The Red Rock community in Barton will soon enjoy the benefits of TEC’s new fiber optic broadband network. Crews have begun installing fiber optic cable on Red Rock Road, and TEC plans to complete the construction in November. The total cost of this project is $1,020,490 and is being funded by a grant in the amount of $357,171 from the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund. TEC will contribute the additional funding in the amount of $663,319.
“Broadband is more important now than ever, and we are one step closer to offering our customers the same life-changing technology that is typically only available in large urban cities,” says TEC Executive Vice President Joey Garner. “When completed, our customers will have access to dependable, fast fiber internet speeds rivaled by none.”
Garner acknowledges that TEC’s fiber deployment plan is a challenge, but the company is dedicated to providing increased internet access and opportunities to their residential and business customers served in Alabama.
Fiber optic broadband is a future-proof technology that increases property values and improves the quality of life. Fiber broadband means better access to health care through telemedicine, more educational opportunities through distance learning, increased opportunities for economic development, and of course a better video streaming and gaming experience. The potential is unlimited.
When completed, the project will connect 200 homes and include about 9 square miles. Additionally, TEC will provide an outdoor WI-FI public access point and free internet access for three years for the community and first responders at the Red Rock storm shelter as a part of this project.
“We have seen during the pandemic the need for high speed internet in our rural areas,” states Jamie Kiel, Alabama State Representative for District 18. “Our students are being asked to do more from home than they ever have before and many of our citizens are working from home or could if they could access broadband internet. I am thankful that we will now be able to access this in Colbert County.”
TEC has been providing telecom services to rural America for nearly a century, and they were the first to bring internet options to its rural markets over 20 years ago. TEC provides economic stability to their local service areas, employing over 200 people across Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Currently, TEC has invested in and maintains approximately 3,700 miles of copper and over 1,300 miles of fiber in its rural markets.