INTERNET

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaskans are fed up with the slow internet and dropped calls that define the island's telecommunications.

Brendan Carr said he got that message loud and clear during his Tuesday visit for the Federal Communications Commission. But it's unlikely his trip will produce concrete changes anytime soon.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

A major player at the Federal Communications Commission is due in Unalaska.  

Brendan Carr will arrive Monday night and spend about 24 hours on the island to learn about the broadband challenges facing rural Alaska.

The FCC regulates communications across the country — from radio and satellite to television and internet.

Brendan Carr joined the agency as a commissioner last summer, after the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment by President Donald Trump.

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.

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