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Holston Electric begins installing broadband in Hawkins

STAFF REPORT • May 23, 2018 at 10:57 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Holston Electric Cooperative members south of Highway 11-W in Rogersville and Surgoinsville will soon begin seeing preliminary field work performed for the HolstonConnect’s Phase I broadband installation program.

HolstonConnect is a wholly-owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of HEC.

HEC General Manager Jimmy Sandlin said contractors will be throughout those areas in the coming weeks to assist in the engineering and design of HolstonConnect’s fiber footprint.

“Many members have already contacted us to express support for HolstonConnect,” Sandlin said. “In fact, most are interested in knowing when service will become available in their own neighborhood. As folks in the southern portions of Rogersville and Surgoinsville see crews out working, we ask for your patience and understanding. To build a fiber-based system, enable smart grid technology and facilitate two-way data flow takes a great deal of time. Our employees and directors are working diligently to ensure the process is advantageous for all members.”

Sandlin says concentric construction will begin with the Holston Electric Cooperative office in Rogersville, with the initial phase encompassing South Surgoinsville.

This method of construction will allow for greater efficiency and fiscal responsibility.

Sandlin added, “While the average time to build an entire service territory the size of Holston’s is typically three to five years, nationally, the need for rural broadband is gaining more attention daily. Providers, like HolstonConnect, will improve the quality of life for members by providing additional access to education, economic development and communication. Therefore, many state and federal agencies are considering additional grant opportunities, which could help fund construction in more rural portions of our service territory when we reach them.”

HolstonConnect’s high-speed Internet services will initially be offered with up to 1-gig upload and download speeds.

Sandlin said data caps and throttling will be things of the past, as members can expect to see consistent Internet with the highest speeds available in the state of Tennessee. Additionally, in the near future members will be offered unlimited local and domestic long-distance calling.

A full product listing, including a channel lineup and digital video service pricing, will be announced by HolstonConnect when they become available through the website, social media and The Tennessee Magazine.

“As a Holston Electric Cooperative member, you deserve the fastest, most dependable fiber optic network available,” Sandlin said “HolstonConnect will provide superior performance, affordable pricing and unrivaled customer support. Other providers have heard of the unwavering fiber-based products we will be offering. As HolstonConnect’s services will have less delay times than other products available in your market, the competition may encourage our members to lock themselves into new contracts. Be aware of this tactic, as this is your opportunity to help improve your neighborhood. Owned by the people served, HolstonConnect will connect our community to a great future, just like Holston Electric Cooperative brought rural residents into the future with electricity.”

Holston Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, not-for-profit distributor of TVA power that provides safe, reliable and affordable energy to more than 30,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Hawkins and Hamblen counties

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