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.
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