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Officials select GCI as City of Unalaska’s internet provider

Berett Wilber
Acting City Manager Marjie Veeder said that reliable internet services are crucial to the city’s needs.

The City of Unalaska selected GCI as its internet provider for the next five years. City administration said they recommended the telecommunications company because they offered increased bandwidth and backup service options.

A $227,040 per year contract with GCI would cost the city less than with competitors’ rates.

Acting City Manager Marjie Veeder said in a special city council meeting July 2 that reliable internet services are crucial to the city’s needs.

“The increased bandwidth and service quality will allow us to accommodate the increasing demands, both internally and externally, for services that rely on quality, high speed internet,” Veeder said during the meeting. Those services include remote access and online collaboration.

Another bid was placed by OptimERA, a local provider. OptimERA’s bid was endorsed by the Ounalashka Corp. and two other companies, CMA and Offshore Systems, Inc. But ultimately, the council voted unanimously to go with GCI.

Veeder said the five-year GCI contract will almost double bandwidth for the city to 80 megabits per second. The City of Unalaska currently has a one-year, 45 megabit per second contract with the company that will last through the end of September.

The new agreement also includes a backup satellite option with Starlink, in case the GCI connection were ever disabled, such as when the fiber-optic cable was damaged in Unalaska in 2022.

Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Andy Lusk is a writer, travel enthusiast and seafood aficionado who won the jackpot by landing in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. When he's not hiking or working on his latest story, you can find him curled up with his cats and a good book. Andy is a Report for America corps member and an alumnus of New York University.
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