Flooding in Interior Alaska could cause slower internet, data speeds in Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

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Manley Hot Springs on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Alaska State Troopers)

GCI customers in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta may experience slower data and internet speeds.

GCI communications director Heather Handyside said flooding in Manley Hot Springs in interior Alaska on Saturday knocked out power to a relay station that helps distribute internet in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta. . The repeater has been running on battery backup for more than 48 hours and that power is about to run out. GCI was unable to install a generator on site due to flooding.

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“We have a helicopter on standby. We tried to use mountain bikes but due to flooding the ground is really muddy. So we didn’t manage to get up there,” Handyside said.

When the battery runs out, many customers in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta will notice slower data and internet speeds. Customers may not be able to stream videos or play games. Other services must remain accessible.

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“We believe essential functions like email will remain intact. Certainly, their wireless voice service and wired voice service will remain intact. This means 911 will remain available,” Handyside said.

The repeater that lost power is part of GCI’s TERRA network, which serves 45,000 people in 84 communities across Alaska. Internet outages will occur until a generator is installed or power is restored to the area.

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