SKSRT to offer services in upper end
After receiving an $8.5 million grant to expand its services, Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Telecommunications made plans to include parts of Pocahontas County in its coverage area.
SKSRT held a community forum November 15 at the NRAO in Green Bank to inform area residents about the programs offered.
David Hunt, an engineer with Midstate Consulting of Charlotte, North Carolina, explained the services, known as Fiber To The Home, or FTTH.
“Fiber To The Home technology is sending light over glass and each glass is smaller than a hair,” Hunt explained. “One of those fibers is going to come to every house that wants service. It’s 100 percent fiber network and 100 percent IP based, even newer technology than was available two years ago.”
Broadband high-speed Internet is available in 768/512Kbps (killobits per second) and 6.0/3.0Mbps (megabits per second), as well as higher speeds. The first number indicates the download speed and the second number is the upload speed.
The IPTV basic package offers 100 channels while the premium package has approximately 200 channels. High definitions channels are also available.
The lines will be connected to existing power poles in the county with electronic cabinets installed around the area.
“To provide the [FTTH] service, we have to have an electronics cabinet within about 10 miles of the customer,” Hunt said. “That’s a change from the old copper technology. We’ve got cabinets going in at Bartow, Green Bank/Arbovale area and Cass. All of these will have backup batteries to provide service during power outages.”
Each customer will have an optical network terminal installed in the home which will provide Internet, telephone services and IPTV channels, including West Virginia networks.
SKSRT services are available to residents in Durbin, Frank, Bartow, Thornwood, Arbovale, Green Bank, Cass and Dunmore.
Construction on the electronic cabinets began earlier this fall.
“Construction started September 4 this year,” Hunt said. “[We] put a plow on the ground up on Allegheny Mountain, came down through the National Forest down to Bartow, almost complete on that section. Another crew will start at Cass and work across [Route] 66 to [Routes] 28/92. They are going to start north the week after Thanksgiving.”
Once all the cabinets are installed and connected, SKSRT will be ready to supply services to residents.
During the community forum, SKSRT employees spoke to residents about the services and located their homes on maps to ensure they will be in the coverage area. Hunt said it is important to know how many residents want services that are not in the coverage area because SKSRT plans to apply for another grant to continue expanding services, as long as there is a demand.
Along with the areas in Pocahontas County, SKSRT is expanding its coverage area in Pendleton County.
SKSRT was founded in 1972 and is located in Riverton, with offices in Franklin and Green Bank. It was one of the first companies in the country to offer Fiber To The Home to all its subscribers.
For more information on the packages offered by SKSRT, call the Green Bank office at 304-456-5545 or the Riverton office at 304-567-2121 or toll free at 1-888-676-2121.
Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at email@example.com