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Fiber Internet service expansion planned

Erwin’s own fiber optic Internet service has continued to expand since its inception last year.
Erwin Utilities began construction on lines in October, Fiber Optic Engineer John Williams said. After test runs with customers in February, the service received the green light in March and is being used by different individuals in town.
“We built it to serve 1,200 people,” Williams said. “Our goal in the first year was to have 300 customers and we are currently serving 150.”
The inclusion of the fiber optic Internet comes with the changing times, Williams added.
“Internet has become more of a utility with all the day-to-day use,” he said. “Land line phones are being replaced by cell phones and people are really using Internet for television to watch Netflix and Hulu.”
Erwin Utilities currently offers three different Internet speeds – 25 Mbps, 100 Mbps and 1 gig – with different rates for residential and businesses in the qualifying areas.
According to information from the Erwin Utilities website, fiber provides the benefits over traditional copper wiring that cable and phone companies use. For instance, fiber is immune from electromagnetic interference.
“We offer different benefits,” Williams said. “The Internet will be on an existing utility bill. We don’t offer a contract; the price you get is the price you pay for as long as you have the Internet.”
An added plus for Erwin Utilities fiber users compared to other competitors is the customer service, Williams added. Any assistance with issues with the service comes from Bristol, where the Internet feed is provided from, or from the Erwin Utilities facility either in person or over the phone.
On Trac, Inc. provides the workers who install the fiber, Williams said. He also said the community has become accustomed to seeing the installers.
“The man who handles the installation is just about known all around the town,” Williams added.
Growth of the fiber optic Internet is also coming in the future, according to Williams. Plans are in place to double the area where the service is available off HWY 81 and New Avenue toward Rock Creek.
Visit online for more on fiber optic Internet, prices, current locations for the service and other items provided by Erwin Utilities.