GCI

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

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

General Communications Inc., commonly known as GCI, will have to pay a $620,500 fine for unregistered cellular towers and improper tower lighting in Western Alaska and airports near Fairbanks.

The fee comes after a settlement Tuesday, with the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC.
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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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The Newly Erected GCI Cellular Tower on Ptarmigan Street. --Courtesy of GCI

The GCI Cellular Tower on Ptarmigan Street in Bethel. –Courtesy of GCI

Editor’s note: At approximately 4 p.m., internet and phone access has returned. 

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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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Courtesy Alaska State Troopers.

Courtesy Alaska State Troopers.

UPDATED: 8/12, 12 p.m. – 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 29-year-old Seth Fairbanks and 23-year-old Anthony Hooper.

The 911 call at 11:54 p.m. last Thursday was first received by the Alaska State Troopers post in Bethel, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board. Fairbanks was standing on top of the airplane in the swift waters of Cook Inlet.
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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

GCI recently announced 3G service is up and running in villages near Bethel. GCI Vice President David Morris said Tuluksak, Kwethluk, Akiak, Akiachak, Kasigluk, Nunapitchuk, Atmautluk, Napakiak, Napaskiak, and Oscarville are now using the faster and more reliable cell phone service.
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Bethel residents line up to receive McDonald's cheesburgers from GCI.

Bethel residents line up to receive McDonald’s cheesburgers from GCI.

GCI celebrated the launch of 3G data service in Bethel by flying in 6 thousand McDonald’s cheeseburgers. The Friday lunchtime crowd stretched out and around the parking lot of the Long House Hotel.

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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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