Alaska’s Budget Cuts Puts GCI Out In The Cold

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wolfAs a result of the State of Alaska’s failure to approve a 2016 fiscal plan, General Communications Inc. (GCI) has announced it will decrease its spending by 20 to 25%, reports the Alaska Journal of Commerce in a recent article.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker put forward a plan to fund the state government by restructuring the state’s Permanent Fund. Although passed in the Senate, the House failed to vote on the bill, leading Walker to veto $1.3 billion in state spending.

GCI had originally planned to spend roughly $210 million in 2017 on expanding its rural presence within the state, which it had been doing by “adding redundancies to existing broadband networks,” says the article.

GCI has been expanding its TERRA network across rural parts of the state. Utilizing terrestrial broadband and microwave towers, the network currently serves 72 communities in the state. This number is expected to grow to 84 by next year.

The company finalized a deal earlier this year with Vertical Bridge to sell 275 of its tower and rooftop sites to the Florida-based tower company. The deal totaled $91 million.

Uncertainty at the state house which will leave public projects unfunded means CGI will have to sit on some of this revenue, and slow its aggressive 2017 plan.

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