Out There

cell phones in the bush

Posted in Uncategorized by Pete on December 6, 2008

The times they are a channnnngin’.  Did you know we have cell phone service now??!!??  Crazy!  I heard that my village was signing up more people than any other village on the delta.  People are signing up in droves, almost all of them getting the $54.99 unlimited plan and not cancelling their regular land line.  No idea where all that $$ is coming from.  I think its a little nuts because the $30.00 plan would probably do it just fine.  Oh well.  I’d like to sign up and cancel our land line (horrrrible service,  but won’t go into that now), but I’m holding out for now, hoping for a pay as you go thing.  The current plans don’t work for us because of the $.15 per minute to call outside of alaska.  But its perfect for my neighbors.  Although now that I look at it…nationwide 500 minutes for $40 isn’t too bad…hmm…  The idea of a cell phone for possible use while out in a boat or snowgo between Kasigluk and Atmau or Napakiak or whatever is verrrry appealing.  It is not intended to work between villages, but because the tundra around KUK is flat as a pancake it does work for several miles, so I’ve heard.   Pretty cool.

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  1. Pete said, on July 15, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Just had to add, that after signing up for this service in January and intending to cancel our land line, we’re pretty disappointed. Apparently they drastically underestimated the number of people who would sign up. I also heard anecdotally that Kasigluk had more signups than any other village (Tammy says “Probably because of our poor land line service!”) for the new cell phone service. Anyway, dropped calls, “network busy” messages (so you can’t place a call), and other problems are the norm. I am now getting half of our fees back as a refund every month, but most of my neighbors are not, though they have complained. We joke that it is a text-only service. GCI is supposedly working on the problem. There is a bottleneck on the local level at Nunap, where our calls are transferred to Bethel, where they hit another bottleneck because the entire delta goes through Bethel to a satellite to the outside world. That is apparently the problem. Calls in the early morning are not a problem. So this is still a work in progress as of now, 7/15/09.


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