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Many Alaskans' internet bills will be going up soon, GCI says

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: May 25, 2017
  • Published May 24, 2017

GCI Store at Northern Lights and C Street on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News)

If you pay for internet through Alaska telecommunications company GCI, you might see an increase on your bill next month.

In the past week, the company notified customers about a coming rate increase that will raise monthly internet bills on their "No Worries" plans by about 7 to 12 percent, depending on the plan.

Customers paying $60 a month will see their rates rise to $65. An $85 plan will increase to $95, and a $135 plan will increase to $145. Those who already pay for GCI's priciest internet plan, at $175 per month, won't see any change.

Bills will reflect the new rates starting June 20.

"GCI makes significant investments in our network and sometimes those costs are reflected in increased rates," said company spokeswoman Heather Handyside in an email.

She pointed to GCI's capital budget this year exceeding $170 million, and last year's being more than $200 million. The company is spending money on infrastructure and construction projects around the state, and upgrading its TERRA broadband network, which serves rural Alaska.

The more expensive plans also come with increased speed, the company said. Maximum download speeds could increase by up to 50 percent for some plans, according to a table provided by GCI. The $175 plan remains unchanged.

The rate increases were not subject to review by the Alaska Regulatory Commission or the Federal Communications Commission.

Since the internet plans in question launched three years ago, Handyside said, there haven't been any rate increases prior to this one. There are no plans to eliminate data caps, she said.

GCI announced last month that it will be acquired by Colorado-based media conglomerate Liberty Interactive Corp. in a $1.1 billion deal. That sale is not expected to close until 2018.

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