For the first time, many residents in the rural areas of South Dakota will have access to the latest telecommunications advancements because of a new Fiber to the Home (FTTH) project by Highmore, S.D.-based Venture Communications Cooperative.??

Broadband stimulus award winner Venture teamed with Clearfield Inc. in the FTTH deployment that will span more than 900 square miles serving a trio of communities in north central South Dakota. The ambitious project, funded in part by a $7 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act broadband stimulus award, began in the spring and will be completed by 4Q11. In the end, the partners say area businesses and residents will enjoy the benefits of high-speed Internet, IP video and high-definition television as well as local and long-distance calling, and voice messaging.??The fiber deployment — an overbuild of the existing network architecture — will cover three exchanges and more than 900 access lines in and around Faulkton, Orient and Cresband.

"With our rural build, you plow many miles to get to a very few customers," says Randy Olson, Venture’s assistant GM. "Traditionally, it’s been difficult getting broadband to a rural market, so we like to say we had ‘lower high speed Internet’ service in the past. There were no video products for rural consumers and many had coax-based TV service. Our customers are really looking forward to the new services this FTTH project will? bring."??

An integral aspect of the deployment will be the installation of Clearfield’s FieldSmart Fiber Crossover Distribution System (FxDS) as part of the central office operation. The FieldSmart FxDS frame is being used in the Faulkton FTTH deployment, while FieldSmart FxDS panels are being utilized in Cresband and Orient.

Venture has three central offices that came about as a result of stimulus awards, and ?another three in their ILEC exchanges. It is deploying a Passive Optical Network (PON) with Calix.

(Editor’s note: For more on new FTTH developments, read the September issue of Communications Technology magazine.)?

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