GCI broadband expansion project on track for Arctic communities

August 10, 2016

High-speed network will improve access to health care and education for Norton Sound & Northwest Arctic Borough residents 

ANCHORAGE – GCI marked a milestone in its high-speed broadband expansion project today with the completion of tower construction in the Alaska communities of Koyuk, Elim, St. Michael and Selawik.

The project is part of the planned expansion of GCI’s Terrestrial for Every Rural Region in Alaska (TERRA) network. TERRA currently serves 49,000 Alaskans in 72 rural communities, which enables GCI to bring high-speed internet to some of the most remote locations on earth.

Over the past month, crews in Koyuk, Elim, St. Michael and Selawik laid foundations, erected the towers and set up the communications shelters to house and protect the high-speed bandwidth equipment. Construction to lay the foundation for the tower and shelters will begin in Noorvik this week. Permitting is still in progress for Golovin, Buckland, Stebbins and White Mountain. Once completed, crews will begin laying the foundations and erecting the towers in those communities.

GCI announced in late June its plans to deliver service to 10 new communities this year in the Northwest Arctic Borough and Norton Sound. GCI’s Terrestrial for Every Rural Region in Alaska (TERRA) network delivers low latency network connections and high-speed internet access. These speed increases will dramatically improve the performance of online health, education and government services. 

Terrestrial broadband provides high-speed data streaming which is a transformational service for many rural Alaska communities. With TERRA, these communities will have access to high-quality video conferencing, a critical tool for health care and education that can result in long-term cost savings for Alaskans and the agencies that serve them.


GCI’s TERRA project launched in 2010 and currently delivers broadband services to 72 communities and services more than 43,000 residents. TERRA won the 2013 NATOA (National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors) Community Broadband Wireless Network of the Year award and the 2014 Engineering News Record (ENR) Best Projects Regional Award.

About GCI

GCI delivers communication and technology services in the consumer and business markets. Headquartered in Alaska with additional locations in the U.S., GCI has delivered services for more than 35 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com.

Media contact:
Heather Handyside, GCI
(907) 301-3481; hhandyside@gci.com