ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Networks across the nation have been put to the test in the months since the coronavirus pandemic began. GCI has regularly seen 25% higher-than-normal usage during peak hours throughout the pandemic, with its highest spike coming in late-April, clocking in at a staggering 44% higher-than-normal peak usage.
"The numbers we've seen during peak hours are staggering; it's like nothing we've ever experienced before," said Vice President of GCI Product Management Duncan Whitney. "Because GCI has invested so heavily in its network and our teams were quick to respond when the state began its response to COVID-19, we were able to add more capacity to our fiber optic links to the Lower 48 and ensure our customers could remain connected."
In April, GCI joined a project spearheaded by industry organization NCTA to launch an online tracker for metrics, trends and observations related to internet usage during COVID-19.
Since March 1, 2020, GCI's overall peak downstream network traffic has grown more than 43.6%, compared to the national average of 18.7%.
"The amount of growth we've seen over the past month is what we would have expected to see over a two-year span," said Whitney. "Though this growth can be attributed to a variety of factors, I think what we are seeing is that Alaskans highly value connectivity, and GCI is proud to support their needs and the communities we serve."
Since introducing free internet offers for Alaskans, GCI has added thousands of new users to its network since mid-March.