Technology vs. Community: Making the Right Choice On Internet Service

There have never been more diverse options for selecting a master-planned community than we are seeing these days. If you haven’t yet started the decision process, you may not know all that you’re getting into. The near-endless array of choices doesn’t take long to paralyze even those whose goal is clearly articulated. You’ll need to make a decision about the following:

  • Location
  • Natural features (freshwater, saltwater, mountains, beach, etc.)
  • Community structure & fees
  • Utilities & taxes
  • Culture & entertainment
  • Real estate market
  •  Amenities
    • Golf
    • Fitness/sports
    • Restaurants
    • Shopping

It’s a wonderful yet often stressful process! Complicating that further is the last thing we would want to do. But we do want to help point out a quiet yet crucial factor that you may have overlooked as you weigh your options: Internet service.

What is High-Speed Internet Service?

There’s a difference between Internet service and fast Internet service. We’re not talking about the mis-labeled “high-speed Internet” you will find available at most any hotel or motel. How about stream-a-4k-movie-without-buffering Internet service? What about the kind of Internet service that allows multiple people using their own devices to each enjoy a fast connection? We’re referring to modern broadband Internet service with download and upload speeds of at least 100 Mbps.

Note: We realize that Internet speed number of 100 Mbps probably won’t age well…just know this post is being published in the summer of 2020. If you’re reading this in 2025 or later and things are different, give our office a call and ask us what the latest typical speeds are in our community.

Vacation vs. Home Expectations

Slow or non-existent Internet service may be a “feature” of a vacation getaway. It’s important to unplug from communications and notifications for focused times of retreat, relaxation, and family togetherness. And that pretty much makes sense when you think of it — there’s often an inverse relationship between connectivity and recreation. Downtown Atlanta may be a hot spot for business, industry, and the social scene, and you would expect an abundance of options for Internet service to be available to all the businesses and residences located there. On the other hand, it doesn’t make sense to expect fast Internet to be widely available in the middle of a sparsely populated pristine outdoor recreation area like a state park. We’ve sort of accepted those trade-offs as we categorize our expectations around what’s appropriate for business, everyday living, and vacation or recreation experiences. But when you begin to think about establishing a residence in a place, those categories shift dramatically, almost immediately. What good would it be to have an ideal house, community, golf experience, and lake access in a location where you aren’t able to enjoy a video call with family? Would your dream home packed with the latest technology still seem so dreamy if you only had access to dial-up Internet?

Video call with family using tablet

Our Local Technology Service Provider: WCTEL

Here at Savannah Lakes Village, we’re very fortunate to be within the service area of West Carolina Tel (also known as WCTEL and WCFIBER). In fact, every home site in Savannah Lakes Village is pre-wired for direct-to-the-home fiber Internet with speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (1,000 Mbps). Here’s an Internet service coverage map of South Carolina dated March 31, 2020. You can see that WCTEL’s fiber Internet service is available essentially in all of McCormick County, and that includes all of Savannah Lakes.

best-available-internet-service-2020

Faster Internet Means Better Quality of Life

connected-community-fiber-article

The service that WCTEL provides to our community is no small feat, and the quality of life impact is huge. Property owners at Savannah Lakes Village aren’t forced to tolerate sub-par Internet service at their home in order to live near a beautiful lakefront golf course. You don’t have to forfeit the benefits of fast Internet service in order to harness the benefits of an outdoor lifestyle. Here in Savannah Lakes, you may want to visit your family in person, but you could also enjoy high-quality video calls over the Internet. You might enjoy a movie at a theater in Augusta or Greenwood once in a while, but you could also download or stream your favorite films to enjoy them on your smart television. Those who want to stay connected for business will have no problem participating in virtual meetings or sharing rich content like video and images using WCTEL’s fiber Internet service. As of August 2020, their slowest speed available was 200 Mbps download and 200 Mbps upload. That speed and bandwidth If that is slow, you can only imagine how fast their fastest speeds feel!

Of the many reasons people prefer Savannah Lakes Village, high speed Internet doesn’t always make it to the top of the list. But let us assure you, that factor is an important one for most people to consider. And thanks to our local technology provider WCTEL, that item is a box with a bold check mark.