About 2,000 addresses in Holly Springs now have access to fiber-optic internet through Ting, a small internet company that chose the town as one of three in the country to pilot its gigabit internet service.
Ting representatives and local officials gathered the morning of Jan. 17 to ceremonially light up the fiber connection for Holly Springs’ first Ting customer – Josh Bordelon of Dexter Ridge Drive. Now residents of the Holly Glen, Holly Pointe and Braxton Village neighborhoods can sign up for fiber through Ting Internet. A second phase that expands service to other parts of town is underway.
Adam Eisner, vice president of networks for Ting, said residents of those neighborhoods showed the most interest in the service when Ting announced its intention to come to Holly Springs in 2015 and allowed residents to pre-order the service.
Fiber-optic internet connections promise connection speeds in the “gigabit” range, which is advertised as being between 10 and 100 times faster than connections received through the copper wire traditionally used by internet service providers. Ting’s home service costs $89 per month.
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“If you have lot of devices connected concurrently or you work from home, gigabit internet changes the way you use the internet,” Eisner said. “The individual we lit up was talking about how the way he uses video has entirely changed. No more buffering, no more spinning wheels. He just turns it on and there it is.”
Holly Springs is the third town nationwide to pilot Ting’s service, which is also available in Charlottesville, Va. and Westminster, Md.
Ting began as a mobile internet company in 2012 but has since expanded into the home and fiber-optic markets.
Eisner said his company tends to look for rapidly growing and tech-savvy small towns that might be passed over by larger fiber-optic players such as Google or AT&T.
Holly Springs was attractive, Eisner said, because the town already had installed a fiber network ready for lease.
Ting is one of several active and prospective fiber-optic internet providers in the Triangle. AT&T’s fiber service already covers parts of Holly Springs. Google and Frontier are also competing to bring fiber-optic internet to the area.
Google Fiber plans to expand to several Triangle towns after launching first in Morrisville. The connections went live in September 2016. Google and AT&T’s gigabit home services both cost $70 per month.
The scramble to install the necessary fiber-optic cable has drawn hundreds of complaints from residents around the Triangle as contractors dig up roads, sidewalks and yards to lay cable.
Mark Andrews, a spokesman for Holly Springs, said the town hasn’t kept track of which companies are associated with complaints about utility work. But Andrews said residents comments suggest Ting has been relatively diligent in minimizing the impact of its cable installations.
Gargan: 919-460-2604; @hgargan