Press Releases

Smithville Fiber launches new era of fiber connectivity in Bloomington neighborhood, creates first gigabit “fiberhood”

Posted date: May 28, 2015

BLOOMINGTON (Indiana) – Smithville Fiber will launch a new era of gigabit fiber connectivity for Bloomington on May 28, beginning with Blue Ridge Estates neighborhood. The first-ever residential gigabit deployment in Bloomington will deploy Smithville GigaCity technology – symmetrical gigabit fiber-based connectivity and Indiana’s fastest Internet – as a result of a partnership between Smithville Telecom and the Blue Ridge Neighborhood Association (BRNA), according to Darby McCarty, Chairman and CEO.

The move will launch Bloomington’s first true “fiberhood.” According to Dave Brodin, chief technology officer for Smithville Fiber, other neighborhoods and areas of Bloomington are currently being considered for additional Smithville Fiber expansions.

"High-speed connectivity is a critical component of growing our region's tech economy, and Smithville's fiber introduction to the Blue Ridge neighborhood is an important step forward for the Bloomington area,” said Katie Birge, executive director of the Bloomington Technology Partnership.

Bringing access to 225 homes in Blue Ridge, the Smithville GigaCity technology will make available new fiber-based high-speed connectivity at a presently unmatched symmetrical 1,000 mbps speeds (up and down in data transmission), all with an in-home wireless gigabit capacity. This is several times faster than traditional cable, which often only offers download speeds of 20 Mbps and 2-3 mbps upload. The Blue Ridge project will be a true Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) project, according to Brodin, who spearheaded the development.

“We’re excited to be the first neighborhood in the city to have this technology available to residents,” said Jo Basey, president of the Blue Ridge Neighborhood Association. “This is an investment that will not only benefit our residents, but will also benefit the city by bringing more competition for broadband services to Bloomington,” she added.

She also noted recent research which showed that fiber connectivity can increase home value.

With the fiber gigabit service, Smithville will also offer Blue Ridge residents best-quality IPTV (video), crystal-clear voice services, high-capacity data transmission, fast access to cloud services, and Smithville’s suite of services for home security and cellular. Details are available at http://blueridge.smithville.com.

“Since our main service facilities are in the Bloomington region and many of our employees live in Bloomington, we are especially pleased to expand our new gigabit services here,” said Ms. McCarty. Smithville is also an official sponsor of Indiana University athletics, which Ms. McCarty said also ties the company close to the city.

Noting how Smithville became involved in the Blue Ridge project, Brodin said: “We were pleased to respond to a request late last year from the BRNA board to work with them on a plan to deploy fiber gigabit services.”

“Our new technology, which builds on our fiber capacity, looks like an excellent fit for the Blue Ridge neighborhood,” Brodin continued. Advances in gigabit technology have enabled Smithville to offer true symmetrical gigabit (1,000 mbps) service for new developments in Jasper, Danville and elsewhere.

John Grigutis, a BRNA board member, said “In evaluating Smithville against the two other major telecommunications providers in our neighborhood, Smithville offered the lowest cost per Mbps [megabits per second].

“This made it [the Smithville proposal] an extremely attractive value,” he added.

Explaining why the Blue Ridge neighborhood was seeking a new provider, Grigutis went on to say :“Many residents had issues with poor service with our existing providers, but since Smithville will be laying new fiber underground, installing new cabling within the home, and is using the latest/fastest equipment, these issues should be greatly reduced if not eliminated completely.”

Blue Ridge residents have already experienced the benefits of working with Smithville. “The [Smithville] staff has been a pleasure to work with because they all seem to be totally focused on the customers' wants/needs,” said Basey. “A lot of residents like the fact that this is a local company, and that when we call for help, the person who answers the phone is close by and not in some call center in another state or country.”

Brodin noted that Smithville has an agile capacity to build fiber networks in specific neighborhoods, and that other areas and cities were presently under consideration.

