KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

INTERNET

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

Two men walking around town are part of GCI's push to bring high-speed internet to Unalaska.

GCI Vice President Dan Boyette said their walks will help the telecommunications company figure out what fiber optic cable distribution might look like on the island.

"They started July 2, and I'd expect to see them throughout this week and into early next week," said Boyette. "They'll be measuring all the distances and poking around to determine exactly what it will take to do this bit of construction."

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

While the final decision is still months away, GCI has taken another small step toward bringing high-speed internet to Unalaska.

The telecommunications company applied for the project’s first permit this month.

If granted, the license from the Federal Communications Commission will allow GCI to extend its fiber optic network to the Aleutian chain.

GCI is looking into what it would take to bring faster internet to Unalaska. The telecommunications company is evaluating if fiber would be a financially feasible solution. Right now, they are in the exploratory process.

Spokesperson Heather Handyside said the company is surveying a route between a fiber facility in Levelock and Unalaska.

“If we are to do a build-out of a fiber cable, it will help us understand how to best engineer that cable so that it can withstand all the elements or obstacles that it might encounter,” Handyside said.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

A contingent of city officials is headed to Washington D.C. next month for Unalaska's annual lobbying trip. 

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, they reviewed their schedule with city lobbyist Brad Gilman.

Beyond standard stops at the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters and the National Marine Fisheries Services, Gilman said this year's trip will also focus on a newer priority for Unalaska: getting high-speed internet.

Laura Kraegel

The cable vessel Ile de Sein is on its way to the North Slope, where soon it'll lay hundreds of miles of fiber optic cable for the Quintillion high-speed internet project.

Before shipping out this weekend, though, the vessel stopped in Unalaska to host a group of Quintillion's investors, industry partners, and other supporters — including Governor Bill Walker.

It was Walker's first trip to Unalaska in two years. He said he came to get a closer look at one of the ships bringing better internet to rural Alaska.

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