Alabama Expanse Gets Upgraded to a Gig

A telecom co-op in northeastern Alabama upgrades its entire fiber network to gigabit speeds for residents and businesses.

Jason Meyers, Executive Editor

February 12, 2015

2 Min Read
Alabama Expanse Gets Upgraded to a Gig

Farmer's Telecommunications Cooperative (FTC), the largest member-owned telecom provider in Alabama, has upgraded the fiber network across its entire territory to gigabit speeds.

FTC now delivers gigabit services throughout DeKalb and Jackson Counties, covering an area in northeast Alabama between Huntsville and Chattanooga, Tenn. with a total population of about 70,000.

The upgrade is part of a commitment on the part of the service provider that started in 2007 to cover all of the company's ILEC and CLEC territories with fiber, says Fred Johnson, executive vice president and general manager at FTC.

"That was driven by a commitment by the co-op board to make sure the communities we were founded to serve had no weaknesses in terms of communications infrastructure," Johnson says.

For the latest on urban network innovation, visit Light Reading's dedicated Gigabit Cities content channel. And be sure to register to attend Light Reading's Gigabit Cities Live event on May 13-14 in Atlanta.

FTC's gigabit deployment is significant not only because of the smaller markets it covers, but also because of the completeness of the gigabit upgrade to which the carrier committed. Every home and business in its territory can now get access to a symmetrical gig on FTC's 2,770-mile network, thanks to deployment of Active Ethernet (point-to-point) infrastructure gear from Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX). (See 1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You.)

Like many other smaller providers pursuing gigabit network deployments, Johnson says FTC is working with enterprise customers in sectors such as healthcare, for example, to connect them with applications that can leverage the capabilities of the gigabit network.

"There's an underlying need for quite a few businesses in the area, driven by both business requirements and a lot of telecommuters," he says.

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jason Meyers

Executive Editor

Jason Meyers joined the editorial staff of Light Reading in 2014 with more than 20 years of experience covering a broad range of business sectors. He is responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in the Internet of Things (IoT), Gigabit Cities and utility communications areas. He previously was Executive Editor of Entrepreneur magazine, overseeing all editorial operations, assignments and editorial staff for the monthly business publication. Prior to that, Meyers spent 15 years on the editorial staff of the former Telephony magazine, including eight years as Editor in Chief.

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