KYUK AM

GCI Celebrates Imminent Completion Of TERRA Project

Aug 18, 2017

GCI CEO Greg Chapados addresses a Bethel crowd on August 17, 2017.
Credit Dean Swope / KYUK

GCI held a community gathering in Bethel on Thursday to celebrate the upcoming completion of its terrestrial broadband network.

The Yukon Kuskokwim Delta sits in the middle of the $300 million TERRA project, which covers an area larger than the size of Texas and connects 84 rural Alaskan communities.

After seven years of development, the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. At that time, communities throughout the Delta should experience faster internet connection and fewer breaks in coverage. The company has not said if the change will affect customer costs, but it has recently been offering lower rates for some services.

GCI touts the way that the project will improve broadband service for education, business, and health care, which are all important revenue sources for the company, just as reliably paying anchor tenants are for retail malls. 

Senator Lisa Murkowski attended the event during her current tour of Alaska. Senator Dan Sullivan was scheduled to appear but canceled due to a family matter.

Also on Thursday, GCI added a $5,000 donation to the Bethel Fire Department’s fund to purchase a new ambulance.