The villages of Ouzinkie and Port Lions could both enjoy the benefits of cell phones and broadband Internet service if plans for new communications services come to fruition.
The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly paved the road to the Internet highway earlier this month by rezoning a parcel in Ouzinkie to allow a microwave communications tower near the village water tower.
KMXT’s Maggie Wall has details.
Kodiak Kenai Cable Service says the new microwave tower won’t automatically mean Internet or cell phone service for the villages of Ouzinkie and Port Lions. But, what it will do is provide the broadband link necessary for other communications service providers to come in and set up shop.
Kodiak Kenai’s Dave Burns spoke during the Sept. 1 borough assembly meeting. He said the service his firm is bringing in is point-to-point microwave which would make it possible to extend the capacity of the fiber optical cable to the villages:
-((Dave Burns :08 "Just like with…service out."))
He said it would then be up to GCI, ACS, AT&T and other companies to come in and provide cell service, Internet or cable services.
Borough Manager Rick Gifford said that just like with the broadband service in town the new microwave tower will allow broadband voice, data, and Internet the same as the submarine fiber optic cable does for the road system.
Assembly member Sue Jeffrey, who owns a setnet site in Uganik asked if the tower would be able to provide service that far out. Burns said it is line of site, and would depend on future developments:
-((Dave Burns :46 "Based on the towers…safety purposes."))
The commission Burns referred to is the borough’s planning and zoning commission which is working on rezoning and special variances for the site of the tower. The tower will be located near the Ouzinkie water tower on old school property which is expected to be disposed of at a future borough assembly meeting.
Herman Squartsoff was wearing several hats the night the rezoning was approved. He too acknowledged the work of the P&Z:
-((Herman Squartsoff :37 "I’m Herman…thank you.")
Assembly member Louise Stutes said she was pleased to see the villages being able to get broadband service:
-((Louise Stutes followed by Dave Berns 1:05 "I just really…to our management."
Assembly woman Louise Stutes followed by Dave Burns of Kodiak Kenai Cable Service, which is the firm setting up the new microwave communications tower in Ouzinkie.
I’m Maggie Wall.