Southwest Alaska is ready to get online a year after General Communications Inc. broke ground on a historic project to bring high-speed internet access to the region.
Construction of the Terra-Southwest network was completed in October and GCI is now migrating large customers such as hospitals, schools and Alaska Native corporations from satellite-based service to the new terrestrial broadband network.
Bethel will be the first to receive residential broadband access, perhaps as early as February, and by the end of 2012 some 9,000 households in 65 communities from Pedro Bay to Emmonak will be connected.
Residents in Southwest Alaska can’t wait.
“I get a couple emails a week saying, ‘when can I hook up?’” said Krag Johnsen, GCI director of rural broadband.