GCI receives clearances to enter local markets

Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- General Communication, Inc. has received the necessary clearances for entering the local telephone markets in Fairbanks and Juneau, the communications company said Monday.

Switching equipment will be installed early next year, said Dana Tindall, GCI senior vice president of legal and regulatory affairs. GCI anticipates starting local phone service in Fairbanks and Juneau sometime in mid-to late 2001.

GCI has been offering local telephone service in Anchorage for the past three years. The company says it has a 30 percent market-share in Alaska's largest city, and since entering the market it says the most commonly purchased residential phone rate has dropped 30 percent.

Alaska Communications Services recently asked state and federal courts to block an order to share local telephone markets in Juneau.

ACS, which provides local service in Juneau, Fairbanks and North Pole, said the rates in that order are unfairly low, essentially allowing GCI to confiscate its property.

GCI responded by saying that ACS is trying to recoup some of its past excess spending.

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska reviewed the rates and found them fair, GCI said.

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