Jackson, Nebraska, Nov 23, 2010 -- Northeast Nebraska Telephone Company of Jackson has been awarded a $69 million loan from USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The award was recognized today in Jackson by USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul with a plaque presentation. The loan will allow NNTC to convert a legacy copper system to a Fiber-to-the Premises (FTTP) network in northeastern Nebraska.
“We are pleased to celebrate Northeast Nebraska Telephone Company award of funds to advance telecommunications to its service area,” said Moul. “NNTC has been a RUS borrower for more than 55 years, illustrating RUS and NNTC’s commitment to bringing quality telecommunications to rural northeast Nebraska.”
“NNTC is very excited to be working with the Rural Utilities Service to continue the expansion and enhancement of the NNTC telecommunications network by replacing aging copper cable with fiber optic cable and electronics. We are certain that this effort will provide long term service benefits and opportunities for the rural residents and businesses throughout the NNTC service areas,” said Manager Emory Graffis, NNTC.
The proposed project, over the next five years, includes:
• Upgrading the outside plant of all exchanges with fiber optic cable, fiber optic drops, and Fiber-To-The-Premises (FTTP) equipment including Emergency Stand Alone (ESA) capability at all central offices.
• Placing new softswitches to eliminate all existing softswitches and digital central office switches.
• Replacing the batteries in Clearwater, Coleridge, Decatur, and Winside.
• Replacing the rectifiers in Clearwater, Coleridge, Decatur, Prague, Weston, and Winside.
• Placing 10-Gig ethernet transport and switching/routing equipment into all central offices.
• Replacing the central office standby generators in Weston, Obert, Martinsburg, Newcastle, and Butte.
• Purchasing optical testing and splicing equipment to support the proposed FTTP deployment.
NNTC received its first RUS loan on September 28, 1955 for $390,000 to serve 761 subscribers and to cover 315 total route miles. To date, RUS funding totals more than $113,000,000 to NNTC to serve 7,263 subscribers over 3,245 route miles.
In 2004, NNTC acquired 10 additional exchanges through a merger with NebCom. In 2007, NNTC acquired Clarks Telecom Company, which owned Clarks Telecommunications Company and Clarks Telecom Long Distance Company. The Clarks companies provide telephone, internet and cable television services in the communities of Clarks, Staplehurst and Ulysses. In total, NNTC now serves subscribers in 30 communities and 20 counties in Nebraska.