(Gleaner, The (Henderson, KY) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 06--Super-duper fast network speeds have been introduced downtown by Henderson Municipal Power and Light for the biggest business users.
HMP&L announced the availability of gigabit fiber optic service downtown, which provides download and upload speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second -- about 100 times faster than typical broadband speeds.
The service, powered by newer, faster electronic equipment, will be expanded beyond downtown over time, according to HMP&L Communication Manager Brian Hardesty.
Gigabit service is intended chiefly for providing point-to-point networking connection between different locations of a business, such as a main bank office and its branches, a hospital with external labs or a school system. At $1,000 per month, it's priced for large operations.
But HMP&L does offer a variety of packages for smaller businesses, including a 6 Mbps service for $90 per month and 10 Mbps for $140.
And it has a suite of so-called "enterprise" services for users with greater needs. Home and small-business broadband services typically offer high-speed download speeds of, say, 10 Mbps for viewing websites, downloading email or software updates, or viewing streaming video -- but much slower upload speeds for sending data such as users' own videos to YouTube. Essentially, such services are for users who consume Internet material but don't produce much themselves.
But larger commercial customers might need to both receive and send large amounts of data quickly. For them, HMP&L offers "symmetrical" services, starting at $120 per month for download and upload speeds of 5 Mbps and ranging up to 20 Mbps up and down for $400.
Perhaps most important in all this is that HMP&L is providing options for local businesses and competition for the national Internet service providers such as phone companies and cable TV services.
"The competition in town (chiefly Time Warner Cable and AT&T) is just getting around to the style of service we've offered for 14 years," Hardesty declared.
As any frustrated home consumer will tell you: Competition is (or would be) good.
the apple of our eye
Speaking of downtown Henderson Internet service: Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads continue to be the mobile brand of choice here, judging by usage at HMP&L's Firefly Wi-Fi hot spot at the Henderson riverfront.
Of the 396 devices that accessed the hot spot in February, 244 (or 62 percent) were Apple devices, almost all of them mobile devices using Apple's iOS operating system, according to the latest HMP&L report.
Just 22 percent of devices were using Google's Android operating system, which is used by Samsung and many other smartphone and tablet makers.
Nationally, iOS and Android are nearly neck-and-neck.
Hardesty said Android usage here tends to fluctuate depending on how long it's been since Apple has released a new device, such as last year's iPhone 5S and 5C models.
Our hidden gem
Tourism prospects could be boosted for Henderson County with the help of Kentucky's 2014 official state highway map.
Under the theme "Be dazzled! Uncover a hidden gem," the map advises travelers that "tucked away along the back roads of Kentucky are some less-heard-of but must-see attractions."
Among the dozen such sites: the 11,000-plus-acre Sloughs Wildlife Management Area near Henderson, which "is distinguished by its large cypress trees and swamps which attract migrating birds like a magnet. It is the largest Great Blue Heron rookery in the state, and tens of thousands of ducks, geese and other waterfowl winter in the area" which can be viewed from several observation platforms, mostly along Kentucky 266 in the Geneva bottoms.
(c)2014 The Gleaner (Henderson, Ky.)
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