Monthly Fiber Update: October

.Hello Folks,

It’s time for another Rock Island update; thanks for tuning in! This month we focus on the fiber “last mile” process, the FCC’s definition of Broadband, and the amazing rollout of LTE Fixed Wireless.

As a reminder, this email series has been designed to help update folks on our fiber initiative. We’ll continue to send out information every month to keep you up to date on our project, and let you know how to get involved if you choose to do so.

If you missed prior editions, you can read them here. If you prefer not to receive these updates, simply click the “unsubscribe from this list” link at the bottom of this email.

Our Group Fiber Projects

The Rock Island team is engaged in several fiber construction projects throughout the county as we head toward the end of the year. No other project of this scale has been rolled-out in our county to date at this pace, and we’re proud to be leading the effort in this historic event!

Current Projects:

These are groups that have gone through the fiber organizing process, paid for their middle miles and are currently under construction to get fiber to their homes or businesses.

  • Downtown Eastsound on Orcas Island
  • Harney View Park on Orcas Island
  • Cape San Juan Part 2 on San Juan Island
  • Pemberton Place on San Juan Island
  • Hilltop on Lopez Island
  • Portland Fair Area on San Juan Island
  • Roche Harbor Village on San Juan Island
  • Elderberry on Orcas Island
  • Otter’s Pond on Orcas Island

Upcoming Projects:

These are groups that have gone through the fiber organizing process and are waiting to be scheduled by our construction team.

  • Garry Oak on San Juan Island
  • Shoreland Drive on Lopez Island
  • Panorama Place on San Juan Island
  • Channel Road on Orcas Island

If you want to get your group organized, please visit our website to learn more about the fiber group organizing process.

VIDEO: Last Mile Fiber Optic Construction

If you have been interested in the process of getting fiber service to your home or business, you can learn more about it now via this new Last Mile video! Rock Island coordinates last mile installations directly with property owners. As the property owner, you control this process and we design and install the last mile based on your unique needs.

Because each home and property are different, we start from the inside to see how you are using your equipment and then work backward to your connection at the middle mile. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Network Design: Rock Island schedules a 30-60 minute last mile design appointment with you to determine the best place to enter your home with our service based on your individual needs.
  2. Excavation Design: For this appointment, a Rock Island contractor creates an excavation design from your home to your nearest middle mile connection point.
  3. Last Mile Construction: Once your paperwork is complete and payment has been received, Rock Island can schedule and begin your last mile, which includes digging, laying conduit, and installing fiber between the middle mile connection point and your home.
  4. Home Installation: The next steps include setting a junction box on your home, jetting and splicing your fibers on both ends, and performing any interior build-out needed inside your home.
  5. Service Activation: For this final step, we schedule a technician to visit your home to activate your service. We’ll bring your fiber modem and connect you to the Internet. At this time, we test your connection, connect one of your computers, and show you how to access the modem’s wireless network.

Learn more about the fiber on-boarding process 

FCC: Broadband = 25 Mbps Download, 3 Up

Do you have broadband? If not, can you even get it? While the nation continues to make progress in broadband deployment, many Americans still lack access to advanced, high-quality voice, data, graphics and video offerings, especially in rural areas, according to the 2016 Broadband Progress Report adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.

The Commission also retains the existing speed benchmark of 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload (25 Mbps/3 Mbps) for fixed services. While our situation is not unique country-wide, the Internet crisis has hit the islands hard – being limited by physical distance and an aging DSL infrastructure – leaving most islanders with 1-2 Mbps download speeds, and a dismal .25 to .5Mbps upload. This is a far cry from the FCC’s definition of normal.

According to the report:

  • 10 percent of all Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps service
  • 39 percent of rural Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps

By contrast, only 4 percent of urban Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband.

Rock Island is leading the charge in bring our islands up to the basic benchmark and beyond. As one of the only providers of true broadband according to this definition, we are happy to say that we are making a difference in this rural community which is anything but average.

Learn More about this FCC Report online:

LTE Fixed Wireless to the Rescue!

We’ve signed up hundreds and hundreds of customers to our LTE Fixed Wireless service over the past 9 months (over 4 new customers per day), and we are looking to add over 300 more by the end of the year. This product has been a WILD success for those who have it – bringing them from 10Mbps to over 60Mbps download (speeds vary depending on home and site location)!

Getting LTE Fixed Wireless is easy to do, and you can be up and running in 5 minutes or less after you plug in a device. Tired of buffering when trying to stream Netflix or YouTube? Leave all your buffering woes behind today by calling our LTE hotline: 298-7216. Carolyn and Laura are standing by to get you connected.

Learn more about LTE Wireless.

Thank you for your time and support! We’ll return next month with another edition of our Monthly Fiber Update. Until then, take good care and enjoy these beautiful fall days!

All our best,

The Rock Island Team