Q&A about Fiber to the Home

Fiber Coils

From the IT Director

I am very excited that Ting Internet has selected Holly Springs for their next expansion city for their fiber to the home (FTTH) and business broadband network. This is an excellent opportunity for residents and business owners to have another choice in high speed broadband. Ting joins the FTTH incumbents in Holly Springs, which are CenturyLink and AT&T. Time Warner also provides high speed internet and is the only provider with full coverage for all Holly Springs residents.

Since the joint announcement with Ting at the October 20th Town Council meeting, there has been a lot of excitement with residents and businesses. There have also been some questions as to what role the town will play with Ting, and what it means for future providers with Ting building in town. I will attempt to answer some questions below.

Question: Does Ting coming to Holly Springs mean that the town has signed an exclusive agreement that will keep other FTTH companies, like Google Fiber, from coming?

Answer: No. The Town does not have any exclusive agreements with Ting. Any provider is welcome to enter the Holly Springs market, and any provider is welcome to request lease access to the Town owned unused fiber. With that said, any fiber that Ting builds is owned solely by Ting and that fiber is exclusive to Ting’s business decisions on whether they would allow another company to utilize the fiber.

Question: Will this prevent Google Fiber from coming to Holly Springs?

Answer: No. While Google is actively building in neighboring Cary, there has still been no indication that Google Fiber has plans in the near future to come to Holly Springs. If they decide they want to enter the Holly Springs market, the Town will welcome them as well.

Question: Has the Town signed any long term contracts with Ting?

Answer: The current answer is no. A long term contract in the future will solely be related to the lease/license of dark fiber. While ownership of the fiber does not transfer, the strands of fiber that Ting chooses to lease will have a long term contract to utilize those strands solely by them. Any available strands will be available for any other entity that wants to lease unused fiber, or for further municipal uses.

Question: Is Ting better than Google Fiber?

Answer: I am sure Ting will say that they are; however, that is likely a judgment call for the subscriber. We all owe a lot to Google Fiber and Verizon FIOS nationally for bringing the attention to higher broadband speeds and fiber to the home and business networks. Google Fiber is one of the first of its kind because of the relationship they build with municipalities to streamline processes and lease unused capacity that municipalities have. This is a similar process that Ting and the Town will work out.

Question: Are there certain neighborhoods Ting will serve?

Answer: Probably. Ting is a private company, so they get to decide where they will build. They are currently evaluating the initial neighborhoods using their interest signup page. If you are interested in having your neighborhood built out, you can always help them with a grassroots neighborhood level effort to get your neighbors to show interest.

Question: Is Ting only providing service near the locations that Holly Springs installed its fiber routes?

Answer: No. The fiber will greatly help them in areas where it is located, but they will build fiber they need for locations away from the Town’s network.