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TDS Telecom continues to wire town with fiber optics


TDS Telecom continues to pave the way for its expansion of services in the Farragut area by replacing the copper coaxial cable with fiber optic lines.

The ultimate goal, said TDS Telecom marketing manager Jerry Parkerson, is to be able to offer a wide range of services to the residents of Farragut. These services will eventually include telephone service, high-speed Internet access with up to a four-megabyte capacity and possibly video service.

“We are bringing leading edge technology to the town of Farragut,” Parkerson said. “We’re in the process of building the fiber optic network to be able to do this.”

He said currently several subdivisions and areas have been wired with fiber-optic cable. These areas include Crestview, Sugarwood, Village Green, Stone Crest, Linda Heights and the area off Thornton Drive. Areas where there is` fiber optic construction include Concord Hills and Kingsgate.

The presence of large trucks and equipment doesn’t seem to bother residents.

“I don’t think they’re causing too many problems,” said Concord Hills resident Ed Harris. “I’m looking forward to when they get the work done.”

The conversion to a fiber optic network will mean residents of Farragut will have options in their services. Parkerson said the advent of new technology, such as computers requiring a higher access speed and high-definition television, means consumers will require more information at higher speeds. The plan is to eventually have the fiber-optic cable connect to an optical network terminal at the customer’s home. The ONT will then translate the light-impulses carried by the fiber optic network into phone service, Internet service or whatever service the customer chooses to purchase.

For television service, Parkerson said the company has agreements in place with 150 networks. These would allow Farragut residents to have a choice in television service.

Parkerson said the fiber optic cable has advantages over the current copper coaxial cable. One advantage is glass fiber optic cable will not be affected by lightning.

Another advantage, said TDS Telecom plant manager Ernest Joyner, is the fiber optic cable will not be as subject to corrosion as the coaxial cable. The older coaxial cable required compressed air to be pumped into the lines to keep them dry. If a line broke, water tended to seep in through the break. The fiber optic cable won’t suffer from such deficiencies.

The fiber optic system will also reduce the amount of support equipment necessary at the central office and substations. Joyner said the support equipment for the coaxial cable requires much more space than fiber optic cable.

TDS continues to harness technical advancements and expand product offerings.

In 2003, voice, data, and video services based on Voice over Internet Protocol, Passive Optical Networks, and Wi-Fi were in the planning stages.

In 2004, TDS began five PON and fiber-to-the-home trials that will carried voice and video.

TDS plans to add video soon.

 

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