NorthState announced it bringing ultra-high-speed fiber internet service to approximately 38,000 residents and businesses in North Carolina's Forsyth and Randolph counties. According to a press release, the provider's latest network expansion in in the state will blanket the region with more than 683 miles of the latest fiber-optic technology featuring 100 Gig speed capacity at a cost of approximately $51 million.
The project will bring fiber internet to underserved areas of Bethania, Lewisville and Winston-Salem in Forsyth County and nearly 100% fiber coverage to the Asheboro, Franklinville and Ramseur communities in Randolph County. NorthState will fully fund the project and said it has begun engineering work immediately, with construction starting in late 2022.
The company estimates that most of the project will be completed in under two years.
NorthState contends its fiber networks "are built for the future using the best technology available and with available speed tiers of up to 2000 Mbps x 2000 Mbps," equating to 154 times faster uploads and 12 times faster downloads than traditional cable. As noted by the operator, most consumers in NorthState’s planned expansion in Forsyth and Randolph counties are now served by cable or DSL infrastructure, which lacks the upload speed capacity required for today’s applications.
“The demand for bandwidth is only increasing as consumers connect more and more devices—and use more and more two-way applications like Zoom and gaming—that demand not just high download speeds but equally fast upload speeds. Fiber is the only technology that can meet these demands and unlock the potential of what’s next,” pointed out Jay Winn, NorthState’s chief customer officer.
“Our expansion in the Triad will bring a much-needed competitive choice. These communities will have internet built for the future,” Winn added.
Winn said the expansion project will include 23,000 homes and businesses in Forsyth County and 15,000 homes in Randolph County. Approximately 28% of NorthState’s expansion in Randolph County includes areas where there is only DSL (no cable) internet today, meaning there is a crucial lack of high-speed internet in any form.
“As Forsyth County continues to grow, we are delighted to have NorthState develop high speed, state of the art communications infrastructure. We are most appreciative of NorthState’s investment so that our citizens can rely on improved connectivity to work, play and thrive,” said Forsyth County Commissioner David Plyer.
Residents in the expansion areas will receive communication by mail when construction begins, and may also sign up for email updates at northstate.net.
“The vision of the Randolph County Digital Alliance is that every household, farm, and business will have the opportunity to earn, learn and be well by accessing needed digital resources,” said Kenneth Sherin, N.C. Cooperative Extension County Director for Randolph County. “The investment by NorthState will allow Randolph County residents to realize this vision… broadband access and digital skills are essential in our present economy.”