s GCI Suicide Prevention Grant recipients, which will occur later this month. Read more »

Proposed Bethel fiber project clears hurdle in federal grant process

8/26/2021

The Bethel Native Corporation (BNC) announced today that it has received consent from the Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC) to proceed with an application to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for a $43 million grant to deploy a fiber optic network from Dillingham to Bethel by the end of 2024. If the grant application is approved, GCI will build and operate the fiber network that will provide urban-level residential internet service in Bethel and communities along the route and will ultimately boost broadband connectivity across the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Read more »

GCI donates $25,000 to Volunteers of America Alaska to support vulnerable young adults

8/23/2021

A recent analysis identified approximately 277 youths in Anchorage experiencing houselessness who need services but are not currently receiving them. Two local organizations are working to change that, GCI and Volunteers of America Alaska (VOA Alaska). GCI recently donated $25,000 to VOA Alaska, a local organization working to inspire hope and support youth experiencing houselessness. Read more »

GCI donation helps Museum of the Aleutians share the region’s culture with the rest of the world

8/20/2021

GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider, is committed to connecting Alaska to the rest of the world — and not just over the internet. The company recently donated $5,000 to the Museum of the Aleutians to help connect people everywhere to the rich cultural legacy of the Aleutian Islands region. Read more »

Bethel Native Corporation to spearhead federal funding effort to bring urban-level internet service to Bethel residents

8/19/2021

The Bethel Native Corporation (BNC) announced today that it would apply – in partnership with GCI, Alaska’s largest telecommunications provider – to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for a $43 million grant to deploy a fiber optic network from Dillingham to Bethel. Read more »

Bridging the digital divide in Alaska: GCI's Rebecca Markley leads team building 800-mile subsea fiber project

8/12/2021

With boots on the ground, community meetings planned, and surveys and data analysis in progress, GCI’s AU-Aleutians Fiber Project is well underway. Multi-million-dollar infrastructure projects like AU-Aleutians sprawl across hundreds of miles of challenging terrain and require a high degree of strategic planning and technical know-how. They are projects not just anyone can lead. Thankfully, GCI Vice President of Network Program Management Rebecca Markley is perfectly suited to lead this game-changing initiative. Read more »

Fiber = 100x faster + unlimited data for Nome and Kotzebue

8/10/2021

Today GCI, Alaska’s largest communications provider, unveiled new internet plans and pricing for residential customers in Nome and Kotzebue that are up to 100 times faster than speeds offered by GCI’s current top plan and, in most cases, less expensive for residential customers than plans currently offered in these remote regional hubs. Read more »

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

7/30/2021

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

7/22/2021

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

7/15/2021

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

7/14/2021

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

7/14/2021

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

7/13/2021

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

7/9/2021

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

7/7/2021

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

7/6/2021

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

6/28/2021

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

6/24/2021

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

6/23/2021

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 PCMag.com

6/18/2021

For the sixth-straight year, GCI has been named Alaska’s fastest ISP by PCMag.com. 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

6/17/2021

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

6/16/2021

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

6/14/2021

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

6/9/2021

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 »

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