INTERNET

Courtesy of GCI

GCI says it won't move forward with bringing broadband communications to Unalaska at this time unless they receive a large grant from the USDA.

The company has put in an application for a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to bring fiber optic broadband connection to communities along the Aleutian Island chain, where connectivity and bandwidth can often be unreliable or difficult to come by.

Hope McKenney/KUCB

GCI has applied to bring broadband communications to communities along the Aleutian chain.

The proposed project would bring fiber optic cable from Kodiak to Unalaska, spanning approximately 860 miles.

Dan Boyette, Vice President of GCI, said getting the financing arranged and support from the business community for this project has proved to be a challenge. 

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska and the Aleutian region are expecting to feel the sting of state budget cuts finalized this week — in areas ranging from health care and higher education to debt reimbursement and public broadcasting. 

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.

Pages