David Morris

A screenshot of a GCI cellphone home screen during an outage. Photo by Charles Enoch/KYUK

A screenshot of a GCI cellphone home screen during an outage. Photo by Charles Enoch/KYUK

Consumers around the Kuskokwim communities who rely on GCI, or General Communication Inc. cellular services are saying the service has been spotty over the winter months. Bethel resident Shantell Kinegak lists some of the problems she’s noticed on her cell service.

“The cell service just going out for a while and then throughout the day, my messages aren’t being sent and my phone call are getting cut off,” said Kinegak.
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A TERRA network radio tower. Photo courtesy - GCI.

A TERRA network radio tower. Photo courtesy – GCI.

GCI recently announced plans to complete its TERRA network in rural Alaska by 2017. The expansion would offer a better and more reliable Internet connection throughout the YK Delta and much of Western Alaska.
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GCI Network coverage map. (Courtesy of GCI.com)

GCI Network coverage map. (Courtesy of GCI.com)

A San Francisco-based law firm is now working with two Bethel attorneys who filed a class action lawsuit against GCI for their marketing practices in the YK Delta.

“We’re hoping that we can have some resolution or go to try within the next year,” says Bethel Attorney Dave Henderson. He, and fellow attorney Jim Valcarce, filed the lawsuit.

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Seth Fairbanks. Courtesy Facebook.

Seth Fairbanks. Courtesy Facebook.

It appears there was a delay when an emergency call came in from a plane crash on Knik Arm last week that is believed to have led to the deaths of two men from McGrath. Wednesday, the National Transportation Board released a preliminary report on their investigation into the crash. Alaska State Troopers are now trying figure out what went wrong with the 9-1-1 system.

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The Newly Erected GCI Cellular Tower on Ptarmigan Street. --Courtesy of GCI

The Newly Erected GCI Cellular Tower on Ptarmigan Street. — Courtesy of GCI

The same week that GCI turned 3G on in Bethel, attorneys served them with a lawsuit. It alleges that GCI over-promised and under-delivered on its wireless, smart phone and data-plans.

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