About Us

 

Rock Island Communications provides modern, scalable and reliable broadband services to homes and businesses in San Juan County. We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orcas Power & Light Cooperative. Started in 1996, Rock Island has been serving the interests of our local community for over 20 years.

 

Our latest mission involves bringing fiber optic broadband to the home, lighting up a T-Mobile LTE network countywide and delivering a way for our county’s first responders to communicate in hard-to-reach-places. No small feet indeed. In our first year of the project, we’ve accomplished an incredible amount of work, and we are poised to wage forward this year stronger than ever!

 

Startup highlights:

 

  • October 2014 – Established Island Network, LLC, and formally separated from wholly-owned parent OPALCO
  • February 2015 – Purchased 100% Equity in local ISP Rock Island
  • May 2015 – Signed a joint venture agreement with T-Mobile to deploy fixed wireless and improve cell coverage throughout San Juan County
  • December 2015 – First customers deployed LTE Fixed Wireless
  • May 2016 – Complete repayment of initial $7.5M loan from OPALCO
  • December 2016 – Annual Revenue of $2.3M
  • January 2017 – Over $1.9M invested directly by customers to cover construction costs
  • June 2018 – Expected financial breakeven
  • 23 LTE sites online now, 38 sites online by YE2017

 

By-the-numbers snapshot (2/2017):

 

  • 112.9 miles of distribution fiber (enough fiber to wrap 1.6 times around the Earth!)
  • 32.5 miles of overhead distribution fiber
  • 80.4 miles of underground distribution fiber
  • 868 fiber vaults
  • 5 major fiber submarine crossings
  • 6 redundant wireless radio connections
  • 3,071 customers and growing! (30% market share)
  • 26 full-time employees
  • 20 islands served
  • retail locations on two islands
  • 100% wholly-owned by OPALCO and its members
  • healthy and financially stable company