Monthly Fiber Update: November

How Are We Doing?

Well, we think pretty good. Just about three years ago the fiber movement of today came into existence. Since then, we have been transitioning people off slow and unreliable DSL – and onto our blazing-fast fiber or LTE Fixed Wireless services. If you are curious about what some of our customers have to say about their faster Internet service, you can read their testimonials here.

We estimate the total Internet market in San Juan County to be around 12,000 locations. We currently service about 35% of San Juan County across all of our Internet products – including DSL, Canopy, Fiber and LTE Fixed Wireless. With roughly 27% of those customers currently on fiber and LTE Fixed Wireless, we expect to see the large transition off DSL in the county to continue. There’s more work to be done.

Here are a few more interesting facts that we’ve found over the past few years that may surprise you, and a little more about why DSL needs to become a thing of the past.

Growth in Data Usage

The overall use and reliance on our platform is growing above national averages. The year-over-year growth rate for domestic Internet traffic is 25%. We’re seeing a 50% growth rate – are we really just a sleepy retirement community?

We believe this is due to two factors:

  • The multiplier effect of onboarding new customers at a rapid rate
  • Growing usage by our existing customers


Our data growth rates are not just due to the Netflix affect in peak evening hours. We see a growing and consistent level of usage throughout the day and even overnight.

Driving this usage is the number of devices people are connecting to their home networks. National averages are currently 7.7 connected devices per home with growth to 12.6 devices by 2021. We are seeing device connection rates in line with national numbers, currently averaging 8 devices on fiber modems and 6 devices on LTE Modems.

Here are the average number of connected devices on both our Fiber and LTE modems:

We find this information interesting and we hope you do too. Keep an eye out for more Rock Island statistics in coming editions. 


Rock Island is Looking for Help

We currently have a few positions open to help extend our network and support our growing customer base. If you or someone you know is looking to join our mission, have them contact us today. We’d love to hear from you.

Field Service Technician

This position is responsible primarily for providing technical services for customers at the customer premise, but may also provide these services from the office or other remote locations. This position also includes providing technical services in support of the company’s internal operations.

Learn More & Apply

Fiber Technician

The principal responsibility of this position is the installation of Rock Island’s Fiber Optic plant. Assists in installing both outside plant and in-home fiber optic service; Pumping, jetting and hanging fiber optic cable; Splicing and patching customers onto the network; Troubleshooting connections and interacting with customers on-site.

Learn More & Apply

You can find open positions anytime at


Free Technology Classes

Our year of free tech classes are coming to an end. We have packed in over 150 classes throughout 2017 on three islands (Lopez, Orcas and San Juan). We want to say THANK YOU to all who have attended and enjoyed these classes! 2017 has been a banner year for tech education, and we are happy to say that we had on average 10 community members at each class all year long. WOW!

We at Rock Island want to recognize Gene Nery. He has done a tremendous job this year bringing tech education into the community. Gene jumped on many ferries this year – in both good weather and bad– he prepared a terrific curriculum, and brought a smile to each class he taught. Thank you, Gene – you did a terrific job!

Here is our last class for 2017, and still free of charge:

Android Phone Photography

Learn to take full advantage of your Android phone camera’s capabilities. This class will focus on Samsung and LG Smartphones.

Friday Harbor – Monday Nov., 27, 3:00 – 5:00pm

Orcas Island – Tuesday Nov. 28, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Lopez Island – Friday Dec. 1, 10:30am – 12:30pm

This program was such a success that we are looking to continue with classes in some form in 2018. More information will be provided in January, so tune in for more soon. Thanks again for making this program such a success!

That wraps another edition of our Monthly Fiber Update. We appreciate your ongoing support; we couldn’t do this without you!

All our best,

The Rock Island Team