Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

June 12, 2013

Windstream begins Grayson area upgrade

By Leeann Akers - Editor
Journal-Times

June 12, 2013 — A local Internet provider has started a project to upgrade the majority of its service in the Grayson Area.

Fiber optic cable between Grayson's central hub and 89 percent of the customers in the area is slated to be replaced within the next six months.

“We haven't had a problem with an outage per se,” Scott Morris, Windstream media spokesman, told the Journal-Times. “The network is functioning properly but there has been an explosive use of these lines within the last few years.”

Morris explained that advances in technology, especially Internet-based entertainment like movie streaming, online gaming, and complex websites have begun to overwhelm usage.

This causes the network to exceed its capacity during peak streaming times. It has nothing to do with the age of the lines but more with how they were designed.

“The upgrades are complex and involve more than simply installing fiber,” Morris said. “We also must install, test and tune up electronic equipment and then move the customers to the new equipment, in addition to making adjustments to the network upstream from Carter County. As a result, the upgrades will be done in phases, starting in September and finishing before the end of the year. As the upgrades are completed, customers will notice improved Internet speeds.”

He said the upgrade will cost Windstream about $94,000.

“It is very expensive to do this kind of upgrade,” Morris said. “The more rural the area, the higher the cost.”

Lines to individual homes and businesses will not be replaced. The copper cables that are being replaced are deeper in the network and are working as they were designed to do.

Morris said there are currently no plans to upgrade the remaining 11 percent of customer lines because their rural locations make the cost ineffective for the company.

“We are installing fiber optic cable from the central office to remote switches in areas where it is economically feasible to do so in order to address the explosive growth in Internet usage that Windstream, like other Internet service providers, has experienced over the past 24 months or so,” Morris said. “We appreciate our customers' patience and will work diligently to finish each phase as soon as possible.”

Leeann Akers can be reached at lakers@journal-times.com or by phone at 474-5101.