The city of Unalaska
GCI Aleutians Fiber Project

The GCI Alaska United (AU) Aleutians Fiber Project is underway! GCI is constructing an 800+ mile subsea fiber system to serve some of the nation’s most remote communities. Running from Kodiak along the south side of the Alaska Peninsula to Unalaska, the bold project will deliver urban-level speed, service and reliability for the first time to the communities of Unalaska, King Cove, Sand Point, Akutan, Chignik Bay, Larsen Bay, Chignik Lagoon, Chignik Lake, Cold Bay, False Pass, Ouzinkie, and Port Lions. GCI turned up service in Unalaska in 2022, Sand Point in 2023, and King Cove in 2024, bringing 2.5 gig internet speeds to consumers and closing the digital divide in each community! GCI expects to turn up service in more communities in 2024.

Aluetians Fiber project timeline graphics 2024

Aleutians Fiber Project: Phase I

GCI’s AU-Aleutians Fiber Project is a two-part project to bring 2,500 Mbps internet speeds and affordable, unlimited data plans to a dozen Aleutian, Alaska Peninsula, and Kodiak Island communities, closing the digital divide and bringing digital equity to the region.

The first phase of the project is expected to cost $58 million, funded by a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture ReConnect Program and $33 million of GCI’s own capital. With its more than 800-mile-long fiber optic backbone in place, crews brought Unalaska online at the end of 2022. The communities of Akutan, Sand Point, King Cove, Chignik Bay, and Larsen Bay will be turned up next.

A boat on water with mountains in the background and an orange sky

Aleutians Fiber Project: Phase II

The second phase of the project extends fiber optic connectivity to six more communities in the region. The Native Village of Port Lions, in partnership with GCI, was awarded a $29.3 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to bring urban level connectivity to Chignik Lagoon, Chignik Lake, Cold Bay, False Pass, Ouzinkie and Port Lions in the coming years.
Check out the latest progress news
Two young children splashing and playing in water

Culture & community

What’s life like in the Aleutians? We think it’s pretty close to perfect. The region consists of 14 large islands and 55 smaller islands that have been home to the Unangax̂ and Alutiiq Alaska Native peoples for thousands of years. The islands are full of lush tundra, bountiful waters, and rugged landscapes. Our team is grateful to build out a project in a region filled with beauty and steeped in Alaska history. We are mindful of the history and respectful of the culture as we build out across the region. To help safely identify and preserve any historic artifacts that might be unearthed during GCI’s AU-Aleutians Fiber Project, we are partnering with local archaeological experts. We also work closely with local communities, whether that’s partnering with local governments and tribal authorities or hosting community events to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.

We can’t wait to make history by building out our fiber network — the gold standard for connectivity — that will open up a world of possibilities for everyone from local consumers (including gamers!), to fishing boat captains to small business owners.

Landscape photograph of a waterfront in the Aleutians
A map of the communities included in the phases of GCI's Aleutians Fiber Project

“Fiber service will enable Unalaska, the nation’s largest fishing port and a gateway to the American Arctic, and the other project communities to realize their full economic potential while advancing the national security interests of the United States.” 

-Ron Duncan, GCI CEO & Founder

Remote connections

Life in the Aleutians is unlike anywhere else in the world. Unalaska, King Cove, Sand Point, Akutan, Chignik Bay, and Larsen Bay — some of the nation’s most remote communities — are closer to Russia than to the contiguous U.S. Until now, customers in these communities could only be served by satellite connectivity. GCI’s project will deploy a more than 800-mile subsea fiber that will deliver 2.5 Gbps speeds, service and reliability for the first time to this region.
Landscape photograph of a group of buildings on a small piece of land jutting into the water under a pink and purple sky

Connecting Alaskans & closing the digital divide

Connecting some of the most remote communities in the nation won’t be easy, but GCI’s team of experts is up to the challenge. We’ve been connecting Alaska’s small, extremely remote Arctic communities for more than 40 years. Through innovative solutions, like our hybrid microwave-fiber network in Western Alaska serving 40,000 Alaskans in 84 communities, we are able to serve more than 240 communities across the state and 97% of Alaskans live in GCI’s service area.

