Alaska's largest broadband services provider, GCI, has given broadband capacity worth $30 million to the state's university system.
During the next 10 years, the company will provide connectivity between Anchorage, Alaska and Seattle at up to 10 gigabits per second.
The university system has had a $30 million budget request before the legislature for the last few years but the request didn't receive the support it needed, according to University of Alaska president Mark Hamilton.
“This gift is absolutely essential to the university system's mission of education, research and public service,” he said in a prepared statement.
The university's chief information technology officer, Steve Smith, added, “This gift frees up bandwidth throughout the university system, which in turn benefits all our campuses. The gift agreement includes a research component, where the university and GCI will explore working together on solving connectivity challenges that still persist—particularly in rural Alaska.”
GCI provides video, voice and broadband data services that pass 90% of Alaska households. By the end of this year, GCI's fiber optic network will connect Anchorage and Juneau to the lower 48 states via a terrestrial and subsea network.