The NTCA-Rural Broadband Association this month awarded the Highland Telephone Cooperative (HTC) of Sunbright, Tennessee, its national certification as a “Gig-capable” provider, reports the Independent-Herald.
HTC serves Scott and Morgan counties in Tennessee and McCreary County in Kentucky and is now one of 85 Gig-certified company/cooperative providers in the nation. The certification recognizes rural communities that are at the cutting-edge of broadband technology, offering Internet service of up to at least 1 Gigabit per second (1,000 Megabits per second or Mbps). The association launched this national campaign in the fall of 2015.
Years of Planning
HTC completed its $66 million fiber-optic network within the last year; 1 Gig capacity Internet service is available to all 16,5000 members reports the Independent-Herald. The six-year project upgrades the cooperative’s old copper network. Highland Telephone CEO Mark Patterson:
"This gigabit certification caps off years of careful planning, investing and building a brand-new fiber network in our area...All along, we knew our commitment was worth the effort so our friends and families in this area could keep their rural lifestyle without sacrificing world-class connectivity."
The upgrade included more than 2,700 miles of fiber by the cooperative's crews and contractors — enough to stretch from Highland's office in Sunbright to Vancouver in British Columbia, the Independent-Herald reported.
"Our area lacks interstates and many economic advantages that other communities enjoy, and we've suffered through some extremely high unemployment in recent years," Patterson said. "An asset like a gigabit-capable network can be our competitive edge when it comes to bringing in industry and growing existing businesses."
85 Gig Networks
To date, the NTCA-Rural Broadband Association has recognized 85 companies and cooperatives from 26 states as Gig-capable. The list includes 26 recipients in Iowa and six from Minnesota....Read more