We are in the process of installing approximately 300 miles of mainline fiber in the Lime Hill substation area this summer with home installations tentatively scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2023. The Herrick substation area build-out will happen later this year with installations starting in the second half of 2023. We have not designated the 2023/2024 areas yet. Check our website, Facebook page and Penn Lines for future plan information.
It is a multi-phase process that happens over several months. Here are the details:
- Construction crews begin by attaching cables to our existing electric poles or by digging trenches along the road to install mainline fiber-optic cables. If crews need to access your property during this phase, you will be notified well in advance. Once the main fiber line is in place, households in that neighborhood are eligible for broadband and can pre-register their interest in receiving services.
- The next step will be to put a “drop” in place. This is where we will make a connection from the mainline to your home. (Fiber-optic cables usually follow the same path as your electric service drop. If your electric service runs underground, so will your fiber-optic cable.) We will also install a junction box on the outside of your home.
- A gateway (modem and router) is installed to bring fiber inside from the junction box. Wi-Fi signal is now available throughout your entire home and all your smart devices can connect to it! You will be able to stream, game, surf and chat — on multiple devices simultaneously — without buffering or lag.
This process typically takes six to nine months from construction to installation, and the overall project of installing 1500 miles of fiber-optic cable will take five to six years.
Constructing a fiber network is a complex and often challenging project, but we are working as quickly as we can. This year’s project includes installation of approximately 300 miles of fiber-optic cable — that’s like going from Towanda, PA to Buffalo, NY and back! Once the cable is installed, drops (running the fiber from the poles to 800+ homes) will be done next. After the drops, internet installations to homes will be scheduled.
Weather delays and supply-chain issues may occur, so please be patient with us.
Our plan is to build out approximately 300 miles of fiber-optic cable each year, and we’ll ultimately pass more than 8000 homes.
In short, some homes near the construction zone won’t be offered service due to the funding designations. We’ve received funding from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). This is an FCC initiative designed to provide funding for the construction and operation of rural broadband networks. The FCC designates which “blocks” are eligible for the funding and where we can install fiber-optic cables. Unfortunately, not all member areas are included in these “blocks.”
A drop is the first step in installing fiber to a home. A fiber-optic cable is “dropped” from the mainline fiber to the home. This “drop” will typically follow the same path as your electric service drop. If your electric service runs underground, so will your fiber optic cable. If your electric service is overhead, the fiber optic cable will run overhead.
Our goal is to serve members who don’t already have access to affordable high-speed broadband. The current funding we have received is not adequate to provide service to all of our unserved and underserved members, but it’s a great start. We will continue to explore additional funding opportunities in the hopes we can one day provide internet service to these members.