From the cities to the rugged wilderness and outlying villages that many Alaskans call home, GCI delivers cable television, internet access, wireline networking and the cellular telephone services that connect these communities to the rest of the world. 

GCI’s healthcare division, ConnectMD, is devoted to connecting over 250 rural and urban health systems—providing peace of mind to patients through better quality of service.

Customer Challenge

With facilities spread out over the sparsely populated state, GCI’s end users were at constant risk of outages. Inclement weather and hazardous geography meant frequent repairs to damaged terrestrial infrastructure—causing potentially disastrous downtime for patients in need. (An earthquake in December 2018 left thousands without essential care.)

GCI knew they needed a more reliable solution for providers and patients—one that could guarantee uninterrupted service, no matter what.

doctors walking down hallway

How We Helped

To address GCI’s needs, Intelsat designed and implemented a VSAT network to provide primary and backup connectivity for over 100 healthcare facilities. With just one satellite, Intelsat delivered coverage to over half of the sites in Alaska—single-handedly improving community health statewide. 

Along with the redundancy of Intelsat multi-layered Ku-band and C-band networks, the Intelsat Epic high-throughput satellite H-3e and Galaxy 18 delivered high-bandwidth connectivity of up to 450Mbps to practitioners whose patients depend on unceasing connectivity for quality care.


  • A VSAT network provided primary and backup connectivity for over 100 healthcare facilities.
  • Intelsat network delivers a combined 130MHz, supporting 450Mbps throughput.
  • Uninterrupted connectivity ensures providers can always perform critical medical procedures at a moment’s notice.
  • Alaskans in remote areas now have easier, more reliable access to medical care. 
  • Resilient primary connectivity and guaranteed backup of high-bandwidth connectivity keeps customer networks up and running in the event of a disaster disabling terrestrial communications.
  • Consolidating GCI existing backup services to a single satellite resulted in lower operational costs.

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