GCI to Build $30 Million Southeast Alaska Fiber Optic Cable Network
High Speed Connections to Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka and Angoon; Additional Fiber to Juneau
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- GCI (Nasdaq: GNCMA) officials today announced the plan to build a new $30 million fiber optic network in Southeast Alaska. The 754 miles of cable will connect Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Angoon and Sitka to the Alaska United West line currently connecting Alaska to the lower 48. The cable will also provide a second fiber link to Juneau, creating a SONET ring which provides alternative routing and overflow traffic handling capabilities.
"This fiber optic network will provide new and faster services to over fifty thousand people in Southeast Alaska," said Richard Dowling, GCI senior vice president, corporate development. "The addition to our network is another important step in creating and maintaining a robust telecommunications network."
Residents in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka and Angoon are currently serviced through microwave and satellite networks. Once the fiber link to these communities is complete, space will be freed up on the microwave and satellite network, allowing other rural communities to increase their speed and access to services.
"The quality of life and the potential for economic diversity increase as community access to telecommunications services increase," said Dowling. "From small business owners looking to increase their client base to employees who can be hired to work remotely via telecommunications, a robust network positively affects all Alaskans."
The new fiber network will meet the ever growing capacity requirements of the residents in Southeast Alaska and has the capacity to keep up with the growth of both current and potential Internet, phone and video services. In addition, the network will allow Southeast residents access to more medical and educational opportunities from within their own communities through GCI's ConnectMD and SchoolAccess networks.
The fiber will be active by November 2008. GCI is the state leader in fiber optic systems, owning two of the three networks tying Alaska to the lower 48. The company expects to finance the construction of the fiber optic cable network out of internally generated funds or borrowings against its senior credit facility.
GCI is the largest Alaska-based and operated integrated telecommunications provider. A pioneer in bundled services, GCI provides local, wireless, and long distance telephone, cable television, Internet and data communication services. More information about the company can be found at http://www.gci.com.
SOURCE GCI -0- 08/29/2007 /CONTACT: David Morris of GCI, +1-907-265-5396, firstname.lastname@example.org/ /Web site: http://www.gci.com / (GNCMA) CO: GCI ST: Alaska IN: CPR TLS NET SU: PDT EF-AB -- AQW142 -- 5030 08/29/2007 16:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com