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Fiber Project News: Junction City

Junction City Among First Markets of Its Size to Gain Access to 2 GBPS Fiber Internet

February 23, 2023

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Originally posted on the Junction City-Geary County Economic Development Commission website.

Junction City, the county seat of Geary County, Kansas, boasts superb internet connectivity thanks to Twin Valley, a 4th-generation family-owned local provider of gigabit broadband, fixed wireless, and managed IT services. Twin Valley is the largest privately-owned broadband and communications company in the state.

The company is ahead of schedule for its fiber internet expansion. The first phase covering the business districts was completed in early 2022, allowing construction crews to move through subsequent residential phases faster than originally anticipated.

Junction City is among the first markets of its size in the nation to receive 2 Gbps or 2,000 Mbps symmetrical fiber internet speeds. With speeds of this magnitude, subscribers can be assured there is enough internet connectivity to share with multiple users or devices within a home simultaneously.

In comparison, the current FCC minimum standard for broadband speed is 25/3 Mbps, a 2015 standard widely considered outdated given the importance of dependable access for so many of today’s online activities. The industry is shifting toward 100/100 Mbps as the new post-pandemic minimum to allow for the most basic connectivity.

“Reliable internet access is no longer a ‘nice to have,’” said Ben Foster, President & CEO of Twin Valley, “it’s a necessity for every household. From education to remote work, healthcare, and more, access depends on this crucial connectivity. We see this as the first step in creating opportunities and generational change for local individuals and families in need.”

While many technologies enable broadband, fiber provides the best levels of performance and reliability. Dubbed a “future-proof technology,” fiber infrastructure is the best long-term investment and can cost-effectively be adapted to meet the increasing bandwidth needs of the future.

Fiber-powered broadband enables and enhances the delivery of news, entertainment, gaming, social platforms, communication with friends and family, and more. While other technologies boast adequate download speeds by today’s standards, the upload speeds using the same technology are unfavorable. Since fiber technology enables symmetrical upload and download speeds, users have better experiences for all online activities, performing far better on file uploads and virtual private networks (VPNs) commonly used for remote work.

Multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds and reliable fiber infrastructure are also essential for economic development and the city’s continued growth, allowing the community to attract and retain businesses, families, and talent in the area.

“The City of Junction City has been proud to partner with Twin Valley to bring needed communication infrastructure and technology to Junction City,” said City Manager Allen Dinkel. “This fiber optic network is a dream come true as we look at the most effective ways to support local economic development. Our hope is this relationship with Twin Valley will continue to expand and be a long-term benefit to the community.”

Fiber expansions within Junction City, past and future, are supported by private investment from Twin Valley. In 2020, a grant-funded expansion opportunity brought Twin Valley internet services to rural Geary County, ever-closer to Junction City city limits. At that time, the company became aware of the City’s forethought to have invested in a conduit system and fiber network to connect the city buildings. These developments set the stage for further broadband expansion into Junction City, creating the basic infrastructure needed to deploy fiber in the area and allowing Twin Valley to fast-track its timeline to start connecting Junction City businesses and residents on fiber.

“The support, excitement, and early sign-ups we received from local businesses accelerated the project to begin our residential build in 2022,” said Foster. “With the completion of this phase, more than 1,000 Junction City homes and businesses have access to up to 2 Gbps symmetrical fiber internet.”

Thanks to their technicians, construction and engineering partners, and the support of the community, Twin Valley is ahead of schedule with the current phase of the Junction City fiber expansion project.

“We’ve heard Junction City residents loud and clear – they are eager to have access to fiber internet,” said Foster. “We are bringing in additional construction and installation crews to fast-track the project and reduce wait times. Residents who sign up early allow us to be more efficient in the construction process, reduce disruption to the neighborhood, and connect customers more quickly.”

A testament to their pledge of providing the most reliable broadband at the best value, residents who meet the income eligibility guidelines can get Twin Valley fiber internet at no cost. This is thanks to the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) which provides qualifying households with a $30 credit towards their internet service. Twin Valley’s additional supplemental financial assistance program makes the service free of charge.

“Participation in programs is important to us as they hit two key focuses of our Community Pledge — to offer fiber internet at the best value and engage in meaningful community outreach initiatives,” said Foster. “We are driven by the fundamental idea that a small-town lifestyle does not require the sacrifice of high-tech amenities, and our goal is to be the lifelong broadband and communications provider for our customers.”

Residents can influence which parts of town are expanded to next by calling 888.961.6144 or visiting Twin Valley’s website to express interest in service. Prioritization will be given to the areas of greatest demand. Residents should sign up as soon as possible, so their homes are ready for service as construction crews pass by.

“As a local business, we appreciate the warm welcome we have received from the community,” said Foster. “We’re excited to continue serving Junction City with the connectivity they both want and deserve.”