Fiber-optics networking with gigabit capacity is quickly becoming a necessary element of civic infrastructure. Advancements in healthcare leverage fiber capacity for critical image transmission and telemedicine. Growing businesses can rely on its dependable connectivity to “future-proof” their operations. Consumers benefit from gigabit-based “smart home” technology, as well as lightning-fast downloads of high-definition movies, streaming video (such as Netflix and Amazon Prime), and a host of other services.

Fiber offers a platform of exponential speed and can carry enormous amounts of data. The transition to a purely fiber platform means increasing download speeds from a few megabits per second (Mbps) to 1,000 Mbps. With this new capacity large files can be downloaded much faster. For example, with gigabit connectivity, a full two-hour HD movie can be downloaded in about 30-50 seconds regardless of the number of devices connected, compared with much longer periods of time at lower bandwidth speeds.

Cloud-based computer applications that fully leverage the power of gigabit connectivity are presently in development. They include numerous quality of life and business productivity applications that will positively impact, even transform, areas of healthcare, entertainment and commercial operations.

Smithville receives national “Top 100 Broadband” recognition for unprecedented third straight year

Posted date: August 16, 2011

Southern Indiana company named with top national companies as Google, Verizon, AT&T, Motorola, Cisco and DIRECTV

ELLETTSVILLE, Ind. (Aug. 16, 2011) – Smithville – Indiana’s largest independent telecom company – received national recognition as a “Top 100 Broadband Company,” marking the third straight year the southern Indiana company has been named to this elite group.

The current issue of Broadband Communities profiled Smithville, noting that competition for the award was intense with more than 700 national companies being considered. Smithville, and its affiliate company Smithville Digital, were recognized together with major national broadband companies like Google, Verizon, AT&T, Motorola, Cisco and DIRECTV.

The publication also included Smithville’s national views for broadband development and the proposed FCC reallocation of funds. The magazine quoted Darby McCarty, President and CEO of Smithville, as she warned: “Many challenges face telecoms – small and large alike – as the United States unevenly advances toward the goal of 100 Mbps broadband by 2020.”

Continuing, Ms. McCarty stated: “The businesses, industries and people of the United States will best be served by more consistent and ‘real-world’ actions by the FCC.

“While the current National Broadband Plan holds many good objectives, actions proposed by federal agencies [to redirect federal broadband funding] may well undercut rural and other areas in broadband development and create a real, unfortunate, and lasting digital divide for economic advancement.”

Citing the ongoing Smithville $90 million project to bring high-speed fiber connectivity to rural areas in Indiana, Broadband Communities editor Masha Zager called the ongoing Smithville fiber overbuild “an ambitious FTTH project.”

In selecting the Top 100, Zager said that the editors look for organizations who promote real innovation and who are advancing the cause of fiber to the premises in one of several ways, including how companies deploy their fiber networks. “We look for large deployments, or for innovative business plans and technology configurations,” she said. The editors also look for companies that introduce innovative technologies, even if the technologies have not yet been commercially deployed. “We’re always on the lookout for technologies that change the rules,” she added.

“The honor of being chosen as a top 100 national broadband property is humbling,” said McCarty, the Smithville CEO. “This designation eloquently reflects the quality of dedication and achievements of our Smithville team in bringing the best possible communication technology to the people of Indiana.”

With its first segment of its overbuild to residential customers completed, Smithville’s cutting-edge technology will allow Smithville's customers access to some of the fastest broadband speeds available anywhere in the U.S., including a 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) access package. This high-end service is presently unmatched by several other broadband companies in Indiana.
Industry experts note that the 100 Mbps capacity over fiber create serious development and business opportunities for Smithville customers, including the capacity for real-time telehealth, imaging, and business modeling operations.

Smithville also provides videoconferencing solutions, including customized mobile videoconferencing carts and room systems, video call bridging, ISDN transcoding, and recording and streaming services, in addition to software and hardware.

Smithville’s all-new technology platform gives customers the ability to access the Internet, voice, and web based television services at a speed much faster than currently available to many residential customers anywhere in the United States—in rural or urban areas.

