ESCANABA, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Highline Internet today announced the launch of lightning fast 1 Gigabit (1,000 Megabytes) fiber Internet service to unserved, underserved and previously unhappily served households in the Upper Peninsula and Thumb markets of Michigan. The first customers were connected last week and Highline is adding many more customers every day.
This announcement is only the beginning of the company’s plan to build a future-proofed 6,000-mile fiber network in Michigan to connect tens of thousands of households that have for too long been suffering with poor Internet access.
“The speed and reliability that fiber delivers to our customers is critical in today’s world where streaming entertainment, online learning, and work from home are often all happening at the same time. These activities are now fundamental needs for households in Michigan and require network speeds and capacity that outdated technologies were never meant to support,” said Bruce Moore, CEO of Highline’s Midwest markets. “Highline is constructing an all-new, state-of-the-art fiber-optic network, purpose built to deliver symmetrical upload/download lightning-fast speeds, and we’re thrilled to be the service provider that is finally delivering real Internet access rather than those that just talk about it.”
Highline’s ribbon cutting celebration happened on Thursday October 21st, 2021 at the Delta County Chamber of Commerce in Escanaba and a fanfare celebration for first customer Linda Budkis!
Linda says that after her Highline installation, she “had no buffering with her service and it stays connected all day, and now she can use her home Wi-Fi and her friends and family will actually get her text messages. I contacted Highline immediately upon hearing about their service because it sounded like exactly what I needed to replace my satellite service.”
Highline is already providing its 1 Gigabit fiber internet service in parts of Delta and Sanilac counties and will continue to expand its service throughout the UP and the Thumb over the next three years.
State officials also applaud Highline’s real high-speed internet. "I appreciate Highline’s commitment to continuing this effort to remove the digital divide in the UP, which will impact educational outcomes, economic development, health care, and civic participation," said Sen. Ed McBroom.
Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II met with Highline and InvestUP in Marquette on October 20th and provided his insight that “robust and reliable internet service is the single most empowering infrastructure that we can invest in. The Highline build in Michigan will not only improve the quality of life in the U.P. but set a new standard for the State of Michigan. We are so impressed by their success in the RDOF auction process and their commitment to an aggressive timeline for bringing high-speed, reliable internet service to homes, businesses, and communities in this region.”
In attendance at the ribbon-cutting celebration was local resident and Delta County Economic Development Association executive director Ed Legault. Ed has incorporated his hands-on approach helping many businesses weather the storm through the Covid-19 pandemic. He is an open & honest communicator that has continued to build solid value-added partnerships with those he interacts with. Ed quickly shared that “Highline’s Internet service will help Delta County residents and businesses with access from home for working residents, as well as school access, and is a real Godsend that is filling a big gap that has needed to be filled for a long time.”
“As a regional economic development organization focused on driving prosperity across all fifteen Upper Peninsula counties, we understand the critical importance of having available and accessible broadband is to the U.P. In short, it is critical, essential infrastructure,” said Marty Fittante, CEO of InvestUP. “The pandemic has only further highlighted how vital broadband is to our communities and the opportunities that are before us with real high-speed service. That is why it is so exciting to see Highline stand up service so quickly and now providing gigabyte service locally.”
Turning up the first customer incorporated tremendous work from our own internal Highline teams, as well as several Michigan business partners of Highline, so a special thank you to all of those involved!
At Highline, we believe everyone should have access to the most reliable, fastest internet speed available – at a fair price, regardless of where you live and work. Highline’s owner ITC has been in the telecommunications business for more than 125 years, and . Highline currently serves the communication and internet needs for thousands of residents and businesses in Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska and Texas. We are currently building a Fiber-to-the-Premise network to provide 1 Gigabit internet service to more than 55,000 homes and businesses in Michigan that are underserved by existing providers.
In addition, Highline works closely within its partner and part-owner Atlantic Engineering Group (AEG) for the design, engineering and construction of Highline’s Fiber-to-the-Premise networks. AEG has worked with municipalities, rural electric cooperatives and internet service providers for over 25 years. AEG has built over 50,000 miles of fiber plant, passing almost 3 million homes, with over 130 FTTP projects completed across the country.