Bethel was expected to have 3G service in December of the last year. The date was then moved to February, and now scheduled for mid to late April. GCI tells KYUK that all of the permits are complete to build the 80 foot tower near Ptarmigan road. The company completed some additional environmental and historical federal paperwork and will start construction soon.
David Morris is a spokesperson for GCI. He says other towers are ready to go. But you need a complete system to allow phones to work all around town.
“If you don’t have it designed right you will go off air and have to reboot your phone and everything else like that. So what we’re trying to get is so you can travel from one area of Bethel to another and it will be a seamless communication experience,” said Morris.
Once the tower is up, there will be a little more testing before launching the data service.
“There’s probably going to be a bit more grooming to take place, but the essential thing is to get the tower in place,” said Morris.
10 nearby villages are set to receive upgrades to 3G this summer.