Progress on the South Macon Fiber Backbone

Planning and development work is now under way on the South Macon Fiber Backbone project that is being executed by Balsam West.

As part of the planning effort, last Tuesday, May 18, we met with representatives from Balsam West at the Otto Community center and the Sky Valley-Scaly Mountain Volunteer Fire and Rescue facilities. Balsam West would like to house some of the network equipment that will support both Otto and Scaly Mountain in these respective facilities. The visits to these sites went well, with a number of implementation options discussed and tentative plans formed. Once a more concrete plan is ready for each site, we will be meeting with the Community Association Boards and Fire Departments to review and discuss in more detail. Ultimately the CAs and VFDs will need to approve co-location of the Balsam West equipment in the facilities.

Given the quantity of high-speed broadband that is being contstructed around the country, there is very high demand for fiber optic cable. Fiber production plants arround the country and in Europe are currently running beyond 100% to meet demand. This will likely impact our project to some degree, as the lead times to order and take delivery of new fiber optic cable may be 6-9 months. Balsam West will be working to build as much of the network as possible while waiting for delivery of some cable and electronic components.