WINSTON COUNTY - The closure of all schools and some businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic has created an excessive load on internet service. Tombigbee Electric Coop, the parent company of freedomFIBER, is partnering both with state and federal officials to offset this problem.
Students are taking classes through Google Classroom and other distance learning formats more than ever before since they are homebound amidst the pandemic. Also, more people are operating their businesses from home. These things, along with persons having more time on their and, therefore, streaming and using internet for entertainment, makes the need for reliable, high-speed internet even greater.
Steve Foshee, CEO of Tombigbee, met last week with the Alabamian and Bear Creek Mayor Tammie Batchelor, who had concerns of her own -not only as mayor, but as a business owner -about when the Bear Creek area will receive high speed internet service.
“Sometimes the equipment can get a limited factor, but we try to engineer ours so that will not be a limited factor,” Foshee pointed out about equipment used to deliver freedomFIBER service to customers.
“We have signed agreements with other companies to increase our capability of getting out to the world,” he added. “As a matter of fact, we increased our capability at midnight last night (April 7). We almost doubled our capacity to get out to the world because of the (pandemic).”
Tombigbee, therefore, has doubled their gigabyte capacity, he said.
“Fiber optic is expensive. When we launched this in the manner which we did, people thought we were insane. Some thought we were sure to go bankrupt.
“We have plans. We are in negotiations now with different groups with different companies, to get to the outside world,” he continued.
These agreements will be made official, Foshee continued, in the next couple of months.
“It’s going to be surprising who we’re going to partner with,” he previewed.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.