GCI

City of Unalaska

GCI won’t be allowed to build a new cell phone tower in the Unalaska Valley. At least, not yet.

On Tuesday, the Unalaska City Council voted against the telecommunications company and its plan to construct a 65-foot tower on a hillside overlooking the Shaishnikoff Subdivision.

The unanimous decision came after a nearby property owner filed an appeal against the project, which had been approved by the Unalaska Planning Commission, 4-1.

Rufina Shaishnikoff protested the GCI tower, which would have sat on a commercially zoned plot in a mostly residential area.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

For GCI customers in Unalaska, better phone service is just a few weeks away.

The telecom company is finishing tower upgrades that will help transform the island’s unreliable and outdated 2G network into a standard 2G system.

“Calls are going to go through much more cleanly and quickly," said Heather Handyside, director of corporate communications for GCI. "There will not be dropped calls, and texts will be much more timely.”

Handyside said customers should see improved service over the next two or three weeks as the network comes online.

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