Salina, Locust Grove joining SST’s super-fast fiber network

Portions of Salina and Locust Grove are currently being connected to SST’s expanding fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network providing those communities exponentially faster internet speeds and new economic development options.

“The town of Locust Grove is in its final stages,” said Dalton Burchett, SST’s operations manager. “Salina fiber is underway with the majority of buried fiber in the ground and well over half of aerial fiber in place. Salina should be completed in three to five months.”

Fiber networks provide greater reliability than copper-based networks and allow for faster internet service. (Fiber is also a solid economic development tool for area towns and businesses.) As fiber is completed in a neighborhood, SST begins converting homes along the way from copper service to fiber service. To speed construction last year, SST supplemented its construction and splicing crews with five subcontracting crews and will continue to do so in the future.

“We’re excited to transition to a fiber network,” said Tina Ritter, SST internet manager. “SST has always worked hard to maintain and improve its network for the benefit of its customers. “We provided DSL to our customers, years before a national company provided DSL to Pryor. In the coming years, we’ll be bringing fiber to communities and rural residents throughout much of our 600-square-mile service territory. There are communities in other parts of Oklahoma, larger communities than ours, that may never have fiber to the home.”

The current copper network was constructed, expanded and continually upgraded over 70 years. With no magic bullet for rolling out a fiber-optic network, the company and its employees are committed to a multi-year plan requiring substantial annual capital investments and long-term perseverance by SST’s construction crews.

“We’re doing everything we can to speed the buildout,” said Jerry Prather, SST’s outside plant manager. “Using subcontractors helped us and will continue to help us reach more customers, more quickly. We must balance maintaining the integrity of network design while constructing that network as fast as we can.”

For information about fiber progress in your area, please call SST at 1.800.722.3450.

SST provides high-speed data circuits and Ethernet to corporations, health clinics and schools located throughout its service area predominantly in Mayes and Delaware counties but also including portions of Adair and Cherokee counties. It also provides DSL, VDSL, networking services, local and long distance telephone service and calling features to area businesses and homes.

SST was founded in 1945 in Salina, Okla., when Thomas and Addie Sheard began operating – out of their home – a single telephone exchange with fewer than a dozen subscribers.  Over time, the Sheards added five more exchanges – Spavinaw, Locust Grove, Strang, Kansas, and Flint. The Sheards’ daughters, President Janet Robson and Vice President Nancy Cain, now manage the company

SST is the largest commercial employer in Salina and has business offices in Salina and Kansas.

SST focuses its corporate giving on education and public safety through annual donations to every school, police and fire department in its service area.  Other areas of focus are Future Farmers of America, 4-H, area Head Start programs, and community events.