Highland Telephone Cooperative Continuing Work on Fiber to Home Project – Part 1

 

Highland Telephone Cooperative is in the midst of a multi-year project installing fiber optic cable in it’s coverage area in the county.  It’s a lot of territory to cover, but it will bring improved service to all of its customers.

Chad Kimble is the General Manager of Highland Telephone Cooperative in Monterey.

“Highland Telephone started their broadband to the home, the fiber to the home project, in 2016,” says Kimble.  “We started, obviously, with our closest area here in Monterey and was able to get that fibered.  After that, we have been moving out into the outlying areas of the county.  Some of the recent places that we’ve covered was the Blue Grass area, after Monterey, the Mustoe area and this latest completion of Mill Gap.  We’ve installed around forty-seven miles of fiber optic cable in Mill Gap this year, so we’re excited about that.”

“Some of the areas that we’re looking at for 2022 are the Hightown and Allegheny areas right now,” says Kimble.  “Moving into some of those areas will be some of our challenging areas, the mountainous conditions.   We feel very confident that we will reach all of our customers out in the Allegheny area and the Bear Mountain Road area, clear out right on the West Virginia line.”

The fall of 2023 is the planned completion date, when fiber will be available to every Highland Telephone Cooperative customer.

“In 2023 we will finish up our Strait Creek and Jack Mountain area and that will be the finishing areas to get broadband to everybody and get the fiber into everybody’s home,” says Kimble.

Fiber installation is also ongoing in Highland through MGW Telephone.  MGW covers part of Highland and is working to install fiber for all of it’s customers.

“Highland Telephone covers the western portion of Highland,” says Kimble.   “Our area covers from the Crab Run area clear to the West Virginia area, on the western portion.  We do meet MGW Telephone on the eastern portion and they cover the eastern portion of Highland.”

Fiber optic cable is necessary now to provide the requirements of future technology.

“We are actually cutting all of our customers over to the fiber optic network,” says Kimble.  “We can see that this is going to be the future of broadband delivery.  The internet itself has basically carved it’s own path as far as the needs that it has to have, with broadband and the speeds.  It’s what we’ve seen for years and had to grow with the industry and make changes that we really didn’t want to make, but we could see that we had to make them to stay ahead of the technology.  It’s things like that that’s going to make us evolve into a bigger bandwidth need for years to come.  It’s going to keep growing and fiber, obviously, is going to be the way to do that.”

If you are in the Monterey, Blue Grass, Mustoe or Mill Gap areas and have not connected to the new fiber network, call for more information or for an appointment.  Technicians are working daily on installation to homes.  The number is 540-468-2131.

Stay tuned to hear more about Highland Telephone Cooperative’s efforts to bring fiber to all of its customers in Highland.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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