It is that time of year again, where we provide a “By the Numbers” look back at our yearly Fiber to the Premise progress. Every year we get closer and closer to our goal of providing Lightwave Fiber Internet to all of our customers.
It has been a year of changes for OTELCO. Among other things, our family of companies has been under one name for a full year now, we launched a brand new website and over the summer we instituted a new billing system. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to expanding Fiber to the Premise (FTTP).
Busy Building Fiber
In 2018, OTELCO worked to not only deploy new fiber but to replace old copper technology with fiber infrastructure when possible. It hasn’t always been easy, or inexpensive, but we are proud of how much we accomplished in the past year. We strung an additional 130 miles of fiber, and 1,800 new locations. OTELCO now owns, operates, or leases 3,880 miles of fiber and offers FTTP in almost 5,000 locations in six states.
2018 saw $2,085,000.00 of OTELCO’s capital invested in fiber, with an additional $160,000 in grant money from the ConnectME authority. That grant money has allowed us to greatly expand FTTP in the Plymouth/Dixmont ME area. This summer, we went underground, and laid fiber underneath the Plymouth causeway, in an effort to maintain the scenic views of Plymouth Pond. In Alabama, we added almost 1,400 new FTTP locations, and in Missouri, we were able to bring Fiber to the entire town of Miami.
Lastly, in 2018 we introduced OTELCO Lightwave, our new and improved FTTP services with speeds reaching as high as 200 Mbps. To better serve our customers looking for service in their area, we partnered with VETRO Fiber Map to develop an interactive Lightwave Map. With this new tool, you can easily search your address to see if you live in the Lightwave Zone. If you’re not in the zone, you can complete a short form requesting a build in your community. This feature is great because it lets OTELCO’s engineers pinpoint the areas with the largest FTTP need.
What Comes Next?
OTLECO started out as a group of farmers, working together to bring telephone services to those places where the big telephone companies wouldn’t go. Today OTELCO continues that tradition, by bringing high-speed fiber Internet to the rural parts of the country when big telecom won’t. In the years to come, OTELCO will continue to bring more and more customers FTTP, by expanding our Lightwave Zone as far and wide as we can go. We made an ACAM commitment to add approximately 20,000 new fiber locations through 2026. Every year we get closer and closer to meeting that goal, as we work to provide rural Americans with the fastest and most reliable Internet available.