Going Optical in Rural America, Ribbon Communications Powers Up the Pineland Telephone Cooperative in Georgia

By Matthew Vulpis, Content Contributor  |  April 27, 2021

As rural living continues to attract people away from urban areas, and as trends including remote working and virtual education take off, the initiative to bridge the digital divide in America's less population-dense communities is taking on new energy. 

Pineland Telephone Cooperative, one of many rural co-ops, has been in business for 69 years, providing traditional phone and Internet services across 10 counties in South Georgia. Today, 100% of customers across the 1,300 square miles Pineland serves have access to dedicated Fiber-to-the-Home Gigabit broadband connections. 

Pineland's state mission is to offer an outstanding customer experience through the efficient delivery of progressive technology solutions.

This week, Ribbon Communications (News - Alert) announced Pineland adopted their IP optical solutions to dramatically increase network capacity and expand communications offerings. A longtime customer, Pineland is now bringing faster speeds supporting real-time applications, leveraging Ribbon's Apollo and Neptune solutions as part of immediate and long-term growth planning.

"We were in need of a solution that would allow us to seamlessly expand our core network capacity to accommodate our growing customer base," said Dustin Durden, General Manager, Pineland. "Ribbon is a trusted partner with whom we have a very long history. Their expanded portfolio of IP Optical and transport solutions are a great technology fit for our rapidly growing network. They will allow us to future-proof our network and enhance our ability to deliver our customers' uninterrupted gigabit-enabled internet speeds and other state-of-the-art communications capabilities."

Durden added, "Ribbon's top-notch Professional Services organization and their capabilities was also a big factor in our decision to go with them for this critical project. We are confident the level of service and support they will provide will be first-rate."

"Pineland already has key solutions from our Cloud & Edge portfolio in their network, and with the addition of our IP Optical network solutions to overlay their existing infrastructure, it allows them to immediately enhance their communications offerings," said Steven Bruny, EVP Sales, Americas Region for Ribbon. "Our IP Optical network solutions are designed to cost-effectively help communications service providers and enterprises of all sizes modernize their communications networks."

Ribbon's Apollo optical transport and switching platforms allow customers to optimize network traffic, enhance layer 1 security and lower the cost per bit. The Neptune family of products provides service providers with next-generation IP transport technology while delivering best-in-class data rates and improved network operations. The Apollo and Neptune solutions are supported by Ribbon's advanced network management system, which provides unified, multi-layer, end-to-end network management through an intuitive user interface.

Funding for rural communications solutions is increasing as the U.S. CARES Act includes grants designed to bring more access to high-speed broadband and related services to communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced jobs, classrooms, and businesses to go remote, which has shone a light on disparities in internet connectivity and with it, access to digital learning, telehealth, and public and residential broadband service,” the PEW Trust wrote last year. “Although immediate federal relief funds had enabled some states to tackle near-term challenges and temporarily expand internet service, addressing these inequities ultimately demands long-term solutions—investment, coordination, planning, and oversight—to provide more Americans with reliable broadband access in their homes.”

Edited by Luke Bellos