More Than 300 Businesses to Have Access to Gigabit Service
Twin Valley has officially connected New Horizons, a luxury RV dealer, to its fiber network as its first customer in Junction City. The first phase of the rural broadband expansion project, which includes Junction City’s Industrial Park, is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2021. Once the full project is complete, Twin Valley will offer up to 1 Gbps – or 1,000 Mbps – fiber internet to more than 300 Junction City businesses. For New Horizons, a gigabit connection is 20 times faster than the service available to them through another area provider.
“Gigabit broadband helps businesses operate more efficiently and gain a competitive edge, so it’s no surprise that there’s a huge demand for reliable high-speed Internet in Junction City. We’re bringing in additional construction crews next week to pick up the pace and connect businesses more quickly,” Twin Valley COO Scott Leitzel said. “Businesses can influence which part of town we expand to next by calling or going to our website to express their interest in service. We’ll prioritize the areas of greatest demand as we plan next steps.”
Fiber is the industry’s gold standard as providers across the country work to create a scalable network capable of meeting future connectivity needs. While the FCC has defined broadband as a minimum speed of 25/3 Mbps, fiber Internet outperforms any other broadband technology, reaching unmatched speeds with low lag time and sending data as fast as about 70% the speed of light. Twin Valley’s symmetrical speeds, with up to 1 Gbps for both download and upload, give businesses the bandwidth to quickly store and access information in the cloud, connect with remote employees and clients through video calls, maintain their online presence through websites and social media, and more.
As a part of the largest family-owned broadband and communications company in Kansas, Twin Valley harnesses nearly 75 years of technology expertise to better serve rural communities while staying true to its hometown values.
“We are a local small-town business. Supporting fellow rural businesses and families is important to us, and we’ve made a pledge to our communities to provide reliable connectivity at a far better value than other providers,” Twin Valley President & CEO Ben Foster said. “We share the same values as our customers, and that comes through in the way we provide great customer service and invest in both technology and outreach initiatives in the communities we serve. We look forward to being a strong partner and resource for the Junction City community for years to come.”
Broadband expansion to rural areas has long been a focus of Twin Valley. The company first deployed fiber to the home technology 14 years ago through the successful implementation of one of the largest loans awarded by the USDA, totaling $76 million. The pandemic has brought the issue of broadband accessibility and affordability to the forefront, and there is an unprecedented opportunity to bridge the digital divide through public-private partnerships. In 2020, Twin Valley matched funding received through a Kansas Connectivity Emergency Response Grant (CERG) to extend its fiber network and deploy fixed wireless internet to six communities, including over 6,000 homes and businesses in rural Junction City.
While Twin Valley extended its fiber network closer to Junction City through the CERG program, the City of Junction City invested in a conduit system and fiber network to connect the city buildings, allowing for needed upgrades to the automatic metering system, the water plant, and the wastewater plant. These projects set the stage for further broadband expansion, creating the basic infrastructure needed to deploy fiber in the area and allowing Twin Valley to fast-track their timeline to connect Junction City businesses.
Stanley Adams, Director of the Kansas Office of Broadband Development, worked closely with the Twin Valley team through the CERG project and attended the Welcome Ceremony hosted by the Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce on August 19. A champion of harnessing broadband technology for economic growth, Adams works with Internet service providers at the local, state, and federal level to foster and promote improved broadband accessibility within the state.
“Many rural Kansans have been left behind when it comes to broadband connectivity, but Junction City is a shining example of how public and private entities can work together to change that narrative and bring high-speed Internet to rural communities,” Adams said. “Building future-proof fiber networks in unserved and underserved rural areas is a high priority for our state and will equip communities with the infrastructure they need to thrive now and into the future.”
Adams believes broadband is one of the state’s greatest economic tools. The Junction City and Geary County Economic Development Commission agrees, stating that it will help existing businesses while serving as a powerful recruitment tool to bring other businesses, entrepreneurs, and industry to the area.
“The City of Junction City has been proud to partner with Twin Valley to bring needed communication infrastructure and technology to Junction City,” City Manager Allen Dinkel said. “This fiber-optic network is a dream come true as we look at the most effective ways to support local economic development. Our hope is this relationship with Twin Valley will continue to expand and be a long-term benefit to the community.”
In addition to fiber Internet service, Twin Valley will offer business services in its Connected Office suite, such as Hosted Voice phone systems, managed and professional IT services, and technology consulting. To learn more about the Junction City fiber project, follow along with progress, and inquire about service, visit twinvalley.net/jcfiber. Businesses can also call 800.515.3311 for additional information.