ANCHORAGE, Alaska, July 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- GCI, Alaska's largest telecommunications company and Teck Red Dog Operations, one of the world's largest zinc producers, today announced an agreement that will bring high-speed broadband internet service to Red Dog Operations and the community of Noatak.
"Red Dog is a world-class mining operation that requires world-class internet service and this partnership is a win/win for GCI, Red Dog and the residents of Noatak," said Martin Cary, GCI's senior vice president of business services. "Our team understands the challenges of building infrastructure and providing service to more than 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle. In addition to the 72 rural communities already served by TERRA, GCI is expanding TERRA to 10 more rural communities in 2016. When Red Dog and Noatak are complete, GCI's TERRA network will deliver high-speed internet to a total of 84 rural Alaska locations."
Once the network expansion is complete, which is targeted for 2017, Red Dog employees and Noatak residents will be able to stream rich media and stay easily connected with family and friends. The network will also advance the performance of online business, health, education and other services for both Noatak and Red Dog.
"This partnership will help connect many more Northwest Arctic residents with important online services, while also providing business benefits to Teck Red Dog Operations and mine employees," said Henri Letient, General Manager, Teck Red Dog Operations. "Bringing high speed internet connection to Noatak is a strong example of the local benefits generated by Red Dog, and of our commitment to helping support local residents and communities."
"The mining sector is a cornerstone of Alaska's resource development economy and with more than 450 employees, Red Dog mine is a major employer in the region and in the state. Red Dog is also leading the way in workforce development through the use of Registered Apprenticeship, creating career paths for Alaskans in the region," said Heidi Drygas, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. "As Alaskans work to diversify our economy, we need to make sure that businesses have the tools and access they need to stay competitive.
The partnership announcement is part of a broader GCI strategy to connect Arctic communities to high-speed internet. In June, GCI announced plans to expand its Terrestrial for Every Rural Region in Alaska (TERRA) network to include 10 new communities in the Northwest Arctic Borough and Norton Sound region. This expansion will result in high-speed, data rich broadband service for schools and clinics in Buckland, Kiana, Noorvik, Selawik, Koyuk, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain, Stebbins and St. Michael.
GCI delivers communication and technology services in the consumer and business markets. Headquartered in Alaska with additional locations in the U.S., GCI has delivered services for more than 35 years to some of the most remote communities and in some of the most challenging conditions in North America. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com
About GCI's TERRA Network
GCI's TERRA network delivers low latency network connections and high-speed internet access. TERRA launched in 2010 and currently delivers broadband services to 72 communities and services more than 43,000 residents. TERRA won the 2013 NATOA (National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors) Community Broadband Wireless Network of the Year award and the 2014 Engineering News Record (ENR) Best Projects Regional Award.
About Teck Red Dog Operations
Red Dog Operations is one of the world's largest zinc mines, located 106 miles north of the Arctic Circle in northwest Alaska, near Kotzebue. In 1989, Red Dog Operations was developed through an innovative operating agreement between the operator Teck and the land-owner NANA, a Regional Alaska Native corporation owned by the Iñupiat people of northwest Alaska. Concentrates produced at Red Dog are shipped to our metallurgical facilities in Trail, British Columbia, and to customers in Asia and Europe. Learn more at www.teck.com/reddog.