Jack Walkenhorst, vice president of operations at All West Communications, draws a parallel between the integration of bandwidth fiber optics in the country to the U.S. interstate development started through the efforts of President Eisenhower in the 1950s.
"Over 20 years ago when we became an Internet provider we used dial up, things have progressed. Bandwidth today is what highways were 50 years ago," Walkenhorst said. "It's a huge asset to quality of life and making sure it's available to the entire country is a big deal."
All West Communications, a telephone and digital video television provider utilizing fiber optics and the digital technology based in Kamas, has begun development on a new fiber network to provide Internet speeds up to 100 Mbps and future speeds up to 1 Gbps for areas inside Summit County.
Development has already begun and is expected to run until 2015, through spurts of work during the warmer months, according to Walkenhorst.
With the various ways of providing a digital infrastructure to communities, users are demanding for faster bandwidth speeds and more accessibility, according to Walkenhorst. The integration of fiber-optic technology to most of the households in Summit County is a key development for future technology – a constantly evolving industry.
"We've had fiber in the ground since 1990, so this technology isn't new for us," Walkenhorst said. "The fiber itself isn't any different, but the technology that lets you take it directly to the home has changed it a lot. The services people are asking for in these areas justify the big operation we're carrying out now."
Construction crews from All West have already started work in the Kamas Valley, in the Oakley, Peoa, Weber Canyon, Francis, Woodland and the Wolf Creek areas.
In order to install underground piping in the area used to hold fiber optic cable, Mid-State Consultants has been contracted by All West to survey the surrounding area.
According to Steve Taylor, an All West engineer, crews this week will be working in Woodland, on Bench Creek Road, just off of State Road 35. There are also a few crews boring pipe holes in Oakley, around the Oakley Meadows area, on North Oakley Meadows Lane, off of 4200 North.
"Construction will primarily be on the shoulders of roads and on the edges of home properties," Walkenhorst said. "There will not be any road closures or anything during construction. We have information on our website and brochures will be given to residents of areas being affected. We will give everybody notice ahead of time if we will be coming to their neighborhoods."
Often considered a rural area by utility companies, Summit County has lacked a network of fiber optic cables capable of providing the fastest internet speeds available. City Hall in Park City unsuccessfully entered a contest in 2008 to win high-speed Internet installation from Google, but was passed over in favor of Provo.
Walkenhorst explained All West has no association with the current development in Provo, but acknowledges the technology that is being installed in Summit County rivals what is going on in that area.
"People look at different aspects of lifestyles when moving to a community. In Summit County outdoor activities are really popular, but Internet accessibility, and speeds, has become a big factor too," said Walkenhorst. "The bandwidth we are installing in the area is premium speed. Since we are always looking for the fastest connection speed possible, this development will allow us to keep up with future technologies."
During the fall of 2011, CenturyLink, a national Internet provider increased high-speed capacities to 40 MbpS, in roughly 20 Park City and Heber neighborhoods. Less than half the speed All West is making available, just more confirmation the speed at which technology changes, added Walkenhorst.
To find out if changes are coming to your neighborhood, visit www.allwest.com.