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FTC recently announced a 5-year, $70 million fiber project that 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. Another 510 miles of main-line construction in 11 different areas are currently under way.  

The initial goal of this monumental undertaking is to make fiber available to 80 percent of the businesses and residents in FTC’s service area, providing the fastest Internet plans available in the market and effectively future-proofing the FTC wired network. As the project nears the 2024 completion phase, the Cooperative will continue to evaluate the best solution to reach the remaining 20 percent with a similar connection.

“This investment will equip our communities for generations to come,” said FTC Chief Executive Officer Brad Erwin. “The Internet becomes increasingly more important almost daily and we recognize that 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 are numerous, starting with 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. 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, there are numerous benefits of being an FTC fiber customer. Below are some of those benefits.

• 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.

• 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.

ABOUT FTC

Founded in 1951, Farmers Telephone Cooperative, Inc. is a local, multifaceted telecommunications company headquartered in Kingstree. Serving more than 60,000 customers within a coverage area of 3,000 square miles, FTC provides cutting-edge technology to businesses and residents of Clarendon, lower Florence, Lee, Sumter and Williamsburg counties. A veteran of the telephone industry, FTC has evolved into a state-of-the-art organization, offering Internet, wireless, both local phone and long- distance service, security and digital TV. Customers can choose from a wide array of products and services at any of the company’s seven full-service stores.