RCA Alascom

AT&T Alascom

Alascom, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Alascom is an Alaskan telecommunications company; specifically, an interexchange carrier (IXC). AT&T Alascom is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T. AT&T Alascom, previously known as Alascom and many other names, was the first long-distance telephone company in Alaska. AT&T Alascom has extensive telecommunications infrastructure in Alaska, including three satellites, undersea and terrestrial cables containing optical fiber, and numerous earth stations.

Unlike most of the United States, AT&T had no role in Alaskan telecommunications as a local or long distance telephone provider until the purchase of Alascom in 1995. Alaska was also never served by any of the Regional Bell Operating Companies.

Alascom and GCI have been the two primary competitors for long-distance telephone service in Alaska since GCI's founding in 1979.

History

The company began in 1900 when the U.S. Congress authorized the U.S. Army Signal Corps to create the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System, or WAMCATS.

During the 1940s and World War II, the U.S. Army completed the system and it became known as the Alaska Communications System (ACS) and the White Alice Communications System. (Note: no affiliation to the current Alaska Communications Systems)

In 1970, RCA Corporation purchased ACS and renamed it RCA Alascom. Alascom greatly built up the telecommunications infrastructure in the state during this time, due to RCA's major involvement in communications satellites.

In 1979, Pacific Power & Light Company (under subsidiary Pacific Telecom, Inc.) purchased RCA Alascom and it became known as Alascom, Inc.

The company launched three communications satellites into orbit: Aurora I on October 27, 1982, Aurora II on May 29, 1991, and Aurora III in 2000. All three satellites are dedicated solely to providing telecommunications services to Alaska.

AT&T purchased Alascom in 1995 and gave the company its current name. Regulatory approval of the purchase required the company to continue to exist as a separate entity from AT&T.

Competitors

See also

External links

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