Fiber to a Computer Near You Soon
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
For the residents of Jump Off, Midway, and Monteagle, fiber optic internet service is now available from Ben Lomand Connect. For other Plateau residents, a fiber connection will be at their doorstep very soon.
“It’s exciting stuff for folks in this area,” said Bryan Kell, Ben Lomand marketing and public relations manager. Kell gave a timeline of progress and predicts all fiber connections will be up and running before the end of the year.
Grant opportunities and a partnership between Ben Lomand Connect, Duck River Electric, and the University of the South are responsible for making fiber a reality plateau-wide. On the University Domain, two of three phases are completed. “The final phase on Alabama Avenue heading toward Monteagle is still a couple months out,” Kell said. In the Sherwood Road area, the construction and drops are placed and ready for splicing. The Connectivity Grant timeline promised completion before the end of the year. Kell sees that as a realistic goal, provided the weather cooperates.
In Tracy City, construction is complete in the tiny homes community and Little Lake and Campbell subdivisions, Kell said. Clouse Hill and Summerfield roads are just a few weeks away from completion, and Kell projected the Freemont community would be online-ready in a month.
Conversion from copper to fiber internet service is free, said Kelly Burrows, Ben Lomand customer service representative. Ben Lomand offers three fiber internet speeds, 50 megabytes per second ($49.95 per month), 100 megabytes per second ($69.95 per month), and 1,000 megabytes per second, one gigabyte ($99.95 per month).
“That’s one gigabyte upload and download speeds both,” Kell said.
Residents living in a fiber-ready service area can make an appointment to connect to fiber by phoning the Tracy City Ben Lomand office (931) 592-2121.
Burrows said current customers using a Ben Lomand router will need to switch to a fiber compatible router. Customers can lease a fiber compatible router from Ben Lomand for $3 per month or purchase their own.
For customers who experience internet problems, Ben Lomand offers 24-7 around the clock technical support, Kell said, and also live online chat. On Sept. 1, Ben Lomand will officially launch the Ben Lomand Home program, which offers enhanced security and ability to manage in-home devices, including children’s screen time.
Ben Lomand plans an extensive outreach to notify residents fiber optic internet service is available to them, according to Kell. “We want to get as many people as possible hooked up to Ben Lomand fiber,” Kell stressed. “We want to give people a fantastic fiber experience with a fantastic price.”