Smithville Launches Major Fiber-supported Upgrade for Rural DSL Customers

  • Smithville Communications
ELLETTSVILLE, IN – Smithville Communications formally launched a new expansion of its fiber-optics network for copper infrastructure in early January. This new expansion of fiber-supported connectivity into rural Indiana is part of a planned multi-year construction project to upgrade speed and capacity. Initial construction has already begun in rural areas of Greene County.

Creating a Platform for Future Direct FTTP Installations
According to Darby McCarty, Smithville CEO, the construction project will extend and enhance service quality and capacity for Smithville customers currently receiving copper-based DSL data services. By extending fiber further into existing copper-based communication infrastructure, Smithville is creating a platform for possible future direct fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) installations.

“Our ultimate goal is to contribute our professional expertise and capacity to converting and building out fiber-based and fiber-supported networks throughout Indiana, and in particular in rural areas in southern Indiana,” said Ms. McCarty.

Since 2008, Smithville has deployed FTTP services to over half of its residential customer base in southern Indiana as part of a $100 million project that Smithville funded through a previous federal loan program. When the terms of prior federal financing options changed, Smithville began funding additional expansion opportunities through its own means.

Dramatically Increasing Data Speed and Capacity for Copper-based Customers

“With the growth of streaming video, the existing technology available through legacy copper infrastructure has just been unable to handle the increasing customer bandwidth demands,” said Dave Brodin, chief technology officer of Smithville Communications. “Pushing fiber further out into the network, will help alleviate possible congestion that customers may experience.” The added value of the new construction, according to Brodin, is that “we will have the potential to dramatically increase the data speeds and capacity for many of our copper-based customers.”

For customers within 10,000 feet of Smithville’s fiber-supported equipment, a new VDSL product (digital IPTV and high-speed Internet delivered through a combination of fiber and copper infrastructure) will be available. Compared to the current maximum 3 Mbps available with legacy copper-based DSL, this new service will offer speeds between 10 and 40 Mbps. In addition, customers can receive Smithville’s IPTV service with more than 200 channels.

Copper in the Home Supported by Fiber in the Field
Planning for the upgrade started in early 2014, and construction is already underway in the first area, which includes Stanford and Solsberry (Indiana). When completed, affected customers will still have the existing copper to their home, but the Smithville access equipment in the field that provides the service will be entirely supported by fiber. Construction and upgrades will continue throughout out Smithville’s service area for the next three to four years.

“This is essentially the first step in any future FTTP efforts in these areas,” Brodin continued. “This brings the fiber much closer to our customers opening up the possibility of extending it all the way to their homes at some future point.”

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