Alaska News

GCI outage shuts down some Alaska 911 calls, impacts cell and internet service

A widespread GCI network outage Sunday shut down 911 calls from some users and caused intermittent internet and cell service outages in locations around Alaska, the company said.

The outage, caused by an equipment issue, started around 10 a.m., GCI spokeswoman Heather Handyside said. GCI had resolved some of the issues by around 4 p.m., she said.

“Services, including wireless service, are beginning to restore statewide,” Handyside said. “Some customers may still experience connectivity interruptions as services on the network come back online.”

Wireless voice, data, text and internet were affected depending on the community and location, Handyside said. Anchorage, Fairbanks, Eagle River, Kodiak, Seward and Wasilla were among the communities affected, she said.

“Rural communities are also reporting service impact though it can vary by community,” she said.

Outage update 4:15pm: At around 10:00a.m. today, GCI customers began to experience intermittent interruptions to...

Posted by GCI on Sunday, January 8, 2023

The outage shut down emergency calls to 911 from GCI users in multiple communities across the state. Anchorage, Palmer and Wasilla police departments alerted the public that some emergency calls weren’t working and provided alternative ways to reach dispatch. Verizon customers in Palmer and Wasilla were also experiencing issues, according to the police.

Due to a GCI Network outage, landlines and cell phones in Anchorage cannot get through to 9-1-1 locally. If you need to...

Posted by Anchorage Police Department on Sunday, January 8, 2023

Residents in Kotzebue, Kaktovik, Noatak, Buckland and Selawik reported service outages in their respective communities.


“I can receive calls from other GCI phones. Not from any other carrier though,” said Amanda Toorak of Kaktovik.

Handyside said she did not know how many people were affected by the outage or whether it was impacting wireless calls for other providers.

“Wireless calls to 911 should be working again,” Handyside said around 5:30 p.m. “Our test calls have been successful.”

Cable modems internet service was also recovering but Handyside said it might take longer to restore.

To fix the outage, GCI employees repaired and replaced components of the broken equipment.

“Every outage is different,” she said. “We continue to invest in and upgrade our network and we are seeing fewer statewide service outages.”