Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
Your voice in the Aleutians.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The KUCB Newsroom provides newscasts Monday through Thursday at noon and 5 PM on KUCB Radio. You can find many of our local news stories here.

UCSD inks contract for fiber internet for next school year

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The Unalaska City School District has signed a new internet contract.

Starting this summer, Superintendent Jim Wilson said the schools will use GCI’s fiber optic broadband. That’ll end their current deal with TelAlaska, which provides a satellite-based connection.

It has “high latency and other delays sometimes,” said Wilson. “It causes the internet to not function as well as it maybe could.”

Wilson said the new high-speed internet will give Unalaska’s teachers more tools to teach their students, like visiting an online lab for a virtual dissection or taking a virtual tour at a faraway museum — opportunities that aren’t usually possible with current speeds.

“It’s just significantly quicker in terms of what that response time is, which means that the internet functions better,” he said.

District officials do have some concerns about intertwining faster internet with the schools’ curricula, especially when it comes to students’ homework. Though the schools are upgrading, Wilson said he knows some students will still have limited or no internet access at home.

To prevent a digital divide among classmates, he advises teachers to treat the internet as just a supplement.

“I tell my teachers this all the time: For a good teacher, it’s [about being] in front of kids providing good instruction,” he said.

The district’s contract with GCI will last for three years. Fiber internet will be available at the schools starting July 1.

Sofia was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She’s reported around the U.S. for local public radio stations, NPR and National Native News. Sofia has a Master of Arts in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism from the University of Montana, a graduate certificate in Documentary Studies from the Salt Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder. In between her studies, Sofia was a ski bum in Telluride, Colorado for a few years.
Related Content