FCC Denies GCI Communications’ Waiver Request for Alaska Plan Map Accuracy Standards

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has adopted a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying GCI Communications’ (GCI) application for review seeking a reversal of the 2019 Waiver Denial Order that affirmed the 2017 Map Instructions Public Notice, which laid out mapping reporting requirements for carriers participating in the $1.5 billion, 10-year Alaska Plan support program for deployment of fixed and mobile voice and broadband service in high-cost areas of Alaska. In the 2017 Map Instructions Public Notice, Alaskan carriers were specifically instructed to submit maps of their microwave and fiber locations to within 7.6 meters of accuracy with a 95% confidence level. According to the FCC, GCI has failed to provide a single land-based fiber link at this accuracy standard. In rejecting GCI’s waiver request, the Commission found that this accuracy standard would not impose an undue hardship on GCI or any Alaska Plan participant and that eliminating or modifying this standard would not lead to more effective implementation of the Alaska Plan.

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