Faster broadband on horizon

Mark Bookout VAST Broadband

By Seth Schmidt

Gigabytes, download speeds, bandwidth, voice-over-IP, lit-fiber, CRM integrations, and teleclouds were a few of the technical terms thrown out at a Broadband forum sponsored by the Tracy Development Corporation last week.

Presenters from VAST Broadband, Charter-Spectrum, and Woodstock Communications outlined their broadband presence in Tracy, and discussed future plans.  Trade terms peppered the presentations.

But the gist of the presentations was straightforward: Broadband Internet speeds and capabilities will significantly expand in Tracy over the next several years.

VAST plans to increase its maximum broadband download capability from 200 megabytes per second to one gigabyte by late this year or the first quarter of 2019, said Mark Bookout, the company’s general manager for Southwest Minnesota and Eastern South Dakota. Maximum upload speed would increase to 100 mbps.

Charter-Spectrum plans maximum download speeds of 300 Mbps in 2019, and one gig downloads by 2021, according to Rick Danna, the company’s sales manager for a seven-state area.

The increased speeds would be offered for broadband services over coaxial cables, a service category that includes most Tracy Internet and cable television users.  Both VAST and Spectrum also have fiber optic lines in some sections of Tracy, which offer faster download and upload capacities.  “We’ve got fiber all over town,” explained Bookout, of VAST’s capability.  Those high-capacity fiber optic services are available to customers, but at a price.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.