August 1, 2008

GCI Second Quarter a Record

By Elizabeth Bluemink, Anchorage Daily News, Alaska

Aug. 1--Anchorage telecom company GCI said this week it generated a record-breaking $142.5 million in revenue during the second quarter of 2008.

However, the phone, wireless, Internet and cable TV company reported a second-quarter profit of 3.6 million, down 39 percent from the same three months of last year.

Profits were down mainly because of increased debt spurred by the company's rapid expansion, especially in rural Alaska, company officials said.

"We're building a statewide rural wireless system," said John Lowber, GCI's vice president of finance.

During the second quarter, GCI moved all its rural telecommunications to a new satellite, closed its acquisition of Alaska Wireless, a rural wireless provider, and prepared to lay 750 miles of undersea fiber optic cable connecting several communities in Southeast Alaska. The undersea cable project launched July 17.

GCI's revenue from video services increased 7.4 percent as more of its customers signed up for recorders for high-definition digital TV. Revenue from Internet services rose 25 percent as GCI customers purchased faster cable modem service, Lowber said.

The company said it now has 84,100 wireless subscribers, 100,000 Internet customers, 130,300 cable TV subscribers and 138,000 local phone service customers.


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