SANTA BARBARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Occam Networks®, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCNW), announced today that Mountain Rural Telephone Cooperative Corporation (MRTC) has chosen the BLC 6000 multiservice access platform (MSAP) to deliver high-speed broadband services across four counties in Eastern Kentucky. A combination of first-round Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) grants and loans, totaling $78.1 million, will fund the fiber-based network that, once completed, will reach over 15,000 businesses and residences.
“Bringing an advanced, fiber network to this area of the state will be critical to ensuring economic development and an improved quality of life for residents,” said Allen Gillum, General Manager, Mountain Rural Telephone. “After working closely together with Occam over the past three years, it is clear that the company has the same level of commitment to advancing rural development as we do. As a trusted partner, Occam’s vast experience with rural providers and responsiveness to our needs has been invaluable to our efforts, as well as our subscribers, and will continue to be critical throughout the fiber project.”
Located in a mountainous area with little existing infrastructure, MRTC’s fiber network will provide a valuable economic resource for Morgan, Elliott, Menifee and Wolfe Counties. The area is currently underserved and has broadband usage rates well below the rest of the state; however, when the planned 20Mbps service becomes available, subscribers will be able to take full advantage of true high-speed broadband with online training classes while local businesses will be able to market to new areas. In addition to driving economic development for local businesses, the network build is also creating new employment opportunities within the community, many of which will continue past the completion of the network.
“Throughout the broadband stimulus process, our service provider customers have been ambitious in developing large-scale network projects that improve both the economy and educational experience of their communities,” said Juan Vela, Director, Solutions Marketing and Strategy for Occam Networks. “MRTC is another standout example of this dedication to enabling social and economic growth within the region. With their planned fiber network, MRTC will advance the communications services of the area and provide the needed infrastructure to support new services as they arise for years to come.”
MRTC has been a premier telecommunications provider in the area since 1950, keeping services up and running in harsh weather, including ice storms that often disrupt power services. Over the past year, MRTC rolled out a new IPTV service offering, which includes HDTV programming and DVR services. In addition to traditional voice services, MRTC has delivered up to 3MBps Internet access over its existing Occam BLC 6000-powered network.