Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Business Briefs

GCI, ACS team up on wireless network

In a bold move announced the morning of June 5, Alaska's largest state-based telecoms announced they are teaming up to create a single network that will reach 95 percent of the population and create a customer base of about 257,000.

General Communications Inc. and Alaska Communications Systems Group Inc. have formed The Alaska Wireless Network, combining the infrastructure assets of both companies into a single entity to be run by current GCI Chief Operating Officer Wilson Hughes.

GCI will own two-thirds of The Alaska Wireless Network and Alaska Communications the remaining third. The deal is subject to regulatory review and is expected to close by second quarter 2013. Hughes will serve as executive vice president of GCI until then and will lead the transition team.

The press release from the companies states that Alaska Communications will be eligible to receive preferential cash distributions totaling $190 million during the first four years of Alaska Wireless Network operations. GCI will receive all remaining available cash distributions over the same period, and following the initial four-year period, GCI and Alaska Communications will receive distributions proportional to their ownership interests in AWN.

The retail customer experience will not change, as Alaska Communications and GCI will still operate independent stores and have their own offerings of wireless and internet services.

Murkowski, Young urge more time for comment

JUNEAU (AP) — Members of Alaska's congressional delegation are joining the state's attorney general in asking that the public be given more time to comment on a study looking at the impacts of mining in the Bristol Bay region.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young last week sent a letter to the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asking that the public comment period be extended to Nov. 20. They say they're concerned that the current 60-day period is inadequate.

Public comment is scheduled to end July 23, though EPA says it is considering requests to extend it.

Delegation announces grants to Alaska programs

The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently made the following grants:

• $7,000 to Nanwalek;

• $7,000 to Ninilchik;

• $7,000 to Port Graham; and

• $7,000 to the Seldovia Village Tribe.

Free 'Starting A Business' workshop offered June 18

The Alaska Small Business Development Center will conduct a free "Starting A Business" seminar at 1 p.m. June 18 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

Bryan Zak will cover basic questions and offer helpful resources in this two-hour workshop, while preparing participants for a productive relationship with Alaska Small Business Development Center and its partner programs.

He also will explain the value of the center's free counseling services.

To register, visit http://aksbdc.ecenterdirect.com, click training events, go to center's location, select Kenai Peninsula, browse to search for the seminar, click sign up, complete the registration.

For more information, contact Bunny Kishaba at (907)-260-5629 or email her at inblk@uaa.alaska.edu.