STUDENT UTILITY BOARD TOURS TELECOM DEPARTMENT
During the October meeting of Fayetteville Public Utilities’ (FPU) Student Utility Board (SUB), members were given a tour of the telecommunications department and a summary of the services offered.
Britt Dye, FPU CEO/General Manager, began the meeting by giving students a brief history of FPU’s telecom services. He described how the telecom department has expanded and changed since FPU entered the internet business in 1999 including the addition of digital phone services in July 2009.
Eric Reeves, Telecommunications Supervisor Technician, shared with students that FPU, in conjunction with the State of Tennessee, works to secure grants to expand internet into rural parts of the county. He discussed with students the importance of these grants to deliver broadband, an essential part of our daily lives, to unserved and underserved areas. Today, FPU offers telecom services to over 3,300 customers in Fayetteville and parts of Lincoln County.
Drew Cline, Telecom Lead Technician, gave students a tour of the telecom department. Due to advancing technology, Cline explained that most of FPU’s new telecom builds to homes and businesses are offered as fiber installations. He continued by showing students how fiber optic cable works and explaining the process of repairing it.
At the conclusion of the meeting, students enjoyed the hands-on experience of splicing fiber optic cable. Isabella Martin, Student Utility Board member, commented, “Overall, I really enjoyed this day! Mr. Cline did a great job presenting and giving an inside view of splicing fiber. I had no idea how difficult this process actually is. It gave me a new appreciation for the internet and patience for those who fix it.”
“Utilities play a huge role in community development, and FPU focuses on providing services that not only meet the needs of today but also prepare for the needs of the future,” said FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye. “Through their involvement with the Student Utility Board, students are given the opportunity to experience growth in our community firsthand, and we gain insight about how we can better serve our next generation of FPU customers.”
In November, the Student Utility Board will tour FPU’s Natural Gas Department. During this meeting, they will learn about natural gas and travel to a gate station to discover how natural gas is delivered to Fayetteville.