The Union Recorder

June 27, 2013

Lake area gets fiber optic boost

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — A rural based Internet, TV and phone provider is building a state of the art fiber optic network providing 7,500 Lake Sinclair community homes direct access to virtually limitless bandwidth.

Xcelerate Broadband took advantage of a federal grant and loan through the 2009 stimulus bill to bring the latest technology to underserved areas.

Currently, a planned 150 miles of fiber cable will serve Baldwin, Putnam and Hancock homes.

Xcelerate Broadband president Mark Wilson is familiar with rural Georgia through his company Bulldog Cable, which has been a local provider for smaller communities such as Dublin, Sparta, Jackson and North Baldwin for 30 years. This fiber build out is the first upgrade.

Once Phase 1 broadband goes live in September, Bulldog officially becomes Xcelerate Broadband.

Wilson said fiber optics is the future.

“This is the technology that Google is using to build out Kansas City, Mo.,” he said. “We can offer up to a 1 gig to every home.”

The all fiber network offers a dedicated link to every home. Wilson said fiber is more reliable because no electronic components can fail.

Xcelerate pitches symmetrical Internet speeds ranging from 5 mb/s to 100 mb/s depending on resident or business preference. The connection uploads and downloads at the same rate, so upstream speed is the same as download speed. 

Wilson said this comes in handy uploading photos to social media or videos for editing.

No cable modem or any other equipment is required. With the TV service, HD channels, wireless receivers and whole home DVR are free as well.

DVR records up to five channels at once and the wireless boxes let customers place TVs anywhere in the house.

The Xcelerate president said the fiber network’s pricing remains affordable.

“We don’t want to nickel and dime people,” Wilson said. “It’s all going to be different than what people are used to.”

At the moment, fiber build outs are ongoing in the Stewart Drive and Meriwether Road areas. Aerial crews continually hang and bury cables in hopes of a mid-September launch to the Baldwin lake community.

Wilson said the fiber network construction would shift to the Hancock County shores soon after with their service opening by November.

The 150-mile fiber pipe connects directly to Atlanta. Wilson sees the fiber technology as “virtually unlimited.” 

Its capacity will mark Baldwin County as one of the few places in America with this new age network for residential and business use.

“It will be huge for the community. There are a lot of cities that wish they had this,” Wilson said. “We are going to have the opportunity to give it to folks, which is exciting. It’s evolving for the next generation.”

There could be future expansion plans for Xcelerate into other communities, but the current upgrades concentrate on underserved locations.

The federal grant restricted where the money was spent. Wilson said there are options to “take this network anywhere.”

Visit Xceleratebroadband.com or call 1-800-388-6577 for service area and availability for Baldwin’s Phase 1. TV, Internet and phone bundle pricing are posted online.

The time is now, according to Wilson.

“There are people starving for Internet access and quality programming. It will be good,” he said.

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