GCI phasing out unlimited Internet

Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010

ANCHORAGE - Some customers of General Communication Inc. say they weren't notified the company is phasing out unlimited Internet usage, even though GCI says it sent out notices about the new policy in April and May.

GCI estimates that 5 percent of its Internet customers are consuming 70 percent of the bandwidth, and that slows down Internet speed for everyone else.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that about 60,000 GCI customers had an unlimited plan. Some of the heaviest data users have already been moved to limited plans.

GCI hasn't decided when to enforce the data limits on everyone else, said spokesman David Morris. Most customers will discover their Internet usage is far below the new limits, he said.

Alaska and federal regulators do not regulate telecom companies' Internet offerings.

State consumer-protection lawyers have the power to investigate GCI, however, if it made a promise to its customers that it didn't keep, or if it didn't provide adequate notification of its new policy.

Ed Sniffen with the Alaska Department of Law said anyone who has a concern should contact the consumer-protection office.

Anchorage's other major Internet service provider, ACS, said Tuesday it still offers unlimited data use plans, but it's unavailable in some parts of town.

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