State-of-the-Art Video Conference Center Comes to Rural Indiana

Posted date: March 1, 2011

ELLETTSVILLE, Ind. (March 1, 2011) — Smithville's new Video Conference Center is a state-of-the-art addition to the line of services available from Smithville Communications, Inc. A solution of epic proportions (a 16 ft. 3 in. by 5 ft. 5 in. screen), this center was created for local businesses, with the vision of local business owner, Ms. Darby A. McCarty. As President and CEO of Smithville, Ms. McCarty understands the rigors of managing a local business: smaller, rural businesses often work with out-of-state suppliers or distributors but lack the budget required to make it to long distance meetings. Ms. McCarty put it this way: "Meetings are essential to business, but the cost of travel is more than most local companies can bear. This [center] gives local professionals a means to conduct their business affordably and securely and an expert staff to assist with the technology." Smithville's new Video Conference Center is a great solution for budgets and time schedules as well as being a ready-to-use resource for area businesses.

Companies in need of a video conference solution can easily get tied down to a webcam type service, which can include a grainy/choppy picture on a slow connection. These services barely meet the need they were created to fill. Smithville has gone the extra mile to bring top-of-the-line video conference services to rural, southern Indiana. Smithville's new Video Conference Center was created with rural communities in mind, allowing those that might be unable to invest in a video conference solution of their own the opportunity to use the equipment they need at an hourly rate.

Smithville's new Video Conference Center boasts a full wall, rear projection screen "one of only five of its kind in the state of Indiana" providing high-definition video communications. The Video Conference Center offers six individual inputs, multipoint and ISDN connections and optional recording and live streaming services included at no additional cost. These connections allow users of the Smithville Video Conference Center to connect to anywhere in the world using modern technology, all from the comfort of their friendly, local communications company “ Smithville.

About Smithville “Led by President and CEO Darby A. McCarty since 2003, Smithville is one of Indiana's oldest and largest independent communication companies, with its telephone division founded in 1922. A long-time champion of Southern Indiana customers and a proven early adopter of state-of-the-art communication services, Smithville began converting its operations to a digital platform in the 1980s. In 2003, the company created a new commercial division, Smithville Digital, which serves up a fiber-based technology portfolio of physical and electronic services providing high-speed, reliable and secure broadband access and industrial data transport for Hoosier businesses statewide.

Smithville Offers fastest broadband speeds in Indiana

Posted date: April 30, 2009

Smithville offering residential customers broadband speeds of 100 Mbps – double the speeds offered by fastest competitor; Company completes first segment of $90 million fiber-to-the-home overbuild for customers.

ELLETTSVILLE, Ind. (April 30, 2009) — Rural communities everywhere have rarely been first to receive new technology upgrades of any kind. Many of Indiana's rural communities are no different, struggling today to upgrade to a broadband system that can support sustained economic development and a higher quality of life. Smithville, Indiana's largest privately held telecommunications company, has set out to change that and today announced the completion of the first segment of a $90 million Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) overbuild for all of its 30,000 residential customers in the south-central and southern part of the state.

By bringing fiber optic cable directly to each home, customers will receive Internet, voice and TV at the speed of light. This cutting-edge technology will allow Smithville's customers access to the fastest broadband speeds available anywhere in the U.S., including a mammoth 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) package. Currently, no other internet service provider (ISP) in the state of Indiana offers 100 mbps service for residential customers. In fact, no other ISP in Indiana offer's more than 50 Mbps.

According to Joe Savage, President of the National Fiber-to-the-Home Council, "Smithville's investment in a fiber-to-the-home network will pay dividends for their subscribers, not only in improved access to the Internet, but in increased tele-work and home-based business opportunities, as well as increased tele-education and tele-health application usage. We applaud the forward-looking efforts of Smithville to bring true high-speed communications to their customers."

