By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Tri-County Electric announced last week that the utility has completed the construction of fiber backbone in Phase 1 of its planned three-year project to wire Trousdale County for broadband service.

Tri-County is currently working on installations in areas where the buildout has been done, including Highway 231 North, Templow Road, Bass Road and part of Honeysuckle Lane. Installations in the southeastern portion of Sumner County served by Tri-County are also underway.

Photo courtesy of Tri-County
This map shows in highlighted lines the areas in which Tri-County has completed construction of its broadband network. Installations are taking place and will continue in the coming weeks.

“We’ve had a ton of rain since we started the project,” said Tammy Dixon, Director of External Relations and HR for Tri-County. “We wanted to get that part done before winter weather came.”

Tri-County still expects Phase 1 to be completed (buildout and installations) by March 2019 as originally planned.

“We’ll start (installations) down 231 South, Brummitt Road, Oldham, Carey, Walnut Grove by the end of the year or first of next year,” Dixon added.

Tri-County provided a map (see photo) of areas where the fiber buildout has been completed. Residents in those areas can still sign up for service to be included in Phase 1.

Dixon said customers could sign up at any time, but those who do so after crews come through the areas to do installations could see delays in receiving service.

“We’ll get to them, but we’ll move forward to people who are signed up in that area already,” she said.

The utility has already applied for a second state grant, which would be used for Phase 2 of the project. Tri-County received a $1.35 million grant earlier this year that was used for Phase 1.

Dixon said Phase 2 would include areas such as Puryears Bend Road, Boat Dock Road, part of Old Highway 25, part of Highway 141 North, Browning Branch, Starlite Road and Sam Beasley Road.

Dixon said service would be offered inside the Hartsville city limits, but that Tri-County is focusing currently on areas without Internet service.

Tri-County’s broadband service provides 50MB download/upload for $49.95 per month, 100MB for $59.95 per month and 1 GB for $89.95 per month with no data caps. Installations are free, provided that customers sign up for Tri-County’s Demand Response program. That program allows the utility to monitor cycling processes of HVAC units and water heaters, while the homeowner retains control of their system.

“People we hear from have been super pleased,” Dixon said. “It is achieving what we have hoped to achieve.”

To sign up for service or for more information, call 615-374-2986 or visit tcemc.org/fiber/signup.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.