For GCI customers in Unalaska, better phone service is just a few weeks away.
The telecom company is finishing tower upgrades that will help transform the island’s unreliable and outdated 2G network into a standard 2G system.
“Calls are going to go through much more cleanly and quickly," said Heather Handyside, director of corporate communications for GCI. "There will not be dropped calls, and texts will be much more timely.”
Handyside said customers should see improved service over the next two or three weeks as the network comes online.
Essentially, GCI is moving Unalaska from the small, limited system it currently uses to a larger network that serves the rest of the state. Handyside said tapping into that existing infrastructure will make all the difference.
"It's the foundation we need before we move Unalaska to 4G, which we’ll be doing in the early spring and summer," she said.
That transition will take more time and technical work, but Handyside said it will eventually deliver state-of-the-art service.
“4G will mean sending digital images and even getting short video, data, and definitely better email,” she said.
Handyside declined to share the cost of the overall project, but she said the upgrades won't mean higher bills for customers.
While technicians fine-tune the network, Unalaskans can send feedback and report dropped calls by emailing unakcomments@GCI.com.