Worth the wait: A guide to getting connected

Posted on Nov 10 2022 in Heartland REMC
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Unlimited high-speed fiber internet can be a game changer! It can make working from home, taking online classes, buying groceries and streaming TV easier. It can help your business grow and even increase the value of your home. 

That’s why Heartland REMC and TWN Communications are working hard to bring fast, reliable fiber broadband to the Heartland region. Construction is underway on the fiber network and some members have already been connected. 

For those of you who haven’t, you’re probably wondering how much longer until fiber is available to you? Why is it taking so long?

Before you can enjoy the fastest internet available, several steps must be completed. We are trying to get you connected as quickly as possible; however, each step in the construction process takes time.  Trust us though … it’s worth the wait!


Building the Backbone

On our end, we have to build the network backbone prior to being able to offer you service. 

First, T4 fiber lines must be installed. These are usually in the air and run parallel to co-op utility lines. T4 fiber is miles and miles long and creates a ring to connect Optical Distribution Networks (ODNs).

Next, crews must continue building the network foundation. This involves distributing, hanging or burying, and connecting aerial or underground fiber lines to establish a physical point-to-point internet connection that can transmit data at fast speeds. 

While it’s our goal for construction to keep moving in a timely manner, weather does have an impact on our progress. Rain, storms, extreme heat, snow and freezing temperatures all affect our construction timeline and, unfortunately can slow down the rate in which we are able to work. 

Once the network backbone is complete, it’s time for what we call a T1 drop. This is where we are finally ready to prep your home for service. For TWN to complete the rest of the process, you must sign an Underground Agreement. This tells us that you are interested in fiber internet and would like for crews to visit your property to get you fiber-ready!


Preparing Your Property

Next, field crews will mark the proposed fiber line route on your property. These white markings help construction crews determine the path your fiber will take and how much will be needed for your home. At this time, you will have the opportunity to change the path if needed. 

Three to six months (sometimes sooner) after fiber path confirmation, crews will arrive at your property to bury the fiber line to your home. 

One week to two months after your fiber line is buried, a specialized crew will return to your property and will place a small box, called a Network Interface Device or NID, on the outside of your home typically near your electrical meter. This box will hold the fiber connection. 


Getting You Connected 

Approximately two weeks after the outside equipment is placed, TWN will contact you to schedule your inside installation. At this time, you will also choose your internet plan based on your household’s needs.

During the home installation, a technician will run a fiber cable inside your house and connect it to another small box located near your Wi-Fi router known as the Optical Network Terminal, or ONT. When the ONT is hooked up to your Wi-Fi router, you are officially connected. 

Bringing fiber to the home is a process. It’s hard to wait, but with a little patience, you’ll be enjoying the fastest, most reliable internet in town.