Safety and service at GCI industrial telecom: top priorities at pay off.

Author:Arthur, Ed
Position:TELECOM & TECHNOLOGY
 
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GCI may be best known as a cable and telephone company manifested physically by phone wires or the coaxial cable that comes from a wall and attaches to a cable TV "box" or high speed cable Internet modem. The company, however, is also the provider of the largest medical network in the Pacific Northwest, connects more than 180 rural Alaska villages with wireless networking--and, according to the company, brings voice, video and wireless service to more than 90 percent of Alaskans, including video conferencing.

As part of a more than 1,700-employee-strong parent company and with 120 employees spread between remote site work and three primary Network Operations Control Center locations, two in Alaska and one in Texas, GCI's Industrial Telecom division may not be the largest employer in the state, but certainly ranks as one of the busiest and most important.

"Reliable, high quality communications is critical to development.

Without being able to communicate as quickly and as often as you need, progress can slow; delays and even very expensive down time can result," says Mark Johnson, GCI Industrial Telecom team spokesman.

Besides helping clients avoid costly delays, the GCI Industrial Telecom team is dedicated to achieving the high communications goal the division has set, according to Johnson. "Our goal is always to provide such good telecommunications that you have the same speed and quality between a remote site and Anchorage that you'd expect between neighbors or with the business just blocks away in a major city," he says.

Partnerships

The telecom team doesn't just have clientprovider relationships--they see their customers as their partners in problem solving and developing solutions to each client's specific needs and wants.

"We're with them from day one of planning, through the development and building phases of every project," Johnson says. "Then, we stay with them providing continuing telecommunications support as they come on-line and become producers. Right now, there isn't a producer on Alaska's North Slope we don't provide services to. We are a one-stop communications provider."

Through video conferencing, GCI Industrial Telecom can help clients service multiple locations--no matter how remote--for employee training, meetings or project management. Where possible, video conferencing also enhances or creates the option of telecommuting, a growing and cost-effective means to getting more and more jobs accomplished.

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