Smithville “exceptional” service scores recognition as national “Top 100” broadband company: Smithville selected in part for deploying networks intended to transform local economies or improve communities’ quality of life and for introducing
Recognized with other industry leaders found to be “exceptional in their achievements and ambition,” Smithville was honored in July as one of America’s top 100 national broadband companies, according to Sean Buckley, editor-in-chief of Broadband Communities magazine.
Requirements to be selected in the intense annual competition include deploying networks intended to transform local economies or improve communities’ quality of life; introducing innovative technologies with game-changing potential; and provide key conditions for fiber builds, including advocacy.
The 2021 selection of Smithville represents the 13th consecutive time the company has been recognized with this national honor.
Broadband Communities singled out Smithville’s innovative focus on developing partnerships with rural utilities to expand fiber service in the award overview. The annual review noted, “Smithville is expanding FTTH organically and has struck partnerships with various electric cooperatives, including the Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC (UDWI) and SCI REMC, an Indiana rural electric cooperative.”
Industry professionals confirmed that Smithville has firmly established a reputation for providing fiber broadband and fiber-to-the-premise service (FTTP) in Indiana (particularly in traditionally neglected rural areas). The company was named together with 99 other major national firms like AT&T Fiber, Comcast Cable, Fujitsu Network Communications, Quantum Fiber (formerly CenturyLink), Verizon Communications, and others in receiving the 2021 honor.
While the company has recently received some state broadband grant funding and also partnered with REMCs for a joint fiber expansion, Smithville’s network has been primarily funded by private investments totaling upward of a quarter of a billion dollars.
“Being recognized by national technology professionals for the 13th consecutive time is exciting and humbling at the same time,” said Darby McCarty, chairman and CEO of Smithville. “I thank our 205 employees, as they deserve the real credit, particularly during the recent pandemic when they again demonstrated that they are among the best – if not the best – in the business.”
Editor Buckley noted that standards are high for selection in the top 100. Editorial and technical experts in fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployment make the final decisions.
The Top 100 award process selects firms in the broadband fiber space that demonstrate exceptional service quality and standards while advancing the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) industry.
Smithville’s unique partnership with SCI-REMC for a joint fiber construction project to more than 3,400 southern Indiana rural residents and businesses caught the eye of the judges. In addition to its self-funded middle-mile expansion, Smithville’s continuing commitment to lift data and speed caps from its existing fiber network, its project to create a 100-gigabit fiber ring, and its forward progress in continuing to close the digital divide through its rural broadband network were factors in the selection process. The company was also recognized for providing free wi-fi service to communities during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge for many, but Smithville’s focus on new opportunities that deliver high value and sustained high-speed connectivity served our customers and communities well,” said Paul Quick, president of Smithville. “Being consistently singled out for excellence reflects the team focus of our company and our owners.”
Founded nearly a century ago, privately owned Smithville has grown to be Indiana’s largest independent telecom company. Smithville remains strongly engaged in supplying FTTH and other services through its growing fiber network.
Smithville was the first to offer up full gigabit service for all residential fiber customers and provide the best available speed on all of its networks for all customers.
In addition to its award-winning residential service, the company provides enterprise-level high-speed ﬁber-based connectivity, data consulting, network management, and other services for businesses, university campuses, biotechnology companies, health care providers, and government offices. Smithville completed and now operates a $4.5 million network upgrade that will allow it to offer wave-level connectivity from 1 Gbps to 100 Gbps, with the capacity to scale to 200 Gbps in the future.
Smithville is active in telemedicine and telehealth initiatives, particularly in rural areas.
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