Fiber Update: June 2019

More LTE Horsepower Is Coming

We’re 3.5 years into this LTE Fixed Wireless project and we’ve learned an amazing amount along the way. For example, did you know that a heavy cell phone user consumes just a few gigs of data per month and that we see users on our Fixed Wireless product consuming terabytes of data over the same duration?

Lessons like this come when you’re doing something that hasn’t been done before. What’s important when taking on a project like this is to always be reacting to new information, and growing your solution as you run into problems along the way.

We never thought we would be consuming the amount of data that we are on our LTE Fixed Wireless network. In fact, we’re consuming more data than our national benchmarks too. We’re not sure if it’s pent-up demand for good internet, the trends of more people working from home here in the San Juans or some other phenomenon, but the outcome is the same, and so is the solution.

We ‘ve been working with T-Mobile, our LTE Fixed Wireless partner, on keeping up with on our capacity demands, and we are happy to let you know that there’s a ton of new 4G technology coming to our network soon. These new additions and upgrades will help both with capacity increases for our LTE Fixed Wireless customers as well as additional coverage for T-Mobile cellular customers.

We already started rolling out these upgrades and they will continue to be deployed throughout this year and next. We will keep you posted as things change and progress, so thank you for staying tuned in and working with us as we venture deeper into this uncharted rural internet territory.

One last thought, please don’t forget about our final destination. Rock Island’s core mission is to get fiber to everyone in the county who wants it. Once on fiber, there is almost an endless amount of capacity available there. Be sure to check in with us about the feasibility of getting fiber to your property. And if you live in Friday Harbor, you may be interested in reading this next section…

July is Friday Harbor Fiber Month

And you may be eligible for a connection with no installation cost!

We’re connecting the Town of Friday Harbor to our fiber-optic network right now, and those who get their power from overhead lines can get their fiber connection with no build cost.

Connecting customers to our fiber network from an overhead line typically costs less than our $1,500 Construction Incentive, making it fast and cost-effective to switch from slow or sporadic internet to Rock Island fiber with speeds up to one Gigabit per second (that’s 1,000 Mbps – see all of our rate plans here).

You may have seen our connection crews working in the blue areas of our project map recently, and they will be in the streets for weeks to come as they connect the town. We’ve had a massive response to this program, so if fiber is something you want at no cost to you, and you live in the blue areas of our project map, please take a moment to sign up now. We will add you to our connection list and call you to answer any questions that you may have.

Learn more online:

No contracts, local support, and great monthly prices are yours when you connect to our fiber network. There simply is no faster internet option around. No matter if you are a home or business, we have affordable rate plans for you.


We’re an Award Winning ISP!

BroadbandNow is a small team of data scientists, researchers, and telecom experts. They are champions for broadband consumers bringing transparency in government data and research, aggregating customer reviews and ratings, and fostering competition through better awareness of local providers.

As such, they rate ISPs across the entire nation every year to highlight the best-of-breed. In our case, they found five reasons to award us with their top honors this year in their small provider category (population less than 50,000).

Rock Island Communications just won all of the awards below in 2019:

#1 Fastest Fixed Wireless Provider in Washington
Small Provider Category

Top 3 Fastest Internet Providers in Washington
Small Provider Category

Top 10 Customer-Rated Fixed Wireless Service Nationwide
Small Provider Category

Top 10 Customer-Rated Business Fixed Wireless Nationwide
Small Provider Category

Top 10 Fastest Fixed Wireless Providers Nationwide
Small Provider Category

This is a big honor for us, and we thought you might like to hear the news!

This wraps up another edition of our Fiber Update newsletter. Thank you for your time and your support. It’s a pleasure and a great honor to serve this county.

– The Rock Island Team