(TNS) — More than 2,200 homes and businesses in Armstrong County are now eligible for high-speed fiber Internet, through broadband provider Kinetic by Windstream.
Kinetic’s Armstrong County fiber project is part of a $2 billion multiyear investment strategy by Kinetic to expand gigabit fiber service across the company’s 150-community, 18-state fiber footprint.
Residents in Apollo, North Apollo and parts of Kiski Township are eligible for 1 gigabit of fiber Internet, dubbed “next-generation access” with symmetrical download and upload speeds.
A ribbon-cutting was hosted Tuesday at the Apollo Area Historical Society for invited guests, including local and state elected officials and representatives from Kinetic and the historical society.
Guest speakers included Susan Schraibman, president of state operations of Kinetic by Windstream; Debbi Askin, membership coordinator of the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber of Commerce; Jeremy Dias, deputy chief of staff for state Sen. Joe Pittman; Jillian Olszewski, legislative assistant for state Rep. Abby Major; Bonnie Kautz, secretary of the historical society; and Armstrong County Commissioner Pat Fabian.
Schraibman introduced the Kinetic team serving the Apollo area and said she hopes to spread the news around the community about the expansion.
“We continue to listen to the needs of the community, and Kinetic’s been investing about $2 billion to upgrade our fiber network to make sure that broadband is going to be accessible to all the communities that we serve,” Schraibman said.
“We’re going to have really good coverage of fiber in this small community. We’re here today with a shared interest because our rural communities cannot afford to be left behind. We want to see Apollo grow and prosper.”
For Armstrong County residents, the investment in fiber will deliver broadband speeds that were previously unavailable.
“I’m very happy this world-class telecommunications upgrade will benefit communities across Armstrong County,” Pittman said in a statement provided for Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting. “High speed Internet allows folks in this beautiful area to stay connected with school, health care services and family, and is critical to the success of our region’s economy and to future job creation.”
The average download speed in Pennsylvania is about 191 megabits per second, and the average upload speed is about 24 megabits per second, according to Speedtest by Ookla, a tech and media company that compares and analyzes Internet data speeds nationwide.
Apollo resident Bonnie Kautz, historical society secretary, has signed up to receive the new Kinetic Internet package.
Kautz addressed the audience and provided a brief history of the museum.
“It’s good to have new things come along, which really is progress,” she said, “and we all have to use the Internet and we need to keep it going.”
Kinetic is installing about 40 miles of fiber-optic cable as crews work their way through the specific communities. Customers do not have to wait until the project is completed to sign up for service.
A casual reception was held at the museum after the ribbon-cutting.
Another 500 residents are expected to have access to high-speed Internet by spring, bringing the total to about 2,700 customers, Schraibman said.
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