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New fiber optic lines coming to Lohrville

LOHRVILLE — Soon, Lohrville residents will have a second choice for high-speed internet service.

Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association has announced its expansion with fiber optic lines into the city, which could eventually bring service up to one gigabit per second — one of the fastest offerings provided by most internet service providers — as an alternative to the non-fiber optic service currently offered by Windstream.

The company plans to start burying the new cables in the next couple weeks, pending any weather interruptions, according to Marcie Boerner, office manager at WCCTA.

“We’re working on that schedule at this point,” she said.

The installation marks the company’s first expansion outside of its original service area as an independent local exchange carrier, a designation which means it’s required to provide service to everyone within their geographical territory.

The cooperative service provider has made the case for investing about $850,000 on installation to the town of a little under 400. As a competitive provider, it will not receive the same kind of federal funding there that it receives within its original territory.

WCCTA receives various public funding as an Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier, since its territory is considered cost-prohibitive for internet service providers.

“We feel confident in what we’re doing now,” Boerner said.

For now, the fiber optic lines are only being installed within the city limits of Lohrville, but she said the company would not rule out future potential for rural service.

“When we go to a town, there’s more population for our investment,” she explained. “The expense of fiber is so much that it makes it difficult to implement in rural areas.”

As service expands and more subscribers sign up for service in Lohrville, she said the company can grow its offerings to keep in sync with future technology needs — an advantage provided by the speeds only fiber optic lines are capable of.

“By installing fiber optic, there’s so much potential for growth into the future,” Boerner said.

Future Lohrville customers can anticipate pricing and service offerings similar to what current customers are offered. WCCTA’s entire service area offers fiber optic lines.

After the lines are in the ground, they will be spliced and connected together on a network. Then, homeowners will be offered the chance to take advantage of the company’s service with no obligations.

“It just makes sense to move west into Calhoun County and expand our reach into that county,” Boerner said. “It’s one of the towns that is touching our borders.”

WCCTA’s northern border starts at Thor, running south to roughly around Paton and Boxholm. It’s western border starts around Farnhamville and goes east to near Duncombe and Knierim.