Called Fiber-to-the-Home, Smithville's all-new technology platform will give customers the ability to access the Internet, voice, and television and web based television services at a speed much faster than currently available to most residential customers anywhere in the United States”in rural or urban areas. Using light waves to carry digital signals, Smithville's new FTTH system will transmit data approaching the speed of light”about 186,000 miles per second”with upload and download speeds up to 100 Mbps.

"Smithville's $90 million investment and commitment to bringing cutting-edge technology to rural Indiana will not only impact their customers directly, but will help to advance the economy of the region as a whole," said Lt. Governor Becky Skillman. "Smithville's efforts to bring true high-speed broadband to these communities will help them become more competitive in the 21st Century economy and advance technology in rural Indiana."

"As technology advances and becomes more integrated into everyday life, the bandwidth available via fiber directly to the home will become essential for all residential customers," said Smithville President and CEO Darby McCarty. "We're looking to the future and acting now, as opposed to acting later, and bringing technology to rural Indiana that can't be found in most large cities."

Smithville's new FTTH service will set a new standard of digital communication with the complete rebuild of its existing system. When complete, none of Smithville's customers will use existing copper or hybrid (combination of copper, fiber or coaxial cable) systems which possess significant limitations and cannot achieve the higher speeds available only with all-fiber systems.

So how fast is Smithville's new fiber-to-the-home platform? For example: A movie purchased and downloaded on a DSL connection might take as long as two or three hours to complete. The time required to download that same movie might be cut in half with a cable modem. But with Smithville's fiber-based connection, the same movie could be downloaded in seconds.

Within the next 12 months Smithville will have half of its residential customers using the new fiber-to-the-home service. For more information about Smithville's 100 Mbps service offering, other products or other information about the company, visit www.smithville.net.

Historical contribution to IU Women's Basketball

Posted date: September 24, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (September 22, 2008) — Smithville, Indiana's largest privately owned telecommunications company, has made a $250,000 capital contribution to Indiana University Women's Basketball. The gift was made in support of the IU athletics campaign, For the Glory of Old IU: The Campaign for IU Athletics, to enhance student-athlete welfare at the university.

Darby McCarty, president of Smithville and an avid fan of IU women's basketball, serves on the Campaign Steering Committee. Smithville, with the Earles and McCarty families, have been donors to the Varsity Club for 40 years and season football and men's basketball ticket holders for over 30 years.

"Darby McCarty has set the tone for women's basketball here at Indiana University. With her contribution of $250,000 to Indiana University Athletics Capital Campaign and our Women's Basketball program, she has become our most generous donor in history," said IU Women's Basketball Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "The old cliché is, 'if you build it, they will come.' Well, Darby McCarty fully understands our vision and stepped up and said, 'I will help you build it!' She has embraced me from the beginning and stands with us as we embark on greatness. I am deeply touched, honored and humbled by her support. She exemplifies what one considers a phenomenal woman."

The over-arching goal of this campaign is to raise $80 million in private support for critical facility projects as well as student athletes' scholarships. This campaign is the first comprehensive campaign in Indiana University history.

The Smithville contribution supports a major addition in IU athletics, The Basketball Development Center, which was designed by HOK Sport of Kansas City and is to be completed in August 2009. Once constructed, the facility will be a 67,000 square foot state of the art facility and will serve as the daily headquarters for Indiana men's and women's basketball programs. It will feature two regulation-sized practice courts, coaches' offices, locker rooms, meeting/video rooms, and shared strength-development and training areas. Additionally, it will feature a Legacy Court Lobby that celebrates the championship tradition of Indiana Basketball.

"We are very appreciative that Darby and Smithville have committed to a leadership gift for Indiana women's basketball in our campaign." Scott Dolson, Associate Athletic Director for Development and IU Varsity Club Director said. "They are true friends who have been strong and steadfast in their support for decades."

In recognition of the largest capital gift given in the history of Indiana University Women's Basketball, IU Athletics will permanently name the Women's Basketball Conference Room in the Basketball Development Center after Smithville.

