Smithville launches half-million-dollar fiber expansion in Ellettsville
National Top 100 broadband company increases services in original fiber location
ELLETTSVILLE (Indiana) – Smithville, a nationally ranked Top 100 broadband company, began a $500,000 high-speed fiber expansion to 456 homes in the Ellettsville community in August. The project demonstrates Smithville’s commitment to advance fiber infrastructure in the greater Ellettsville area, where the company first launched its innovative fiber service in 2008. The expansion continues a year of Smithville-funded and -directed fiber projects in Monroe County, and the project is expected to create between 7-10 related jobs in Ellettsville.
“Every strand of fiber that is placed advances the state of Indiana toward a new and exciting technology focus,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who was on hand August 10 to formally mark the expansion launch. “We applaud Smithville for continuing to take a strong leadership position in bringing high-speed fiber to all Hoosiers, and especially those living and working in rural areas.”
“Ellettsville has been our corporate headquarters for many years and it’s also where we first began converting our legacy copper systems into state-of-the-art fiber,” said Darby A. McCarty, Chairman and CEO of Smithville. “We’ve wanted to do this for years, and we’re pleased that we’re finally able to do so.”
The Smithville project is expected to take up to year to complete and will involve four Ellettsville neighborhoods, beginning with the neighborhood Prominence Pointe. Other neighborhoods in the current Ellettsville project are Deer Run, Greenbrier Knolls and Arrowhead.
The new neighborhoods will be built using Smithville’s new GigaCity technology, which will offer symmetrical data speeds up to a gigabit (1,000 Mbps). “When the new fiber is turned on in these four neighborhoods, current Smithville customers who were previously on our copper legacy systems will be given the option to dramatically increase their current 10-20 Mbps speeds,” said Ms. McCarty.
The increased bandwidth platform will allow Smithville to begin offering its 200-plus channel digital TV service over fiber. The new service will include Smithville’s in-home wireless gateway.
Building on its established reputation as a technology innovator, Smithville was an early adopter of fiber technology in the 1990s. After launching the fiber-based Indiana Digital Gateway in 2001, Smithville made plans to begin a broad conversion of legacy copper-based systems into fiber. The company received a $90 million loan in 2008 to commence the project.
“We had planned to build additional fiber systems in Ellettsville, but major changes in federal broadband support policy and the Great Recession forced modifications in our original plans,” said Cullen McCarty, executive vice president of Smithville. “We’re now in a position where we can change some of that.”
Smithville maintains and operates more than 2,500 miles of fiber in Indiana.