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GCI Seeks Alaska Carve-Out from Repack

WASHINGTON — Alaska-based cable and broadband provider General Communication Inc. (GCI) has said its home state should be excluded from the Federal Communications Commission’s planned repack of C-band spectrum.

GCI made that pitch in meetings with advisers to FCC chairman Ajit Pai and other commissioners. It told the FCC that Alaska’s harsh weather and unique topography, as well as federal land regulations, pose unique problems. The operator also faces demands for critical communications in remote areas, such as distance learning and telehealth, that require special regulatory treatment.

GCI wants the FCC to exclude Alaska from any reallocation of C-band spectrum now or in the future, to make it clear access to the full 500 MHz of spectrum remains for video distribution and to ensure satellite operators will maintain the “status quo” when it comes to delivery. Translation: No fiber transition.

GCI also wants the FCC to reimburse it and other Alaska earth station operators for any impact that reallocation in the Lower 48 might have on their operations.