Smithville Telephone Rebuilds Communication Systems

September 2009 Vol. 64 No. 9

“Fiber will change entirely the way we do business,” Hahn said. “It’s a rollover that will require training to convert employees at every level to be fiber people.”

When the rebuild is complete, none of Smithville’s customers will be connected to copper or hybrid (copper, fiber or coaxial cable) systems, which have significant limitations and cannot achieve the high speeds available only with fiber based systems. Smithville plans to roll out a completely new suite of services with its rebuild, including extended data and consumer video packages. Customers will be able to access the Internet, telecom or future video services when they become available at download speeds up to the 100 mb per second range.

Smithville Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Darby A. McCarty said the fiber network is expected to have profound positive implications for rural economic development, as the high capacity of a fiber optic system will enable rural businesses to compete on a global scale.

The Smithville fiber network is being financed though a federal loan program from the Rural Utilities Services (RUS) division of the United States Department of Agriculture which provides long term loans to communications companies for upgrading services to rural areas.

Smithville is one of Indiana’s oldest and is the largest independent communications company, with its telephone division founded in 1922. Smithville began converting its operations to a digital platform in the 1980s. In 2003, the company created a new commercial division, Smithville Digital, which is constructing the new fiber network.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Smithville Telephone, (812) 876-2211, www.smithville.net
Ervin Cable Construction LLC, (270) 333-3366, www.ervincable.com
Ditch Witch, (800) 654-6481, www.ditchwitch.com
Telplexus, (615) 867-7766, www.telplexus.com

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