Hardy Increasing OneNet Broadband Speeds After $1 Million Upgrade

Hardy Telecommunications is increasing its OneNet standard broadband speeds at no extra cost as it completes a $1 million upgrade to its network. The new standard speeds are set to take effect August 15, 2022.

“We initially planned to increase our speeds last year, but the supply chain and inflationary issues have impacted our projects just like they’ve hit so many Americans,” said Derek Barr, assistant general manager for Hardy. “We had to receive and install new equipment that could enable the faster speeds. Because it’s taken longer than we expected, we’re giving a larger speed boost than originally intended, but we’re still keeping package prices the same. We’re able to make the change just in time for students returning to school.”

Derek stressed that the faster speeds are available only for OneNet customers. Hardy OneNet is the company’s fiber network, which brings fiber-optic connections directly to customers’ homes. Fiber technology is required to deliver the speed increases, he said.

Starting August 15, 2022, Hardy’s OneNet standard speeds will increase for each of its packages. The current 30/15 Mbps package (30 Mbps download/15 Mbps upload) will increase to 100/50 Mbps; the current 50/25 Mbps package will increase to 150/75 Mbps; and the 100/50 Mbps package will increase to 300/150 Mbps.

“Essentially, download speeds will be tripled for each speed tier,” Derek said.

The company has been working diligently to achieve the faster speeds since it announced last year that it would increase its broadband offering. The delay has been due to the difficulty in receiving the upgraded equipment necessary to deliver the speeds.

“It took much longer to receive the equipment needed in our offices and remote sites,” Derek said. “The supply chain problem held us back. With our OneNet fiber network, the fiber itself can handle the faster speeds already, but the limitation is the equipment on either end of that fiber – the equipment in our offices and remotes and the equipment at the customer’s home.

“Simply put, an Internet provider must have equipment and lasers to generate the light signals and deliver the data over the fiber infrastructure. We’ve spent largely the last year upgrading our equipment and lasers to enable and handle faster speeds. The fiber itself is the same, but the network equipment transporting data over that fiber is greatly improved.”

Derek said the entire project, including equipment, materials and labor, amounts to about $1 million.

“It’s expensive and a big investment for a small company, but we’re committed to providing a state-of-the-art service for our customers,” he said.

Prices for the standard packages are not changing at this time. Derek said Hardy has seen the same inflationary price increases for its critical equipment and TV broadcast rights that all Americans have seen for staples like food and gasoline, but the cooperative is able to maintain its current price structure for now.

“Everyone is affected by rising prices, so we’re trying to do our part to help,” he said. “We’re continuing to invest, expand our network and plan for upgrades, and there certainly may come a time when we have to raise prices to offer even faster speeds, but we want this right now to be simply an added benefit to our customers as we all deal with these issues.”

Derek said the faster speeds are delivered to the OneNet equipment in the customer’s home. Factors such as the capabilities of customer devices, the number of devices on a home network and whether a device is wired or wireless can affect a customer’s experience.

“Wired connections are more reliable and stable. The faster the speed, the shorter the distance it will travel as a wireless connection, so router coverage in the home plays a factor,” he said. “Many customers have older mobile phones or tablets that have limitations on what speeds they can handle. And the more devices, especially wireless, that you have sharing a home network, the more that overall speed is divided and the more each individual customer’s experience can be impacted.”

Derek said any customers having issues with the faster speeds effective August 15, 2022, should call Hardy’s business office at 304-897-9911 or 304-530-5000.

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