Officials applaud Smithville Fiber expansion as growth engine
BLOOMINGTON (Indiana) – Smithville Fiber will launch a new era of gigabit fiber connectivity for Bloomington on May 28, beginning with Blue Ridge Estates neighborhood. The first-ever residential gigabit deployment in Bloomington will deploy Smithville GigaCity technology – symmetrical gigabit fiber-based connectivity and Indiana’s fastest Internet – as a result of a partnership between Smithville Telecom and the Blue Ridge Neighborhood Association (BRNA), according to Darby McCarty, Chairman and CEO.
The move will launch Bloomington’s first true “fiberhood.” According to Dave Brodin, chief technology officer for Smithville Fiber, other neighborhoods and areas of Bloomington are currently being considered for additional Smithville Fiber expansions.
“High-speed connectivity is a critical component of growing our region’s tech economy, and Smithville’s fiber introduction to the Blue Ridge neighborhood is an important step forward for the Bloomington area,” said Katie Birge, executive director of the Bloomington Technology Partnership.
Bringing access to 225 homes in Blue Ridge, the Smithville GigaCity technology will make available new fiber-based high-speed connectivity at a presently unmatched symmetrical 1,000 mbps speeds (up and down in data transmission), all with an in-home wireless gigabit capacity. This is several times faster than traditional cable, which often only offers download speeds of 20 Mbps and 2-3 mbps upload. The Blue Ridge project will be a true Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) project, according to Brodin, who spearheaded the development.
“We’re excited to be the first neighborhood in the city to have this technology available to residents,” said Jo Basey, president of the Blue Ridge Neighborhood Association. “This is an investment that will not only benefit our residents, but will also benefit the city by bringing more competition for broadband services to Bloomington,” she added.
She also noted recent research which showed that fiber connectivity can increase home value.
With the fiber gigabit service, Smithville will also offer Blue Ridge residents best-quality IPTV (video), crystal-clear voice services, high-capacity data transmission, fast access to cloud services, and Smithville’s suite of services for home security and cellular. Details are available at http://blueridge.smithville.com.
“Since our main service facilities are in the Bloomington region and many of our employees live in Bloomington, we are especially pleased to expand our new gigabit services here,” said Ms. McCarty. Smithville is also an official sponsor of Indiana University athletics, which Ms. McCarty said also ties the company close to the city.
Noting how Smithville became involved in the Blue Ridge project, Brodin said: “We were pleased to respond to a request late last year from the BRNA board to work with them on a plan to deploy fiber gigabit services.”
“Our new technology, which builds on our fiber capacity, looks like an excellent fit for the Blue Ridge neighborhood,” Brodin continued. Advances in gigabit technology have enabled Smithville to offer true symmetrical gigabit (1,000 mbps) service for new developments in Jasper, Danville and elsewhere.
John Grigutis, a BRNA board member, said “In evaluating Smithville against the two other major telecommunications providers in our neighborhood, Smithville offered the lowest cost per Mbps [megabits per second].
“This made it [the Smithville proposal] an extremely attractive value,” he added.
Explaining why the Blue Ridge neighborhood was seeking a new provider, Grigutis went on to say :“Many residents had issues with poor service with our existing providers, but since Smithville will be laying new fiber underground, installing new cabling within the home, and is using the latest/fastest equipment, these issues should be greatly reduced if not eliminated completely.”
Blue Ridge residents have already experienced the benefits of working with Smithville. “The [Smithville] staff has been a pleasure to work with because they all seem to be totally focused on the customers’ wants/needs,” said Basey. “A lot of residents like the fact that this is a local company, and that when we call for help, the person who answers the phone is close by and not in some call center in another state or country.”
Brodin noted that Smithville has an agile capacity to build fiber networks in specific neighborhoods, and that other areas and cities were presently under consideration.
Fiber-optics networking with gigabit capacity is quickly becoming a necessary element of civic infrastructure. Advancements in healthcare leverage fiber capacity for critical image transmission and telemedicine. Growing businesses can rely on its dependable connectivity to “future-proof” their operations. Consumers benefit from gigabit-based “smart home” technology, as well as lightning-fast downloads of high-definition movies, streaming video (such as Netflix and Amazon Prime), and a host of other services.
Fiber offers a platform of exponential speed and can carry enormous amounts of data. The transition to a purely fiber platform means increasing download speeds from a few megabits per second (Mbps) to 1,000 Mbps. With this new capacity large files can be downloaded much faster. For example, with gigabit connectivity, a full two-hour HD movie can be downloaded in about 30-50 seconds regardless of the number of devices connected, compared with much longer periods of time at lower bandwidth speeds.
Cloud-based computer applications that fully leverage the power of gigabit connectivity are presently in development. They include numerous quality of life and business productivity applications that will positively impact, even transform, areas of healthcare, entertainment and commercial operations.
About Smithville Fiber and Smithville Communications – Nationally recognized as a Top 100 Broadband Company, privately owned Smithville Fiber is Indiana’s largest independent telecom company with more than 140 employees. With an earned reputation as a communications technology innovator, Smithville is presently deploying Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) and other enhanced fiber services to its business and residential customers. These services, which range up to 10 Gbps for enterprise operations, provide a platform for the fastest connectivity available in Indiana to business, institutions and consumers. The company develops the Smithville GigaCity™ technology platform and provides fiber-based connectivity, data consulting, network management and managed services for businesses, university campuses, biotechnology companies, healthcare providers, government offices, residential centers, communities, and other entities, including Jasper and Danville (Indiana). Smithville also manages a legacy copper communication network in rural south central Indiana, and began a system-wide effort to upgrade rural capacity with a fiber-to-the-cabinet initiative in 2014. The company currently serves about 23,000 businesses and residences in southern and central Indiana, as well as large enterprise customers throughout the state. For more information, please visit www.smithville.com.