West Texas Towns Get Fiber, Thank Verizon

The tiny West Texas towns of Muleshoe, Sudan and Olton are all close to having something cities like Houston, Austin and dozens of other big cities don’t: fiber to the home. Telecommunications Online has a story today about West Plains Telecommunications, a small incumbent local exchange carrier upgrading its half-century-old copper network to fiber.

Oddly enough, one of the reasons Muleshoe, Texas, has fiber to the home is because large deployments from providers like Verizon Communications (s Vz) are sending fiber and gear costs down. From the article:

“When you see Verizon and other big players build FTTH networks, it definitely is going to drive the prices down for the independents and the coops,” West Plains plant manager Mark Washington said.

With the government offering $7.2 billion in broadband grants (some of which is destined for rural areas) as part of the economic stimulus package, the story of this Panhandle fiber deployment might soon be the story of rural broadband in other states.