Ben Lomand Connect announced as $1.5 million grant winner
by Kim Swindell Wood | December 1, 2017 8:17 am
The USDA announced that Ben Lomand Connect was chosen as a $1.5 million winner for a grant to serve the community of Pocahontas, Tennessee under the Community-Oriented Connectivity Broadband Grant Program administered by the Rural Utilities Service. One of two Tennessee companies that were awarded grants to improve infrastructure, Ben Lomand Connect will construct state-of-the-art fiber to the premise facilities that will serve 179 customers.
The small north-eastern community of Coffee County currently has very limited connection speeds. “Students in the area needed the capabilities of high-speed broadband service to complete coursework while those working from home needed the Internet to access information or connect remotely. Residents expressed their need to be able to communicate with doctor’s offices, submit prescription refill requests online and have access to online health information. In addition, this remote community needed access to public safety announcements such as severe weather alerts. ” stated Ben Lomand Board of Directors Joe Roper and Roger Bynum who represent Coffee County area.
The new plant will include 40.96 miles of Outside Plant fiber, service drops, Central Office Equipment and Customer Premise Equipment . The plant will be provisioned using an Active Ethernet, Fiber to the Premise architecture. Ben Lomand chose the AE FTTP architecture because of the proven reliability and because of the high bandwidth and “future proof” nature of such a system.
“The USDA program was designed to address broadband coverage in areas similar to this part of Coffee County” stated Terry Kokinda, General Field Representative for the USDA. “The involvement and support of the community played a major role in Ben Lomand’s successful application and this award is a high point for my retirement.”
Kokinda retired at the end of November.