Internet service options are expanding in Wellington as North Coast Wireless Communications plans to roll out high-speed fiber-optic connectivity in the next few months.
Connection speeds ranging from 50 to 500 megabits per second should be available for business and residential customers in June or July, according to NCW president Matt Fridenstine.
Initial availability of the service will be limited to certain areas of the village, starting at NCW’s Erie Street office and stretching over parts of Maygar and Prospect Streets as well as West Herrick Avenue.
Expansion from those areas will be based on demand and a 100 mbps connection should run around $50 per month, Fridenstine said.
NCW serves approximately 450 customers in Wellington and roughly 4,000 in total across six counties.
“We started installing this equipment in November,” Fridenstine said. “We’re covering about half of downtown Wellington right now. We’ve had a few staffing issues that set things back a little bit but now we’re back at it again. It’s a beta type deployment right now. All of the infrastructure we need has been bought and it’s just a matter of cutting into the equipment we have on the poles.”
Fridenstine estimated average residential Internet speeds in Wellington to be 10 to 20 mbps between his customers and those with service through GLW Broadband and Frontier Communications.
While the new network will be able to handle connection speeds up to one gigabyte per second — or 1,000 mbps — Fridenstine said he and NCW want to wait and see how customers react to 50 to 500 mbps packages before pushing their new tech to its limits.
Larger companies such as Spectrum and Cleveland-based Everstream have set up fiber-optic backbones and allowed carriers like NCW to piggyback off of them, making it much easier to set up high-speed Internet infrastructure in rural areas, said Fridenstine.
“It’s probably less of a challenge now to set up service in a rural area as opposed to a Lorain or Elyria,” he said. “In urban areas, many times a network has to be taken down and rebuilt. But in a place like Wellington, you just have to put up the new network.”
“We’re always trying to push our boundaries. I don’t like to sit back and wait for things to happen. If something is cool and exciting, I want to play with it, find the best use for it, and put it out there,” Fridenstine said.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.