ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Nov. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- GCI (NASDAQ:GNCMA) today announced the commercial launch of TERRA service in the Northwest Arctic Borough. TERRA is delivering, for the first time, terrestrial broadband service to Kotzebue, 33 miles north of the Arctic Circle. This service will dramatically improve online health, education and government services as well as the broadband data experience for residential and business users. With the launch of TERRA, GCI has also rolled out 3G mobile wireless services for the residents of Kotzebue.
TERRA is GCI's terrestrial broadband network serving the rural communities of western Alaska. Terrestrial broadband provides lower latency and allows for streaming of rich media and the ability to leverage video conferencing, a critical tool for healthcare and education. Using video conferencing, communities like Kotzebue have access to specialty doctors and educators that are not readily available in the community. The lower latency enables significantly fewer delays in transferring data, allowing for better real-time communication.
The launch of 3G wireless service will allow for substantially higher mobile data speeds, providing customers faster web browsing, audio and video streaming, and more. The launch of 3G services will occur in Nome and Unalakleet later this year.
Reaching remote communities in the Arctic, like Kotzebue, is no small feat. Alaska is home to some of the most challenging geography in North America, along with unpredictable and harsh weather conditions. GCI is partnering with organizations, such as STG Incorporated and Ericsson Inc., to construct the infrastructure needed to deliver terrestrial broadband Internet.
"Once again, GCI has used its proven Arctic telecommunications expertise to deliver transformative services to a rural Arctic regional hub," said Greg Chapados, GCI's chief operating officer. "We plan to expand TERRA's footprint in northwest Alaska and along the Yukon with the ultimate goal of ringing the network. We are grateful for the support of the communities served by TERRA and look forward to watching them grow using the tools that modern communications services can provide."
Since its inception in 2010, TERRA has grown to deliver terrestrial broadband services to 72 communities and 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.
GCI is the largest Alaska-based and operated integrated telecommunications provider offering voice, data and video services statewide. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com/about.
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