GCI tests Unalaska fiber broadband network

Nov. 14, 2022
Currently served via satellite, Unalaska residents should have access to fiber-based broadband next month, GCI expects.

Alaskan broadband service provider GCI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Broadband Corp. (Nasdaq: LBRDA, LBRDK, LBRDP) recently completed tests on 12 specialty fiber strands through which the company plans to deliver 2-gig internet to the Aleutian Islands town of Unalaska. Currently served via satellite, Unalaska residents should have access to fiber-based broadband next month, GCI expects.

The new fiber infrastructure is part of GCI’s AU-Aleutians Fiber Project. The test followed the deployment of more than 800 miles submarine fiber in late September as well as most of the deployment of fiber to the premises (FTTP) infrastructure.

“We are about to light up the network and close the digital divide in Unalaska! Woohoo!” said GCI Rural Affairs Director Jenifer Nelson. “We’ve been waiting for years to see these first gigs of fiber-fed internet flow through Unalaska and it’s thrilling to know that we’ve taken another major step forward. Urban speeds and unlimited data will soon be a reality for thousands more Alaskans.”

“To see years of planning and work come to fruition is a huge moment for our project team,” said GCI Project Manager Mike Bertsch. “We’ve navigated so many challenges, from COVID-19 and supply chain issues to bad weather and rough seas. To make it happen on schedule is a massive accomplishment. I’m very proud of our team and am looking forward to bringing affordable, reliable connectivity to more communities throughout the region.”

The AU-Aleutians Fiber Project includes deploying FTTP in additional towns in the Aleutian Chain and Alaska Peninsula. GCI says its work will move toward Kodiak, stopping in Akutan, Sand Point, King Cove, Chignik Bay, and Larsen Bay. New services should turn up in each community by the end of 2024. GCI estimates the project will cost $58 million, $25 million of which is a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect program.

For related articles, visit the FTTx Design Topic Center.

For more information on FTTx technology and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

To stay abreast of fiber network deployments, subscribe to Lightwave’s Service Providers and Datacom/Data Center newsletters.

About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

Sponsored Recommendations

ON TOPIC: Innovation in Optical Components

July 2, 2024
Lightwave’s latest on-topic eBook, sponsored by Anritsu, will address innovation in optical components. The eBook looks at various topics, including PCIe (Peripheral...

AI’s magic networking moment

March 6, 2024
Dive into the forefront of technological evolution with our exclusive webinar, where industry giants discuss the transformative impact of AI on the optical and networking sector...

New Optical Wavelength Service Trends

July 1, 2024
Discover how optical wavelength services are reshaping the telecom landscape, driven by rapid expansion and adoption of high-speed connections exceeding 100 Gbps, championed by...

Data Center Interconnection

June 18, 2024
Join us for an interactive discussion on the growing data center interconnection market. Learn about the role of coherent pluggable optics, new connectivity technologies, and ...