Internet & Phone Construction Updates
We appreciate the community’s patience for the last couple of months as we prepare to expand our fiber network. We have been working behind the scenes with CT&T/Palmetto, out of Little Rock, to finalize the design, organizing and planning the build. There are several components, which needed to be determined for the project. These items included preparing the “make ready” work for the rights of way, moving existing attachments that are on the poles to be out of the way for the fiber construction, selecting the outside contractor to build the fiber distribution network, determine how we will manage the materials and parts for inventory, select the electronics we will use both in the distribution network and the in home WiFi router, select a provider for the network operations software, and even choose a provider to do the initial drops to the homes and business.
CCU already had the 17+ mile of “core” network in place for over 3 years. During that time, the network has been serving the Clarksville School District, Johnson County offices, the Johnson Regional Medical Center and approximately one dozen “beta” customers for well over a year. To give you an illustration of the parts of the network, the core is like the “interstate highway” system moving high condense volumes of traffic/data and connecting to the internet. The distribution network is similar to the “city streets” moving data around town and the “drops” are equivalent to a driveway from the street to your home or business. It is a very complex undertaking considering we are building a network that will be able connect up to 4,500 structures in Clarksville.
Needless to say, the project will not happen overnight. We believe it will take around twelve 12 months for the entire distribution network (the City Streets) to be constructed. However, there are plans to start connecting customer drops (the Driveways) to some areas in town, while the distribution network is under construction. Some areas for the drops may be available as early as three (3) months from our start date for the first four “PON/Zones”. These early PON/Zones are near commercial business sectors in Clarksville. Going forward as the PON/Zone cabinets are installed at other locations in town, we can connect other customers who are downstream from the cabinets. In other words, different segments of the construction project will run in parallel with each other as the overall build takes place. As far as the priority of the next PON/Zones after the first four, we will build to those areas where customers show the highest interest in connecting. We will try and keep you updated with e-mails and Facebook posts going forward. The goal is for the contractor driven portion of the project to be 100% complete in 18 to 24 months. After the 24-month period, CCU will begin to handle the installs to customer locations with our own staff.
Please hang in there with us while this network is being built. We promise we will work as fast as we can. We have built a simple service and pricing strategy we think you will appreciate compared to what the current local providers have offered in the past. Additionally, when it is completed, we believe this network will be a game changer for Clarksville. It will be a state-of-the-art all optical system and will provide our community with what might be the best value in internet and phone services anywhere in Arkansas.
Thank you and we appreciate you,
John D. Lester, General Manager