TERRA-Southwest (TERRA-SW), a project being led by United Utilities (UUI), a subsidiary of GCI, will extend terrestrial broadband service in Alaska to Bristol Bay and to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (Y-K Delta). The $88 million stimulus project is funded by the USDA Rural Utilities Service in the form of a $44 million grant and a $44 million loan. UUI’s fiber optic contractor, Ledcor, has finished laying fiber optic cable underground along a 43-mile route between Igiugig and Levelock.
With the first phase of the project completed, UUI estimates it will complete the rest of the project this year and begin providing broadband service in Bristol Bay and the Y-K Delta by the end of this year.
“We placed 43 miles of fiber, literally laying-the-groundwork to connect this remote, rural region to the rest of the world," said Martin Cary, VP and general manager, GCI, in a statement.
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, for the first time, to over 9,000 households and nearly 750 businesses in the covered communities.