Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 21

Independent 10G Pioneer
Alaska may have been one of the
last states to join the nation, but
thanks to GCI, it's leading the way in
internet connectivity.
There are challenges to extending broadband into rural areas-and
then there is Alaska. Lovingly referred to as The Last Frontier, the
49th state has the perfect storm of weather, glaciers, mountains,
islands, environmental concerns and other obstacles that make the
digital divide look even more treacherous. And yet, when GCI completes
upgrades in 2022, Alaska will lead the U.S. in 2 Gig speeds,
with more than 77% of residents having access.
Furthermore, the company has announced plans to provide 10
Gigabit speeds to its footprint within the next five years. " We have
made many investments and commitments to be ahead of where
the industry is. Every time we have done that, we have seen benefits
for Alaska and our company, " says GCI CEO Ron Duncan.
GCI announced its 2 Gig and 10G plans at a virtual press event in
May at the Alaska Esports Center at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
It included an appearance from NCTA president/CEO Michael
Powell. " How fitting that Alaska, this great expanse that inspires
our imagination, has moved into a leadership position on the road
to 10G, " Powell told the virtual crowd. " Personally, I'm not surprised
because I know that Ron Duncan and his phenomenal GCI team
have made it their lives' work to bridge the digital divide. "
Duncan is often asked about the need for speed and why GCI has
been so aggressive in getting ahead of the curve, first with 1 Gig
service, now 2 Gig, and setting a goal for 10G. The tendency is to
think of 10G being driven by the next big app. In Alaska, however,
remote communities rely on telecommunications to further sectors
like healthcare, education, and business.
" Alaskans have been adopters of technology and telecommunications
at a rate that exceeds people in the lower 48. This is about
betting on the future and...we don't see an end to the demand for
connectivity... Being at the forefront will be great for the state, "
Duncan says.
Getting to gigabit and beyond has involved a series of maneuvers
including laying fiber, but also utilizing DOCSIS upgrades and
roadmaps, in collaboration with CableLabs, and implementing newer
architectures. For example, GCI is one of the first adopters of CommScope's
Remote PHY nodes.
Not to mention the fact that TERRA, the company's hybrid fibermicrowave
network, includes 22 mountaintop towers that are accessible
only by helicopter. Alaska's rugged terrain might have deterred
the faint of heart, but over the years, GCI has taken advantage of
federal programs to help meet the challenges.
Cablefax: The Magazine
September 2021
GCI CEO Ron Duncan
answering questions during
the company's 2 Gig kickoff
press event in May.
In 2020, GCI received a $25 million grant from the USDA's RUS program
and announced it would invest $33 million of its own money
to lay more than 800 miles of fiber undersea starting in Kodiak,
connecting the Aleutian Islands and ending in Unalaska. Similarly,
in conjunction with Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, a Tribal
health organization, GCI has applied to the NTIA for $53 million in
grants to bring fiber to Bethel, Alaska.
" We are dealing with tremendously small communities, many of
which have several hundred residents or less...making the business
case to deploy a $50 million microwave system (for example) is
difficult. But when the federal government partners with you, it accelerates
upgrades, " Duncan says.
The creative and successful combinations of technology and desire
to stay at the forefront of telecommunications has made GCI a
" proven case study " as CableLabs looks toward the " converged
network of the future, " notes CableLabs VP Jeff Leget.
" By leveraging an entire suite of network technologies, GCI has been
able to deliver exceptional broadband access to urban residents in
Anchorage and the remote residents of the Aleutian Islands. CableLabs
continues to deliver to GCI hybrid-fiber and wireless technology
solutions that benefit all Alaskans, and GCI helps CableLabs to
showcase cutting-edge technology solutions in some of the most
unique environments, " Leget says. - Monta Monaco Hernon
FAST FACTS
„ GCI's plan to bring 2 Gig internet access to
77% of Alaskans next year will make the
state among the first in the country to have
the speed widely available to customers.
„ Customers on 1 Gig GCI+ red plans will automatically
be upgraded to 2 Gig service at no additional cost.
„ GCI launched 1 Gig service in Anchorage in
2015, quadrupling customer speeds.
cablefaxmag.com
21
http://www.cablefaxmag.com

Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021

Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 1
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 2
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 3
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 4
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 5
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 6
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 7
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 8
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 9
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 10
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 11
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 12
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 13
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 14
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 15
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 16
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 17
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 18
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 19
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 20
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 21
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 22
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 23
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 24
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 25
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 26
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 27
Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 28
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFAX/cablefax-october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFAX/cablefax-september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFAX/cablefax-august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-december-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFAX/cablefax-july-2020_b
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-april-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-june-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-april-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-october-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-june-2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-april-2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-march-2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-october-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-may-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-march-2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-may-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-march-2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-april-2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-october-2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFAX/cablefax-june-2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-december-2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-december-2011
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2011
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-october-2011
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2011
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-december-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-november-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-september-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-july-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/CableFax/cablefax-may-2010
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com