We don’t do it because it’s easy — we do it because we are committed to connecting Alaskans.

Aleutians Fiber Project 2022

“This battle against the digital divide is a lifelong, endless battle because the goal posts are going to be constantly moving with evolving technology. We’ve got a team at GCI that is focused on rural connectivity, building a 10-year plan for how we get from where we are today, to a level of service in rural Alaska that exceeds what’s available in urban Alaska today.”

-Ron Duncan, GCI CEO & Founder

Game changer

Creating reliable, fast service in the Aleutians will bring life-changing opportunities to the people who live there. High-speed, 2.5 Gbps home internet will be a reality for the first time, providing an opportunity to use streaming services and home e-learning tools. Fiber-based connectivity will be a game-changer for local industries, too. As fans of the hit TV series “The Deadliest Catch” know, Unalaska is the second-busiest fishing port in the nation. The Aleutians Fiber Project will offer hardworking Alaska commercial fishermen and seafood processors connectivity like never before. This will make the jobs of the multi-national companies already located in the Aleutians easier, and even offer opportunities to expand their efforts.
Man on a boat with equipment for the GCI Aleutians Fiber Project

Do you own a home or business?

During the current phase of this project, we’re seeking permission to install fiber cabling directly to homes and businesses in your communities, so you’ll be able to experience GCI high-speed internet when it becomes available. There is currently no charge for installation and no commitment to purchase services. Learn more ➔

Visit your local GCI store or call the GCI AU Project team at (907) 868-5656. 

How to prepare for high-speed internet service

To access the incredible speeds and benefits this project will bring to your community, your property will need to have a direct connection into our fiber network. We are connecting buildings now so that we will be able to turn on high-speed internet for customers who choose to start service with us, as soon as the fiber network is ready to go live. Both homes and businesses will be able to experience a tremendous increase in speed when compared to their current internet service. Visit your local GCI store or call (907) 868-5656 to grant permission for fiber installation to your property.

No commitment to purchase

Giving permission to connect your home or business is not an obligation to purchase service from GCI later; this connection will simply give you the option to switch to GCI when the fiber network goes live in your community. Currently, the connection to your home or business is completely free, though installation fees may apply in the future. We strongly encourage you to give permission for this installation now, even if you are unsure that you will ever be a GCI high-speed internet customer because only properties with direct fiber connections will be able to experience these speeds. Due to unpredictable weather and availability of installation crews, properties that do not give permission to be connected to the network now risk significant delays to high-speed internet access if they choose to begin service at a later point in time. Visit your local GCI store or call (907) 868-5656 to grant permission for fiber installation to your property.

Plans and pricing

Residential customers will have access to the same GCI home internet plans and pricing currently available in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and other major markets in Alaska. Business customers will also enjoy access to much faster business internet plans, at a fraction of the cost of current local internet plan options.

Service delivery timeline

GCI high-speed internet become available in Unalaska in late 2022, and GCI expects to turn up service in more communities in 2023. Check back later for timing updates regarding the remaining communities that are included in this project: King Cove, Sand Point, Chignik Bay, and Larsen Bay.

What are GCI’s plans for wireless improvement?

Right now, the Aleutians Fiber Project is focused on delivering high-speed broadband internet through a fiber network, which is the building block for all other services. Once the fiber network is complete, GCI will launch a project to improve wireless service. Unalaska is expected to be the first community to receive the new, updated wireless service.

Meet the Aleutians Fiber Project team

Mike Bertsch, GCI AU-Aleutians Fiber Project Manager

Mike Bertsch
GCI AU-Aleutians Fiber Project Manager

John Burnett, Unalaska AU-Aleutians Fiber Project Manager

John Burnett
Unalaska AU-Aleutians Fiber Project Manager

Bruce Rein, Submarine Assets Director

Bruce Rein
Submarine Assets Director

Jenifer Nelson, Senior Manager of GCI Rural Affairs

Jenifer Nelson
Rural Affairs Director