In Pennsylvania, Blue Ridge starts FTTH network overbuild construction

Sept. 23, 2021
Blue Ridge, like most cable operators and internet service providers, says it saw significant increases in customers and usage during the pandemic -- and only sees that trajectory continuing. So it is overbuilding its HFC network with FTTH.

This month, Blue Ridge Communications, among the nation's first broadband internet providers, announced the beginning of a complete fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) rebuild of its cable systems serving rural Pennsylvania.

After successfully deploying its first FTTH system in rural Westfield, PA, Blue Ridge said it will now take its acquired knowledge and begin rebuilding its 8000 miles of the cable plant, passing over 250,000 homes serving Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Network overbuild considerations

"Our current 1 Gig Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) network serves our customers well with the speed and reliability they need," commented Blue Ridge’s VP of operations Mark Masenheimer, who admitted, "We always have our eye toward the horizon, and with this decision, we are looking to future-proof our network."

Blue Ridge, like most operators, says it saw significant increases in customers and usage during the height of the COVID pandemic -- and only sees that trajectory continuing.

Masenheimer continued, "We believe the need for speed and bandwidth will continue to increase as more and more people work, learn, and are entertained at home. Fiber allows for ultra-fast symmetrical speeds and increased network reliability as well as the added environmental benefits of lower power consumption. It is the next logical step in the evolution of our network." 

Blue Ridge said it will introduce FTTH technology area by area in its scope of coverage over the next few years, and added that it assures its customers that it is "preparing for the future and making a significant capital investment to build a state-of-the-art network to meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs."

FTTH technology equals new businesses and quality jobs

"We love the communities we serve and believe a fiber network will attract new businesses, quality jobs, and improve the quality of life," concluded Masenheimer. "With this investment, we continue our commitment to serving our customers and communities with the best technology available."

Blue Ridge has been providing cable TV to communities in Pennsylvania since 1950 and started its Internet service in partnership with Penteledata in 1994.

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