Federal, State, Local Officials to Gather in Dillingham to Mark Progress on Historic Stimulus Project

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TERRA-SW to Bring High Speed Broadband Service to Bristol Bay and Y-K Delta Region

WHO: GCI and United Utilities Inc., in cooperation with Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation (BBAHC), are hosting TERRA-SW Milestones, an event bringing together the facilitators and beneficiaries of the historic project to extend terrestrial broadband service to the Bristol Bay and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (Y-K Delta) regions. The agenda includes remarks by Senator Mark Begich, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, and U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathon Adelstein; as well as by officials representing the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, BBAHC, the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, the Southwest Regional School District, and more.

WHAT: TERRA-SW Milestones will present the dramatic progress being made on the project and the opportunity it is bringing to the region. Attendance and remarks are expected from the many TERRA-SW stakeholders including a variety of local, state and federal officials and representatives of the organizations and people of Southwest Alaska that are benefitting from this important project. After the presentations and lunch, some attendees will participate in site visits to New Stuyahok and Manokotak, Alaska to see construction progress and tour village clinics and schools.

WHEN: Thursday, August 25 from 10:00a.m. - 5:30p.m.

WHERE: The event will be held at the Kanakanak Hospital, 6000 Kanakanak Road, Dillingham, AK, 99576. Following morning speeches and lunch, attendees will depart for site visits in the villages of Manokotak and New Stuyahok, Alaska.

Please note this is an invitation-only event. Media representatives are invited to attend by contacting Krag Johnsen (kjohnsen(at)gci(dot)com / 907-868-0718) or John Raffetto (john(at)rhstrategic(dot)com / 206-245-8855).

WHY: TERRA-SW recently reached the project mid-point. In July, cable was laid at the bottom of Cook Inlet between Homer and Williamsport and in Kachemak Bay and Iliamna Bay. Heavy-lift helicopters also delivered communications and power modules to several remote, mountaintop microwave-repeater sites for construction. In addition, construction of the pole-hung fiber optic segment in the mountain pass between Williamsport and Pile Bay is nearing completion and construction on village microwave towers in Levelock, New Stuyahok, Koliganek, Ekwok, Naknek, Dillingham, Manokotak, Goodnews Bay and Platinum are also nearing completion.

ADDITONAL INFORMATION: TERRA-SW will provide middle-mile terrestrial broadband service to 65 remote, rural communities in Bristol Bay and the Y-K Delta, including Bethel, Dillingham and King Salmon. Upon completion, TERRA-SW will make broadband available to over 9,000 households and nearly 750 businesses in the covered communities. The project will also serve numerous public/non-profit/private community institutions and entities, such as regional healthcare providers, school districts and other regional and Alaska Native organizations. TERRA-SW is funded with an $88 million loan/grant combination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service Broadband Initiatives Program established pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. TERRA-SW is being led by United Utilities, Inc. (UUI), a wholly owned subsidiary of GCI. Visit http://terra.gci.com for more information. Follow @terragci on Twitter.

About GCI
GCI is an Alaska-based company providing voice, video and data communication services to residential, commercial and government customers. Founded in 1979, GCI introduced long-distance competition to Alaska and has since grown to be one of the nation’s premier integrated telecommunication providers. The company employs more than 1,600 Alaskans and has a current run rate of $630 million. GCI has a 45 percent share of the state’s long-distance market, and is the state’s largest provider of internet services with cable modem, wireless and dedicated access. Its cable television services pass 90 percent of the state’s households with 64 percent penetration. Digital cable and cable modem service is available to 99 percent of its subscribers. The company offers facilities-based local telephone services in 22 cities throughout Alaska and has earned a 35 percent statewide market share. GCI’s services are connected through company-owned fiber optic, satellite and metropolitan area network facilities to the Lower 48 states. This broadband platform is the only one of its kind in Alaska and allows the company to provide customized services to the Alaska market. Please visit http://www.gci.com for more information.


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Krag Johnsen
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