Hmmm -- it may be a shift in the roaming agreement, those partnerships and particulars do change from time to time. The best way to get this question in front of the folks who know would be to Contact Us and work with our Tech team to file a ticket for roaming coverage. If this is outside of our current expected speeds for the roaming partnership; they'll be able to get that passed to engineers for review!
Nope - isn't that. I still get 10Mb/+ in SOME areas. GCI is not shaping traffic/throttling - though roaming users are lower priority.
Issue is GCI is saturated at many sites due to uptake of users on their network and them moving most of the legacy CDMA users to their LTE network now. At some point GCI will add more backhaul (e.g. more bandwidth) to the sites in question and sector splits due to frequency bandwidth.
A telltale way to see if this is the issue is on a speedtest if the download speed is low, but upload is HIGH then the site is RF/frequency saturated and GCI really needs to look at adding more spectrum (if they have it) and/or splitting the sector (like T-Mobile has been doing on their densify). Really they need to add Carrier aggregation (see below)
If you get low speeds for upload as well then it's purely backhaul to the site.
Much of rural Alaska is microwave backhaul/RF - larger towns is a mix of Fiber and some T1. The T1 sites are the bigger issue as GCI hasn't invested in fiber to all sites. So e.g. midtown Anchorage is good or bad depending on which sites you are utilizing. They also don't see to have carrier aggregation fully turned on with GCI - THAT alone is causing most issues. (this is where your phone will use multiple frequency bands together to get higher data throughput)
Side note: I have a SkyRoam Hotspot for Intl travel when I need to go beyond the free Simple Roaming/Intl Roaming data speeds. This device DOES work in Alaska and roams on the Death Star (sorry won't call out their name - look at the network with a logo like a death star) - You can add a day pass bundle for $9 a day once you've invested in the HW device. I use this RARELY in AK - like in Denali I find the coverage on Death Start better than GCI and for $9 a day I get 500MB full speed and if needed throttled that's higher than TMO's AT&T throttling. Again RARELY use it - 8 days in Alaska and I may have a day or two I use it - find GCI OK for the rest (acceptable - not great)