U.S. Representative Mary Peltola visits GCI

Representative tours facility, learns about the innovative supply chain program and meets graduates of GCI’s intern program, and learns more about industry efforts to close the digital divide.

U.S. Representative Mary Peltola joined GCI to learn more about the company’s efforts to close the digital divide in rural Alaska, to talk with GCI employees about important issues impacting Alaska, and to share her experience representing Alaska in Congress.

Rep. Peltola visited GCI’s campus, Base Camp, a new location that consolidates the telecommunications provider’s facilities. By centralizing services into one large campus, GCI reduced its footprint by 70%, streamlined operations, and significantly expanded its warehouse and supply chain capabilities. Base Camp is also the home of GCI’s workforce development and internship program.

During her visit to the Base Camp facility, Rep. Peltola addressed GCI employees and gave insight on important federal legislation and initiatives that have potential impact on Alaska. GCI’s subject matter experts shared information about progress on GCI’s Aleutians Fiber Project, AIRRAQ Network and Deering-Kivalina Fiber Project.

Alaska has received a significant amount of federal funding to close the digital divide across the state through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. GCI, the state’s largest telecommunications provider, is leveraging federal grant programs with its own investment in its statewide network to build out high-speed fiber internet service in communities across the state and is laying the foundation for better service in rural areas.

“These infrastructure projects are a two-way street. Yes, it is bringing internet, and all of that internet is for a small community, but it’s also providing to the world an Alaska perspective, an Alaska sense of deep time, an Alaska perspective on living in nature, and those things are really valuable and we hear a lot about folks saying they want to know more about the Alaska model of governance,” said Rep. Peltola.

GCI representatives were especially excited to share the success of GCI’s internship program. The program, established in the fall of 2021, aims to recruit high school students into Alaska’s telecommunications workforce. Students receive trainings on office systems, public speaking skills, and other fundamentals about working in and entering the workforce. Nearly 20 Alaska high school students have participated in the internship over the past two years, and nearly half of them have become full time GCI employees after graduating high school.