Government Funded Improvements to Rural Phone Coverage for Alaska
Published on: 5th Mar 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
The US telecoms regulator the FCC has announced that Alaska's General Communication is eligible to receive USD41.4 million for rural 3G 4G wireless projects as part of its Tribal Mobility Fund Phase I.
More than 37,000 Alaskans across dozens of communities are expected to benefit from the fund, with GCI submitting winning bids to serve 48 communities.
Copper Valley Wireless also received funding for Alaska projects.
The FCC announced in April 2013 it would use the $50 million fund to provide one-time support to companies committed to building 3G or 4G mobile broadband networks in underserved tribal communities. The fund will provide support for projects across the USA, with wireless carriers in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico and Utah also submitting winning bids.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to enhance mobile wireless service in so many rural communities," said Ron Duncan, President and Chief Executive Officer of GCI. "Faster data will provide new opportunities for our mobile customers. GCI is proud to be the first provider of wireless service in many of the winning communities. We remain committed to connecting all rural and urban Alaskans."
GCI submitted its winning bids as part of a competitive bidding process. It expects to deploy the enhanced service within two or three years depending on construction schedules and the type of technology deployed.