HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — As the country transitioned to virtual work, school, and life at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many were left without reliable internet service.
With a new expansion project already in the works, Point Broadband, which acquired a Hagerstown local company, Hagerstown Fiber, is looking to change that.
Clint Wiley, General Manager of Point Broadband, explains the company is looking to expand its coverage area from downtown Hagerstown to towns across Washington County by the end of the year and through 2022. Hagerstown Fiber laid the groundworks for the fiber optic internet network downtown and Wiley says the company is using all new materials which will translate to faster, more reliable internet.
The green area depicts where fiber internet is already available in Hagerstown and the yellow area is where point broadband is expanding out to. Wiley says residents should not be worried if their area is not highlighted on the map. Point Broadband is planning to expand even more once the first rollout is completed.
“We’re actively constructing this network, and building it out. The goal of course is to build out the rest of Hagerstown,” Wiley explained. “Over the coming months, our plan is to build some of the surrounding areas around Hagerstown that would include places like Funkstown, Mauginsville, the Robinwood corridor, up towards the airport.”
Wiley says fiber optic internet service is state of the art and the company is building their network on brand new materials, fiber optic cables, not trying to run their service using dated, already existing, old cables.
“We’re building a new brand new state-of-the-art network. It’s all fiber optic cable, it’s not as slow as satellite,” Wiley explains. “Fiber optics delivers the fastest possible speeds, not just download speeds but symmetrical upload speeds which means that your upload speed is as fast as your download speed.”
Point Broadband constructs its network on telephone poles and in many areas across the county, construction has already begun. However, Wiley says the progress can’t continue without the cooperation of another company.
Wiley explains the nationwide wireless network has made the construction process very difficult. In order to complete the network, Verizon must have telephone poles ready for construction within a certain timeframe that is mandated by the FCC. However, Wiley says Verizon has not kept up its end of the deal.
“Verizon has accepted our payments, and then they’ve been sitting on this work for over 200 days,” Wiley said, exasperated. “It’s mostly been constructed or under construction currently but we can’t get to it until Verizon meets their regulatory obligations.”
Wiley fears these construction roadblocks will prevent Point Broadband from expanding to areas where reliable internet is needed the most.
“We’re not gonna be able to service that area, and we fear the same issues in other parts of our community.”Clint Wiley, General Manager, Point Broadband
For more information on Point Broadband and whether their service expansion will cover your area, please visit their website.