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Gustavus Telecommunications Facility

GCN's planned multi-purpose communications tower in the Falls Creek Hydroelectric project area

The Gustavus Community Network is planning a multipurpose communications tower overlooking Gustavus. The primary purpose is to deliver wireless broadband Internet access to the community of Gustavus. However, the site is ideally located for any number of other telecommunication needs such as a radio repeater, cellular phone service, city emergency communications, and others.

As of August, 2012 this project is on indefinite hold. The construction contract has been cancelled.

  • Intransigent site control issues have yet to be resolved.
  • While only one of many potential uses for this site, broadband Internet access has been the main incentive and funding for the project. The new Gustavus Broadband Plan does not require this tower, so other potential users will have to move into the driver's seat to move this project forward again.

GCN Tower Site

The planned location of the tower, shown above, has an excellent view of the entire Gustavus area, Icy Strait, and lower Glacier Bay. Click to enlarge.

Location

Site Control and Permits

  • Property owner: Alaska DNR, with special use permit to FERC licensee Gustavus Electric Co.
  • DNR has determined no review is required by the Alaska Coastal Management Program.
  • Long-term site licensee Gustavus Electric Company is prepared to enter into an agreement granting the City of Gustavus access to the site and permission to build the communication facility.
  • FERC has confirmed that Gustavus Electric Company has authority to grant such permission.
  • GCN is engaged with DNR regarding what additional permit or lease is required from the state.

Design

  • Planned tower height: 50' - see tower design.
  • Road access: yes, via private easement subject to certain conditions including prior notice of each vehicular entry.
  • Power: utility power from Gustavus Electric co. is already at site.
  • The yellow conex box pictured above will be refurbished and available for housing equipment.
  • Telecommunications: GCN can provide reliable Internet and wireless data communications to the site from anywhere in Gustavus, including T1 and analog voice circuits.

Intended Uses

Following are some of the purposes the communications facility can serve. For some of these uses we have received interest from prospective users. Others are more speculative.

  • Wireless community-wide broadband network
  • Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department emergency communications
  • KTOO-FM repeater relocation to improve signal quality (stereo?)
  • Ham radio repeater to improve emergency communications
  • State of Alaska communications system
  • ADS-B, the next-generation national air-traffic surveillance system
  • Cellular phone service that would cover the entire community
  • US Coast Guard Rescue 21

More Information

For more information contact GCN Administrator Corvid Computing, 907-697-2810
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