GCI connects some Unalaska residents to high-speed internet, others have to wait

GCI connected its first Unalaska residential customers to its fastest 2 gig internet speeds this week. And while some Unalaskans now have access to that fiber connection, most community members will have to wait until the new year before logging on.

That timeframe is a bit later than the telco had hoped: GCI had planned for a launch by the end of the year. But for most of the island, that service is still weeks away. The company announced Thursday that its rollout of high-speed internet across the island will be done in a “gradual approach” and likely won’t happen until mid-January.

The announcement comes less than a month after the fiber optic cable was laid damaged, probably by a ship’s anchor. It was patched shortly after, and the company remained optimistic about its planned end-of-year release date.

GCI’s AU-Aleutians Fiber project, an undersea cable running from Kodiak to Unalaska that promises high-speed broadband across the entire Aleutian chain, has been in the works for more than two years.

The island now has 12,100 concert channels. According to a company spokesperson, that means there should be unlimited capacity, better even than what some urban areas like Anchorage get. Unalaskans can expect 2 gigabit speeds, about 2,000 times faster than what locals now have, over most satellite connections.

When the company finishes rolling out service to the island, it will continue to connect communities along the Aleutian Chain and the Alaska Peninsula, including Akutan, Sand Point, King Cove, Chignik Bay and Larsen Bay. Those communities are expected to come online within the next two years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *