GCI Adds Juneau To 1-Gig List

Alaskan service operator GCI said it will launch its 1-Gbps ‘fiber re:D’ broadband service to Juneau before the end of 2016, expanding on  initial plans announced late last year to bring 1-Gig to Anchorage by 2015.

Taking a page from the Google Fiber playbook that has been growing in popularity among other ISPs that are teeing up 1-Gig services, GCI will also target fiber re:D initially to areas within Anchorage and Juneau that demonstrate the most consumer demand.

“For more than 30 years, GCI has been committed to providing Alaskans with the latest communications technology, and providing Juneau with the fastest possible broadband speeds through our fiber re:D service will be another example of that,” Paul Landes, GCI’s SVP and GM of consumer services, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, GCI rolled out a free upgrade for its “re:D” broadband service that doubled upload speeds to 10 Mbps and increased the downstream to 250 Mbps, or 25%, in several markets.

GCI also touted a third-party study from Score Technologies showing that GCI’s Juneau LTE network averaged download speeds that were 47% higher than AT&T’s LTE and 76% higher than Verizon’s LTE. GCI recently inked an LTE roaming deal with T-Mobile.

GCI talked up the coming 1-Gig expansion and the LTE speed study at GCI Tech Quest, a local event and scavenger hunt held in partnership with several local businesses. GCI said the event gave away prizes totaling $15,000, a haul that included five Apple iPhone 5s, five Samsung Galaxy S5s, nine Apple iPad Air devices, and five round-trip airline tickets from Alaska Airlines.