Rural broadband carrier Fidelity Communications is nearing completion on a one-year initiative to move all standard cable modem customers to 50 Mbps Internet speed across central Arkansas.
Fidelity, which provides high-speed Internet, phone service and other bundled telecom services in rural and suburban communities across Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma, said it is now contacting upgraded customers to perform modem swaps as needed to ensure they receive the full benefits of their new speeds. The company aims to continue keeping it simple for customers, by offering speeds from 50 Mbps to 250 Mbps in all cable markets. Internet packages include a 1 Gbps capable modem and wireless broadband service for the whole home.
“At the end of 2017, Fidelity saw the growing need for more bandwidth within the home for our current customers,” said President John Colbert. “While these customers have had the opportunity to upgrade to speeds of 50 Mbps and above for several years now, we believe the proactive move for those who have not adopted the new speeds will ensure a superior experience to their ever-growing connected lives.”
Content streaming isn’t the only case for increasing speeds, company officials said. In a recent report from Parks Associates, U.S. broadband households owned an average of 10.4 connected devices in 2018. The report also predicts the sales of video doorbells will be owned by at least 12% of the U.S. broadband households in 2020; sales of voice assistant capable speakers will reach nearly 65 million units by 2022.
Understanding that more and more people are connecting multiple devices to the Internet, the need for more bandwidth is a necessity, Fidelity officials said.
“After our first round of moves last summer, we immediately saw an increase of usage in our network,” said Robert Dicus, Fidelity’s inside plant engineering manager. “When we completed moving customers provisioned at 1.5 Mbps and 3 Mbps, we saw a 35% increase in usage – proof that our customers needed us to take action.”
In Central Arkansas, Sullivan, Mo.-based Fidelity offers broadband and other bundled telecom across more than a dozen suburban communities in and around Little Rock. Earlier on March 4, Fidelity Communications rolled out its one gigabit Internet service to residential and commercial customers in five new locations across the rural broadband carrier’s four-state footprint, including Maumelle and Beebe.