GCI Spreading Its Network In Alaska

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Red Devil, broadband connections are in your future.

That Alaskan village will be among 12 of the most-rural communities in the state to be connected to the Internet by the state’s largest cable provider, General Communications Inc., using a grant administered by both the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

The project, which includes the development of free Internet cafés in the selected communities, will also reach Allakaket, Crooked Creek, Dot Lake, Grayling, Holy Cross, Ivanof Bay, Mentasta Lake, Shageluk, Sleetmute, Stony River and Tetlin.

GCI will partner with a local nonprofit agency, the Alaska Villages Initiative, to identify the best site for the community hubs.

The grants were funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development section. In Alaska, $15 million has been allocated to aid local service providers.

“The communities receiving the services are some of the most rural and economically challenged, with residents who do not have Internet or broadband access,” Alaska Villages Initiative president and CEO Tom Harris added in a statement.

GCI formed a Village Internet program in 2001 as part of GCI Broadband Services.

By the end of 2003, the company had connected 90 communities.

It anticipates that 50 more remote villages will be connected to the Internet by the end of this year.

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