KUCB KIAL Unalaska Community Broadcasting

INTERNET

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.

Laura Kraegel

Western Alaska just got one step closer to high-speed internet.

That's because after years of planning and wrangling permits, Quintillion is finally ready to lay fiber optic cable from Prudhoe Bay to Nome. The telecom company has one vessel stationed in the Bering Sea and another close behind.

The Ile de Brehat has left its homeport in France, passed through the Panama Canal, and will soon arrive in Nome. That's where the vessel will start laying a path of fiber optic cable below the sea floor — a path that will wind more than a thousand miles up to the North Slope.

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