Construction has begun on a cable landing station (CLS) in Akutan, Alaska, that will host GCI's Aleutians Fiber Project subsea fiber system.

With all necessary permits received, and site surveys finished in October, building works have commenced alongide work to deploy fiber-to-the-premises throughout the community.

GCI Aleutians

Once completed, the 800-mile Aleutians Fiber Project will bring 2.5Gbps of consumer Internet speeds, unlimited data, and 'urban-level plans' to local residents.

The Aleutians is an island chain extending from Alaska into the Bering Sea at the Southwestern tip of the state.

The project, initiated in 2017, will see cable landing stations developed in six communities across the Aleutians: Chignik Lagoon, Chignik Lake, Cold Bay, False Pass, Ouzinkie, and Port Lions. The project also includes an 800-mile-long subsea fiber optic cable deployed in 2022 and already connects to Unalaska, King Cove, Sand Point, Akutan, Chignik Bay, and Larsen Bay.

In total, the Aleutians Fiber Project requires a $100 million investment, one quarter of which is being funded by a grant from the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development's ReConnect Program.

“The Aleutians Fiber Project is going full steam ahead with work in the final stages in King Cove and Sand Point and ramping up in Akutan,” said GCI principal program manager Rebecca Markley. “Once work is complete, the digital divide will effectively be closed in three more communities and we’ll be beyond the halfway point of the Aleutians Fiber Project’s first phase.”

GCI, a fully owned subsidiary of Liberty Broadband Corporation, is headquartered in Alaska and provides data, mobile, video, voice, and managed services to customers across the state. In total, GCI has invested more than $4bn in Alaska's network over the past 40 years.

Alaska received its first terrestrial fiber connection to the US in 2019 via a cable stretching from North Pole City, along the Alaskan highway, to the US.

The state experienced an Internet outage in June 2023 after Arctic ice cut a subsea cable around 55km north of Oliktok Point. It was expected to take between six to eight weeks to resolve the break.