Glossary

Rock Island Communications: A locally owned and operated Internet Service Provider (ISP) serving the San Juan Islands in Washington State. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of OPALCO with the express mission of providing San Juan County with the highest level of broadband service at the most cost effective price.

OPALCO: Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO) is a member-owned, non-profit cooperative electric utility providing services to San Juan County, WA since 1937.

Fiber Optic Broadband: Fiber optic technology converts electrical signals carrying data to light and sends this light through transparent glass fibers about the diameter of a human hair. Fiber transmits data at speeds far exceeding current DSL or cable modem speeds, typically by hundreds of Megabytes or Gigabytes.

DSL Internet: DSL is a wire-line transmission technology that transmits data over traditional copper telephone lines already installed to homes and businesses. DSL-based broadband provides transmission speeds ranging from 10 to 25Mbps in San Juan County but probably averages 4Mbps in most areas.

Fixed Wireless Broadband: Rock Island’s Fixed Wireless is an internet service technology for getting fast and reliable broadband to locations within the county too expensive to deliver fiber to the premise. Fixed Wireless broadband utilizes the speed and coverage of T-Mobil’s 4G (LTE) network using licensed spectrum to deliver broadband connectivity.

Middle Mile: A term used to describe the length of fiber running from the nearest fiber optic backbone location to and through a neighborhood or group’s development.

Last Mile: A term used to describe the length of fiber running from the nearest Middle Mile location to a home or business.

Incentive Program: Rock Island Communication provides a construction incentive to help its fiber optic customers with their construction costs when building their last miles. 

The Rock Island Construction Incentive: Rock Island is currently offering a Last Mile construction incentive program available to those who want to connect to fiber. Our Construction Incentive currently pays up to $1,500 on Rock Island equipment and Rock Island labor. This credit is applied to your last mile build cost.

Power Grid Control Backbone: The original fiber optic network built by OPALCO starting in 2001 to control and monitor the electric grid systems through the San Juans. Rock Island connects your Middle Mile and Last Mile to this backbone in order to provide internet service.

Island Network: The original fiber optic network department within OPALCO established in 2001. This was spun out from OPALCO in 2014 and became what is now Rock Island Communications.

 

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