"Our continued support and the support from many other dedicated fans of IU athletics will help ensure its stability. Athletics are a core component of Indiana University and its continued history is important to us," said McCarty. This contribution will help IU athletes reach their goals, fulfill their potential, and continue to create Hoosier legacies."

Smithville to Invest $90 Million for Rural Technology

Posted date: April 7, 2008

ELLETTSVILLE, Indiana — Rural communities have rarely been first on the list to receive technology upgrades of any kind. Indiana's rural communities are no different, struggling today to upgrade to a broadband system that can support sustained economic development and a higher quality of life. According to Darby A. McCarty, president and CEO of Smithville, rural residents and businesses in certain areas of Indiana can soon boast about a new development that is not yet widely available, even in urban settings. This region in central, south central and southern Indiana is about to receive data, voice and video at the speed of light through cutting-edge technology that brings fiber-optic broadband directly into the home.

Smithville, Indiana's oldest and largest privately held telecommunications company will invest $90 million over the next 48 months to build phase one of an entirely new communications platform that will bring real fiber-based broadband to 29,000 customers in 17 counties in the central, south central and southern part of the state, including Hendricks County in the greater Indianapolis area.

"Smithville's $90 million investment and commitment to bringing cutting-edge technology to rural Indiana will not only impact their customers directly, but help to advance the economy of the region as a whole," said Lt. Governor Becky Skillman. "Smithville's efforts to bring true high-speed broadband to these communities will help them become more competitive in the 21st Century economy and advance technology in rural Indiana."

"As a native of southern Indiana, I know firsthand what this means to the region," the Lt. Governor continued. "We are proud to have a Hoosier-owned company directly helping Hoosiers in rural areas."

Called Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH), Smithville's all-new technology platform will give customers the ability to access the Internet, telecom, and eventually video services at a speed much faster than currently available to most residential customers anywhere”rural, urban, big telecom, or small telecom. Using light waves to carry digital signals, Smithville's new FTTH system will transmit data approaching the speed of light”about 186,000 miles per second”with upload and download speeds averaging faster than 100 mbps.

"The new Smithville fiber-optic system will bring a whole host of new services to our customers, but as important, it will help Indiana rural business compete on a global scale," said Ms. McCarty. "From bandwidth-hungry modeling software to large creative art files, the new Smithville fiber system will be able to handle the Hoosier workload from a rural setting."

Smithville's new FTTH service will set a new standard of digital communication with the complete rebuild of its existing system. When complete, none of Smithville's customers will use existing copper or hybrid (copper, fiber or coaxial cable) systems which possess significant limitations and cannot achieve the higher speeds available only with fiber-based systems.

"Bringing fiber-based high-speed connectivity to Hoosiers living and working in rural areas is critical for Indiana's long-term success," said James L. Jay, president and CEO of TechPoint, Indiana's initiative focused on growth of the state's technology sector. "This is another positive development for Indiana's rural technology infrastructure and will most certainly aid economic development. Our collective hats are off to Smithville for continuing to invest in Indiana."

Smithville will acquire funding for a portion of the $90 million fiber rebuild through a federal loan program from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Rural Utilities Services (RUS) Division of USDA has provided long-term loans to a number of communications companies upgrading services to rural areas, including major rural areas in the southeast United States.

"The USDA has long had programs in place to advance rural development, but to be effective, they require an innovative and risk-taking company to help execute them," said Robert White, Indiana state director for the United States Department of Agriculture. "Smithville represents a perfect example of a company bringing much needed state-of-the-art service to rural customers by leveraging USDA financial resources. Smithville's $90 million investment can bring real economic development and advancement to southern Indiana through their vision."

So how fast is Smithville's new fiber-to-the-home platform? For example: A movie purchased and downloaded on a DSL connection might take as long as two or three hours to complete. The time required to download that same movie might be cut in half with a cable modem. But with Smithville's fiber-based connection, the same movie could be downloaded in seconds.

Smithville plans to roll out a whole new suite of services with its rebuild, including extended data and consumer video packages.