There are three undersea fiber optic cable systems connecting Alaska to the "Lower 48" states,
Alaska Fiber Star, GCI (Alaska United), and AT&T. Two fiber cable systems connect Fairbanks to the undersea fiber cable systems - Alaska Fiber Star and GCI. One fiber cable system, GCI, connects Fairbanks with Prudhoe Bay.
Alaska Communications Systems (ACS), the incumbent local exchange carrier and
General Communications Inc. (GCI) provide local telephone service in the Fairbanks area. One local exchange carrier, ACS, serves the North Pole exchanges. AT&T/Alascom and GCI utilize their own satellite facilities for some of the long distance telephone traffic, particularly to the rural communities. Many of the rural communities are served by state-of-the-art DAMA earth stations.
Three competing companies -
AT&T Alascom and
GCI, provide interstate and intrastate long distance for the Interior. Internet access has four competing providers: ACS, AT&T, GCI and Internet Alaska. There are three options for high-speed inter-net connectivity - ACS provides DSL service in
certain locations in Fairbanks, Alaska Wireless provides wireless cable modem service and GCI provides hard-wired cable modem access. It should be noted that DSL and hard-wired cable modem access are limited to areas where infrastructure exists, thus coverage is not available to all areas of the Interior.