Broadband Inquiries in South Macon
Jeff Lee, LittleT Broadband
We have heard from many of you through the Contact Us form. The number one question asked goes something like... “I live on 123 road. When will fiber be coming to my home?” We try and respond to community members in all parts of the County seeking this info, and typically look up the address on a map to see if we are aware of any plans or work underway to develop broadband services to that location. Unfortunately the response is not always the one that we desire, but we try to provide as much accurate information as we have available.
Since the south Macon fiber backbone has been operational, the vast majority of inquires received in recent months are from folks who live somewhere near the fiber route asking about service. Many people have also been contacting Haywood EMC (HEMC) to ask the same question. Last month HEMC sent out the following email to their members (customers) in the South Macon area.
This message states that though they are working with internet providers to construct parts of a fiber network, they are not providing internet services directly and ask individuals to contact BalsamWest. To help clarify, BalsamWest is the service provider who has built portions of and is operating the South Macon Fiber Backbone and has agreements and a working relationship with HEMC to develop fiber within the HEMC customer areas of south Macon. HEMC owns some of the fiber that was used to create the backbone from Otto to Scaly Mountain and on to the Highlands city limits. As additional fiber is constructed to expand from the backbone, BalsamWest is working closely with HEMC to use their power pole infrastructure where possible to carry the fiber.
BalsamWest is actively working to expand fiber internet service in and arround the area of the south Macon fiber backbone. Many of the businesses along 441 are connected or are being connected as quickly as possible. Connection in Scaly Mountain is also beginning and plans are in development for further expansion along Dillard Rd to businesses residential communities. Although we would like it to happen next week, the reality is that fiber construction takes time and is constrained by funding and the availability of materials and labor.
The burning question for those that live near the fiber backbone route is how can I get connected. LittleT is not affiliated with nor acting as a agent for BalsamWest, and so our recommendation is to contact BalsamWest directly using the links or phone numbers blow. We have been told that BalsamWest logs and follows up on every request for service.
LittleT has had a number of meetings with BalsamWest representatives to help understand how we can assist our communities in getting connected. Our mission is to get as many Otto and ScalyMountain residents connnected to high speed service as possible. The folks at BalsamWest recently sent us the following letter to pass on.
Please continue to reach out and contact LittleT if you have questions. We will work to provide the best answers available and direct you to a local provider where possible.