Several broadband companies are beginning expansion efforts in Montgomery County.

Comcast announced in February that it would begin to expand its next-generation network, Xfinity 10G, in Conroe. Optimum, an American telecommunications brand, has opened two retail stores in Lake Conroe and Willis since October.

In addition, Tachus, a local fiber internet provider, is expanding into Willis and Montgomery, and Consolidated Communications is bringing its subsidiary Fidium Fiber to more Conroe residents in 2023.

Comcast connection

In January, the Texas comptroller’s office released the Texas Broadband Development Map to show the availability of high-speed internet access. Locations that are considered “served” are designated with a max speed greater than or equal to 100 megabits per second downloading and 20 mbps uploading. “Underserved” areas are between 25/3 and 100/20 mbps.

According to the broadband map, 183,125 addresses in Montgomery County are considered served, while 34,443 are underserved.

Stephanie Loving, Comcast’s senior manager of government affairs for the Texas region, said these areas will be the company’s focus.

“Broadband is a tale of the haves and have-nots in Montgomery County,” Loving said. “In your more dense areas you do have greater broadband, but the farther out you go it becomes spotty.”

As of April, Comcast Public Relations Manager Steve Campion said work is or will be underway in areas near Loop 336 and I-45 and in areas near North Frazier Street.

“In 2023, we anticipate making our network available to more than 1,000 homes and more than 650 businesses in Conroe,” he said in an email. “Broadly speaking in 2023, we’re talking north of Wilson Road, south of FM 3038, and then in between I-75 and North Frazier Road.”

Fidium Fiber

Kyle Thweatt, senior communications specialist for Consolidated Communications, said the company’s services began increasing exponentially in the Conroe market around 2021 with the building of additional transformational fiber. The build will bring fiber to more than 70% of Consolidated’s service area by 2026.

“More than 100,000 homes and businesses in Texas—47,000 of those in the Conroe area—now have access to symmetrical, multigig fiber, providing the network infrastructure that will serve Texans for decades to come,” Thweatt said in an email.

In 2022, Consolidated launched Fidium Fiber, a multigig fiber broadband service. By the end of the year, Thweatt said 12,000 additional homes and businesses in the Conroe area will have access to internet service.

“Already in 2023, Fidium has expanded to more than 6,000 homes and businesses in Conroe,” he said. “As more and more Texans and Conroe residents have the ability to order Fidium, additional opportunities for expansion of services will be explored.”

Tachus talk

Tachus, a locally owned internet provider headquartered in Montgomery County, will also continue to invest in the Conroe, Montgomery and Willis markets in 2023.

Tachus President Matt Ockwood said services have expanded to include 15,000 additional homes in the first quarter of 2023 with 10,000 of those homes in Conroe and Willis. He anticipates 25,000 residential homes to see service by the end of the year.

“We recognize the need for high-speed and highly reliable bandwidth in homes and businesses is so critical to everything we do in life,” he said. “A great example of a very recent and heavily underserved market is our recently commissioned fiber network in southeast Willis. This area sits well east of I-45 and runs all the way to Caney Creek.”

This summer, Ockwood said Tachus will begin laying down fiber lines in Montgomery with service as early as the second half of this year.

“Tachus was founded on the understanding that high-speed, highly reliable broadband connectivity is increasingly critical to individuals, families and businesses across Texas and the nation,” he said. “Broadband is a tale of the haves and have-nots in Montgomery County.”