By CHARLES WHISENANT
The Arab Tribune
Otelco announced this week it is investing $5 million in its Alabama operations, including Arab, to expand fiber and improve its broadband connectivity.
The project will ad 113 miles to the company’s fiber network just to the company’s Arab business. That will make fiber available to 4,100 more locations in Arab.
Construction is set to begin in July and be complete in early 2020.
“This year, Otelco began a major initiative to rethink our broadband deployment strategy in an effort to deliver the greatest improvement to the largest number of our customers in the shortest time frame,” said Trevor Jones, vice president of sales and marketing for Otelco. “By investing in fiber expansion and major upgrades to our cable and DSL networks, we are committed to bringing more bandwidth to all of our customers by this time next year.”
In addition to those upgrades, Otelco announced it would also upgrade its DSL by adding VDSL (very high speed digital subscriber lines).
“That will nearly double the speed of our traditional DSL,” said Jason Fuller, OSP engineering and mapping manager for Otelco.
The following is part of Otelco’s announcement:
• Otelco is building 113 miles of fiber to the home network within Arab city limits. This will bring faster internet speeds, up to a gigabit per second (1,000 megabits per second) up and down, to 4,100 locations in Arab, both homes and businesses.
• Otelco is building another 83 miles of fiber in the nearby communities of Ryan, Jones Valley, Summit, Joppa and Strawberry.
As a result, an additional 820 customers in the surrounding area will also benefit from faster internet service (up to 1 gigabit per second).
• If you add the two together – that is 196 miles of fiber serving 4,920 homes and businesses in and around Arab.
• Those customers will be able to get our IPTV service, bringing many of those outside of Arab a cable TV option for the first time.
• The city of Arab is excited about the economic development opportunities that will come from having better internet connectivity available to prospective businesses.
• The additional Internet bandwidth will offer consumers the ability to work from home, participate in online education programs, and home healthcare through advanced telemedicine in addition to the obvious benefits for entertainment.
The VDSL plan includes:
• VDSL offers the potential for two to four times the internet speeds for customers close to Otelco’s equipment - up to 50 megabits per second.
• Customers who are not part of the current fiber plan will benefit. This includes customers in Arab and throughout the service area in Marshall, Morgan and Cullman counties.
• This will offer better options for video streaming and working-from-home for our customers in those areas.
For more information: 256-586-2682.