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TCLP LAUNCHES NEW ULTRA-FAST BROADBAND INTERNET SERVICE- TCLPfiber

TCLPfiber is a Fast and Reliable Internet Service for Businesses and Residents who Learn, Work, Stream Entertainment, and Access Healthcare from Home.

We view broadband as an essential utility – owned by the people of Traverse City and managed by TCL&P. Now we’re also in the forefront of becoming a tech hub in Northern Michigan.”

October 1, 2020

Media contact: Kelli Schroeder, Manager of HR & Communications, 231-932-4545, kschroeder@tclp.org

TRAVERSE CITY, MI.– Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P) announced today the official launch of its new broadband network, TCLPfiber, which will bring ultra-fast internet and digital voice services initially to 1900 of its 12,700 residential and commercial customers, located in downtown Traverse City, Michigan. Subsequent phases to connect to the network throughout the community are forthcoming.

Tim Arends, executive director, TCL&P, noted that “TCL&P has been building the TCLPfiber network incrementally, methodically, and carefully because quality is extremely important. We view broadband as an essential utility—owned by the people of Traverse City and managed by TCL&P. It’s been a long time in coming, but we’re finally here. We’re really excited!”

TCL&P is now taking orders at tclpfiber.org for the all-fiber network, which will provide up to one gigabit (Gbps) of symmetrical internet service—meaning the same upload and download speed—to its customers. There are no data caps, no installation fees, and no equipment or activation fees; and the utility will provide the same 24/7 support as it does for all its services.

Residential customer internet service offerings include:  

  • Gig Connect: 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) for $89.99/month
  • Connect 500: 500 Mbps for $69.99/month
  • Connect 200: 200 Mbps for $59.99/month

Commercial customer internet service offerings include:

  • Gig Connect: 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) for $149.99/month
  • Connect 500: 500 Mbps for $99.99/month

The new network is all fiber and does not use coax or copper cable, or satellite technology to deliver service. “The result is reliable video-streaming, video-conferencing, and extremely fast uploading and downloading of large files,” Arends says.

According to Tony Seely, an IT Systems Analyst for Munson Home Health and one of TCLPfiber’s first customers: “The installation was easy and everything is just faster!” Seely manages hundreds of connected devices for Munson, so having reliable gigabit-speed fiber service at home was particularly important. “On videoconferences, people keep telling me that my audio is better and the picture is sharper. When I watch 4Kvideo, the stream is near instantaneous. It’s far better than what anyone else is offering.”

Essential Infrastructure

TCL&P undertook the broadband project in the light of pressing customer demand to fulfill the needs of a changing marketplace. The idea for the utility to build its own network was hatched several years ago, growing out of a $1.8 million partnership the TCL&P entered with the Traverse City Area Public Schools to construct a dark fiber network in the community. Several organizations are currently connected to this network. Another partnership followed between the Downtown Development Authority and TCL&P that offers free Wi-Fi downtown.

TCL&P envisioned building a world-class communications infrastructure—a FTTP (fiber-to-the-premises) network offering gigabit broadband internet access for residents, businesses, and others in their service area. The vision was to attract industry and entrepreneurs to the area and put the City of Traverse City in the forefront of becoming a tech hub and a smart city in Northern Michigan.

“It was a logical next step,” says Martin Colburn, city manager of Traverse City, MI. “Our view is that it is the obligation of city government to provide the infrastructure for the betterment of all our residents. The residents also benefit from raising the bar on technological improvements to serve their homes and the business community.”

As Arends points out, “TCLPfiber is Your Community Network because we want to send the message, loud and clear, so people know they own it. Their voice matters and is critical in enabling our utility board and staff to continue developing valued services.”

He continued, “If there is one lesson to be learned from recent history, it is that in today’s world, we need substantial bandwidth for kids learning from home, parents working from home, and senior citizens connecting from home. The number of devices being used simultaneously will only grow, necessitating speed and capacity. This is a boon to Traverse City.’

About TCL&P

Traverse City Light & Power (tclp.org) is a community-owned, community-focused municipal utility that offers reliable energy at low rates in the region to over 12,700 customers in Traverse City and parts of East Bay, Elmwood, Garfield and Peninsula townships. The utility now offers TCLPfiber, all-fiber, gigabit internet and digital voice services. TCL&P created the TCLPfiber network to bring its residential and commercial customers the benefits of telecommuting, distance learning, telemedicine, and smart grid technology – to enhance their quality of life and make Traverse City a better place to live, work, and play.

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