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No More Telephone Lines
Plainville’s Fiber Optic network will be almost as fast as light
nybody who remembers Dial-Up Internet remembers two things – that awful tone and the incredibly slow speeds. In the 30 years since, speeds have improved thanks to upgrades like Fiber Optic Cables, which the town of Plainville is installing throughout their municipal network. Unlike dial-up or cable networks that use metal wires to transmit electric signals, Fiber Optic cables are made up of very fragile glass filaments that transfer light signals – yes, there is a difference – reaching up to 70% of the speed of light. These cables are so fast that when maxing out networks, they can reach into the Terabytes per second download speed – with extremetech.com saying that the fastest ever network was able to reach speeds where a 1gb movie took .03 milliseconds to download. While these speeds were reached in an experimental setting, the speeds for the average fiber optic network are more than enough for your average end-user. The first step to acquiring a Fiber Optic Network is installation of the wires, which was handled by Sertex Broadband Solutions for Plainville. According to their press release, they put in “12.5 miles of aerial cabling and three underground spans running beneath major highways.” This newly constructed system will connect: all waste-water treatment facilities, allowing remote system monitoring and control; all schools; all public safety services; the
library; and all town departments within and outside of the Municipal Center. Plainville will own the fiber optic infrastructure rather than leasing it, saving approximately $40k per year in costs according to Town Manager Robert Lee. The lifespan of these cables is 25 to 30 years. Furthermore, because the town will own the system, it will have the option to open up that infrastructure beyond the municipal network. “A town-owned broadband network would mean that residents would pay a much lower fee for much better internet service combined with phone services,” Lee said in the release. “Our residents
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and businesses would save money and actually have control over their network. High-speed internet access has so many advantages. It could reduce costs and improve quality of life for current residents, increase property values, and help us compete as a community for new businesses and residents.” Just a few years ago, having normal speed internet was fine for most people. Now, and especially after COVID, people need better, higher-quality networks for internet service. So for now, town employees and departments can throw away their old modulator-demodulators (or modems in layman’s terms) and work at (nearly) the speed of light.