News Column

North State plans expansion of gigabit Internet Service (video)

August 28, 2014

By Jonnelle Davis and Richard M. Barron, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.

Aug. 28--HIGH POINT -- A telecommunications provider based here is expanding its fiber-based network to more homes and businesses in the Piedmont Triad.

North State is now offering gigabit Internet service, with plans to further expand over the next several years, the company announced Wednesday. With gigabit service, users will be able to perform work tasks and surf the Web at much faster speeds.

"That's our focus point, to expand across the Triad market," said Royster Tucker III, North State's president and chief executive officer. "We are taking a regional approach. We started downtown earlier this year. We're the official fiber for the Greensboro Grasshoppers."

Tucker said the rollout will pick up speed in the next couple of weeks or months, adding that there is a lot of pent-up demand for gigabit service. He said over the next 10 years, gigabit Internet will drive innovations that are currently unimaginable.

But he said performance -- meaning faster speed and greater data quantities -- is key.

"We kind of view the Internet as almost in its infancy," Tucker said.

He projects that North State will offer its gigabit speeds to more than 50,000 households and businesses by the end of the year. The company also offers Cloud Voice and Fiber TV.

North State has also partnered with the Greensboro Partnership Entrepreneur Connection and Action Greensboro to provide its gigabit fiber Internet at a work space for college students and young professionals at 229 N. Greene St.

Elon University owns the building, and Action Greensboro paid to equip it.

"It worked out very well that that collaborative environment will be one of our first sites in downtown Greensboro," Tucker said.

He said the company will concentrate on creating specific fiber sites for businesses first. Most of the cables are underground.

AT&T has also selected Greensboro as one of its first areas to roll out gigabit service, which it is putting in only a few cities around the country.

"The entire Internet space -- it's very competitive," Tucker said. "It's a possibility we could be competing directly with AT&T."

But Tucker said having a home base in High Point gives North State an advantage.

"I think we'll be able to leverage our Triad presence," he said.


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Source: News & Record (Greensboro, NC)

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