(Front L to R) Brenda Fesser, Glenn Savage, Don Downs, Dave and Merle Imler, Lacy Burtle and Billy Williams of CTI, Hillsboro Mayor Brian Sullivan, Adam Vocks and Bobbie Durbin of CTI, Heather Hampton+Knodle, Dr. Barb Mulch, MCEDC Executive Director Valerie Belusko and Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Theresa Reeves. (Back L to R) Ray Marten, Dr. Bob Mulch, Tim Hopper, Tom Gooding, Dave Booher, Zach Wygal, John Galer, Don Karban, Rex Brown, Lucaas Secrist, Steven Weller and Evan Young, acting chairman of the Montgomery County Board.
CTI Fiber Ready In Nokomis And Hillsboro
Written and published by he Journal News published on 8/20/2018
After 10,000 man-hours spanning the last eight months and 225,000 feet of fiber cable in the ground, CTI of Taylorville announced on Tuesday, Aug. 14, that their fiber optic network is complete from Taylorville to Nokomis and Hillsboro.
"We are excited to start connecting businesses and residents of the Hillsboro and Nokomis communities to our fiber network," according to CTI Vice President Adam Vocks. "It's been a long eight months of work and now, with this milestone completed, we can direct all of our efforts into getting people connected to the fiber."
In an effort to keep up with increasing technological demands and advancements, members of CTI as well as the community feel that installing fiber to the area is vital to helping businesses remain local and continue to grow, as well as attracting new businesses.
"As mayor of Hillsboro, I am so excited to see the progress CTI has already made in lighting fiber to our schools," Mayor Brian Sullivan said. "The residents and business owners of Hillsboro are looking forward to having a fiber optic option to help in reliability, speed and affordability that previously had not been available. Hillsboro is ready to be included as one of only a few gigabit cities in Illinois. Manufacturing facilities, e-commerce businesses as well as brick and mortar stores will all benefit from having affordable high-speed fiber readily available and I believe it will separate us from other municipalities that are not up-to-date."
Tim Brookshire, owner of the Ugly Mugs Coffee House and Commissioner of Public Health and Safety for the City of Nokomis said, "There's a growing excitement throughout the community seeing all of the CTI trucks and equipment roll into town. I have heard a lot of positive feedback from local residents and businesses alike. Having the option of fiber technology available to residents, schools and businesses will provide many exciting opportunities for the economic growth of Nokomis. Currently, only 5.4 percent of Illinoisans have access to fiber optic service and I'm proud to say that Nokomis will be on the forefront of that technology. I feel like we won the lottery with this. There are a lot of communities around us that would love to be in our position right now. I own a coffee shop in Nokomis and in today's world, internet quality can determine how smoothly business is ran. I know that everyone at city hall is also excited to have reliable internet and phone service."
Now that Hillsboro and Nokomis are connected to the fiber optic network, construction to homes and businesses in each community will begin. The cities have been divided into phases of construction and as the company progresses through each phase, anyone who has pre-signed up for the service will be notified via email, phone and postcard when their home or business is fiber ready. For those who have not signed up for service yet or who wish to see which phase their home will be constructed, visit www.ctitech.com/montgomerycounty.
CTI is currently renovating the previous Raise the Bar Gym location located at 1500 School St. in Hillsboro to be the Montgomery County headquarters for CTI. The location is slated to be open to the public in September.
For more information about CTI, call the Hillsboro office at 217-608-0123 or visit the website at www.ctitech.com.
CTI Announces County Expansion
By Mary (Galer) Herschelman of The Journal News published on 7/3/2016
"We're a community that bands together, and we've really shown that," said Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Valerie Belusko. "But we're not going to stop here." Belusko spoke at a special press conference on Thursday morning, June 29, at the Historic Courthouse in Hillsboro, announcing that CTI is bringing fiber optic broadband services to the county, starting with the Hillsboro community.
CTI offers internet, television and phone services, as well as other business related services in the Taylorville area. They are currently finishing up a four and a half year project to deploy fiber services to the Taylorville area, and expect to begin expanding to Montgomery County this fall.
Billy Williams, owner of CTI, gave a little bit of history about the company and answered questions from audience members. Together with owner Adam Vocks, the pair opened an internet business in 1998, evolving over the years from dial-up access to DSL and later wireless. "It became really hard to deliver service people needed," Williams said. "We came to the conclusion that it had to be fiber to be enough for everyone to use."
Williams said the reliability of the fiber-based service was one of the biggest reasons they made the switch, and that they see very few outages.
He added their company put Taylorville on the map as one of six cities in the state of Illinois to offer Gigabit internet connection. He announced Thursday that Hillsboro will be the seventh community. "I have to say that your economic development corporation helped in our decision," Williams said. "We were being pulled in different directions, and they have pushed hard for the entire county to be covered." Other communities under consideration for the expansion project were Pana, Litchfield, Rochester, Nokomis, Morrisonville, Raymond and Stonington. Williams said they have no immediate plans after the Hillsboro expansion, and they will strongly consider other Montgomery County communities if there is enough interest.
CTI is in the process of securing $3 million in funding commitments from local banks. As early as October, they may begin construction and will build down from Nokomis to Hillsboro. They will sign up businesses in Nokomis en route to Hillsboro. Williams expects the expansion to the entire Hillsboro service area to take two to three years, and it will include Schram City and Taylor Springs. "We will build to any community that shows there's enough demand for it," Williams said. "Anyone could be next, so keep up those efforts to pre-sign in communities."
Dave Imler asked about expanding to Coffeen, who had shown interest over 20 percent. Williams said that smaller communities may have to show even more interest for an expansion to occur, but that it was certainly a possibility. Of the four largest communities in the county, Nokomis has about 15 percent interest, followed by Raymond and Litchfield at about 6 or 7 percent each.
Dr. Barb Mulch asked about the number of communities nationally tracked with access to fiber services, and Williams said it's a bit harder to track, although Google Fiber is working in some metro areas, though not providing access to all residents. He feels it's important to provide fiber access to all residents within a community.
Lucaas Secrist asked about the cost of their packages, and Williams said they are comparable to what residents are paying now for internet services, with bundling services available for television and phone as well. He said their most popular package was gigabit fiber internet service for $69 a month, and that residents who sign up may lock in that price for life.
"The MCEDC had worked diligently long before my time," Belusko said. "This was a conversation that started with business retention visits and the need for more reliable service. We're so thankful that CTI considered us. They're going to change us for the better."
Belusko thanked Mayor Brian Sullivan and local organizations like Imagine Hillsboro, the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce and the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce for their efforts in helping motivate residents to show their support.
Heather Hampton+Knodle, who started this project in Montgomery County more than a decade ago, thanked Emily Battin and Congressman Rodney Davis for their continued support. She said it was Davis who suggested she talk to CTI in the first place.
"I can't say enough about how proud I am of this community," said Sullivan. "By coming together, this will make a huge difference for all of us."
For more information, contact CTI at (217) 824-6398 or visit www.ctitech.com.