Newport Utilities to offer Internet, TV and phone service

7/20/2017

The Newport City Council meeting in special session voted unanimously to endorse a plan by Newport Utilities (NU) to offer broadband services.

Spokesperson Sharon Kyser talked to the News Source about the offering. "We will be offering, very affordable high speed Internet, with speeds up to 1 gig. TV and phone also will be available, in a very dependable service," she said. The residential Internet and phone with long distance, separate price will begin at $39.95 per month, and TV service with 70 channels is expected to cost about $55 per month as a stand-alone offering. The triple play (including Internet, TV and phone) will start at $109 per month.

There also will be offerings for business customers. Kyser said the primary purpose of the fiber-optic network is to allow NU to deploy a Smart Grid network infrastructure, to include fiber to the meter, to improve electric operational efficiencies, reduce peak demand, lower operating costs, decrease power restoration time, increase reliability, and build an energy efficiency program platform.

Once the Smart Grid network is in place, NU can leverage its investment to contribute to the community’s goal of promoting growth in economic development and increased quality of life for residents by providing broadband services. With this deployment, communities in the NU service area will have access to a start of the art communications network offering high-speed broadband at affordable prices.

What broadband services will be offered? NU will offer the “triple-play” of broadband services—high-speed Internet, voice services, and video—to both residential and business customers in the NU service area.

What is the advantage of fiber broadband? Fiber broadband provides higher bandwidth and can transmit data over longer distances compared to traditional wired cables. "A single strand of fiber can easily provide video, voice, and internet services to a neighborhood of 32 to 64 homes—at speeds of more than 1 Gigabit per second," Kyser explained. Broadband is an internet connection that has a minimum download speed of 25Mbps (Megabits per second) and a minimum upload speed of 3Mbps.

Fiber broadband will allow NU to provide much higher speeds—up to 1 Gigabit per second—consistently and symmetrically. That means the upload speed will be as fast as the download speed, which is important when uploading photos, working from home on a VPN connection, or working with cloud based applications. NU’s fiber broadband project will be completed in phases.

The Phase I build plan includes nearly 7,000 residential customers, and nearly 1,200 business customers that will have the opportunity to connect to NU’s new fiber broadband services.

Construction will begin soon and plans are to connect the first customers by end of year. The Phase I build plan will take twelve to eighteen months to complete; other phases will be completed as soon as possible after that.

Source: WNPC

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org

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