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FTC fiber expansion project will increase bandwidth

BY KAYLA GREEN
kayla@theitem.com
Posted 7/2/20

FTC recently announced a 5-year, $70 million fiber project that it says will ultimately change the landscape of telecommunications in the area.

Approaching 12 months in the construction process, the expansion plan is in full stride with the …

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FTC fiber expansion project will increase bandwidth

Posted

FTC recently announced a 5-year, $70 million fiber project that it says will ultimately change the landscape of telecommunications in the area.

Approaching 12 months in the construction process, the expansion plan is in full stride with the recent completion of Beach Forest in Sumter County, along with West Andrews in Williamsburg County. That is 110 miles added to the FTC fiber network. An additional 510 miles of main-line construction in 11 different areas are underway.

The initial goal is to make fiber available to 80% of the businesses and residents in FTC's service area. FTC says it is the fastest internet plan available in the market. As the project nears the 2024 completion phase, the cooperative will continue to evaluate the best solution to reach the remaining 20% with a similar connection. FTC is headquartered in Kingstree and serves more than 60,000 customers within a 3,000-square-mile coverage area that includes businesses and residents in Clarendon, Lee, Sumter, Williamsburg and lower Florence counties.

"This investment will equip our communities for generations to come," FTC CEO Brad Erwin said. "The internet becomes increasingly more important almost daily, and we recognize that it is essential for our customers to have access to the best technology available. Fiber paves the way for technology, both now and in the future."

The reasons for the investment include the ever-increasing need for more bandwidth. The list of smart devices that require an internet connection continues to grow, and that is a major reason for the need for more bandwidth. According to FTC, the fiber expansion will allow the cooperative to meet the data demand being placed on the network and will help steer the communities it serves into the next wave of technology.

Other than an almost unlimited capacity, other benefits of being an FTC fiber customer, according to the company, include:

- Zero buffering;

- Symmetrical plans, meaning the upload speed and download speed are the same;

- The capability to stream over the top TV service, movies and music on multiple devices simultaneously;

- Low latency and ping speeds that provide a superior online gaming experience;

- Improved reliability and less susceptibility to inclement weather such as lightning; and

- It paves the way for hosted services and cloud-based applications.

Equipment for FTC and its contractors will be visible in the FTC service area as construction continues. Customers will be notified as their specific areas are complete and fiber ready.