Fiber internet expansion coming to Randolph County

HIGH POINT – The communities of Asheboro, Franklinville and Ramseur should have about 100% fiber coverage for high-speed internet service through an expansion set in place by NorthState.

NorthState announced last week that it will fully fund the project and engineering work is imminent with construction slated to begin later this year.

The expansion project for the multi-state high-speed fiber internet service provider also includes parts of Forsyth County, with the company announcing that 683 miles of fiber-optic technology will blanket the region. The company lists the price tag at about $51 million.

NorthState says the underserved areas are targeted, including those areas of Randolph County in addition to Bethania, Lewisville and Winston-Salem in Forsyth County. This project should include approximately 15,000 homes in Randolph County.

“The vision of the Randolph County Digital Alliance is that ‘every household, farm, and business will have the opportunity to ‘earn, learn, and be well’ by accessing needed digital resources,” said Kenneth Sherin, N.C. Cooperative Extension County Director for Randolph County. “The investment by NorthState will allow Randolph County residents to realize this vision. … Broadband access and digital skills are essential in our present economy.”

Approximately 28% of NorthState’s expansion in Randolph County includes areas where there is only DSL (no cable) internet, meaning there is a crucial lack of high-speed internet in any form.

Based on information from NorthState, most consumers in Randolph County are served by cable or DSL infrastructure. The fiber coverage should boost speed capacity, making uploads 154 times faster and downloads 12 times faster than traditional cable.

“The demand for bandwidth is only increasing as consumers connect more and more devices — and use more and more two-way applications like Zoom and gaming — that demand not just high download speeds but equally fast upload speeds,” said Jay Winn, NorthState’s Chief Customer Officer. “Fiber is the only technology that can meet these demands and unlock the potential of what’s next,”

Residents in the expansion areas will receive communication by mail when construction begins.

The expansion should be completed in less than two years, the company announced.

NorthState is based in High Point, but it has payment centers in Randleman and Thomasville as well.

By Randolph Record