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FAQs

The Fiber-to-the-Home Pilot Project

What is Kosciusko REMC building?

Kosciusko REMC is building a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network – the gold standard of communications transmission – over our existing electric distribution infrastructure. This network will take fiber directly into homes and businesses and deliver reliable, high-speed internet services.

What is the timeframe and scope of the buildout?

In September 2020, we began to work on solidifying plans to start our project. Phase one buildout encompasses 725 miles of fiber construction, and phase two is an additional 420 miles. When the project is complete, every Kosciusko REMC member will have access to world-class internet service.

When will the construction begin?

Planning has been underway for quite some time as Kosciusko REMC explored the possibility of delivering high- speed internet to our members. We expect construction to begin in the second quarter of 2021.

Where will the internet service be offered first?

We will complete the buildout in two phases. We will begin construction on the east side of the county and work our way around our service territory in a counterclockwise direction.

Why start there?

We reviewed the different areas of our territory and determined if each area was unserved or underserved, considered population density, total buildout cost, the number of potential subscribers, and revenue projections. All these factors have helped determine that this zone is the best starting point for our buildout plans.

How do I know if I am in the initial service area?

Kosciusko REMC’s preregistration portal is available now. It allows members to determine if their location is in the service area and when service might be available by entering their KREMC account number and home or business address. The portal is updated as construction progresses. Your account number can be found on your monthly KREMC bill.

Will my electric bill increase to pay for the FTTH network?

No. Electric rates will not be affected by this project.

The Technology — Internet Service

What is a fiber-optic network?

Fiber-optic systems are made up of tiny strands of glass that carry data using light waves, delivering faster internet speeds and better reliability than traditional copper lines. Most internet providers use fiber-optics in their system but use copper lines for the final connections to the home, resulting in slower speeds. We believe FTTH is the best, most sustainable choice. With FTTH service, we can offer “symmetrical” speeds. You will benefit from the same high speeds uploading data as you do when you’re downloading data.

What makes fiber so special?

A fiber-optic network sends and receives data at the speed of light - literally. In addition to superfast connection speeds, a fiber-optic network can carry an extremely high measure of data. Fiber is also more reliable than other networks because it’s less susceptible to interference and damage.

What does the term “broadband” mean?

Broadband commonly refers to high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than traditional dial-up access. Broadband fiber-optic networks can deliver voice, data, video, and email services over the internet.

The Next Steps – Getting Service

How will I get FTTH services through KREMC?

Kosciusko REMC has created a subsidiary, Kosciusko Connect, which will offer fiber internet and telephone services to KREMC members. The subsidiary is a separate company and will be managed separately from the electric cooperative. While KREMC will manage the electric grid to provide electricity across our service territory, members will get their broadband services through Kosciusko Connect. Members will be billed separately for their internet service.

What packages will be available?

Kosciusko Connect will offer two service options: 100 megabits (Mbps) per second upload and download speeds (symmetrical service) and 1,000 Mbps (1 gigabit) per second symmetrical service. We will also offer managed Wi-Fi services to help members troubleshoot inside the home and crystal-clear telephone service.

Why is there not a TV option?

Our primary focus is to bring you world-class internet service through 100% FTTH. In the future, we will evaluate TV package options. Until then, there are many streaming options available, many of which offer local channels.

Are there data caps with this service?

No.

How much are your services going to be?

The monthly costs* for FTTH services through Kosciusko Connect are:

• 100 Mbps - $49.95
• 500 Mbps - $64.95
• 1,000 Mbps - $79.95
• Residential unlimited local and long-distance telephone - $29.95
• Business internet and telephone service costs – to be announced.

* rates do not include taxes and fees.

Will Kosciusko Connect require residential service contracts?

No.

When is the soonest I can get Kosciusko Connect service in my home?

Internet service installations will likely begin in the fall of 2021. At that point, service will be available in our first construction zone on the east side of Kosciusko County. As we get closer to home installations in your area, we’ll let you know when you can sign up.

Will Kosciusko Connect FTTH be available for non-KREMC members?

The mission of Kosciusko Connect is to provide reliable, high-speed internet service to KREMC members. Our members are our top priority, so our initial launch plan only covers areas served by KREMC. In the future, we hope to meet the needs of the extended community by providing fiber-to-the-home service outside of KREMC service territory.

What is involved in the process of building a fiber-to-the-home network?

Building a fiber network is a complex process that involves a mix of overhead and underground construction. The process is dependent on several variables, including the length of the circuit, terrain and soil types, weather, and other external factors. In each of our five construction zones, the process is divided into the following seven steps shown below.

Step 1: Make-Ready Engineering

Kosciusko REMC is building a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network – the gold standard of communications transmission – over our existing electric distribution infrastructure. This network will take fiber directly into homes and businesses and deliver reliable, high-speed internet services.

Step 2: Make-Ready Construction

The timeline for make-ready construction can vary widely. In this step, line crews change poles, move transformers and wires, add new anchors, and make the necessary steps to facilitate fiber construction.

Step 3: Fiber Construction

Fiber crews will add fiber-optic cable and steel strands to pole lines throughout the area. This process can vary whether electric lines are above or below ground. If underground, workers will bore under asphalt and concrete driveways. If overhead, pedestals will be placed next to a transformer or junction box to allow for a service drop.

Step 4: Splicing

Once both the strand and fiber are placed and secured, splicing can begin. In this step, splicers will join necessary cables at each end and attach them to the distribution poles or pedestals.

Step 5: Service Drop Construction

Service drop construction may be done simultaneously with some of the previously mentioned steps, or it may be done after the mainline fiber is in place. Service drop crews extend the fiber from the nearest splice point to the structure receiving service and leave coils of fiber in each location.

Step 6: Drop Splicing

Drop splicing is the next to last step of the process. The splicer connects the final length of fiber at the tap point and mounts a network interface device (NID) at the structure with the final splice inside of it.
After drop splicing is completed, the network is ready for installation.

Step 7: Home or Business Installation

Finally, the fiber is connected inside your home or office, where it is plugged into the modem we provide! If you pre-register, one of our member service representatives will contact you to schedule an appointment for an in- home installer to finalize your connection and test the service. Once the installation is complete and tested, your service is ready to go. Welcome to the world of high-speed internet!

 

Will the construction crews make a mess in my yard?

Fiber construction often involves digging or trenching, but our contractors work to minimize messes. Should any damage occur, we will complete repairs before we leave the job site. Feel free to call us at 574-267-6331 to share any concerns about the construction process.

The Benefits

Why are you offering broadband service?

Kosciusko REMC members have long endured the struggles of broadband inequality – unequal access to the same speeds and capabilities as those available in less rural areas. Broadband availability across our service area will help close the digital divide between those who have access to advanced technology and those who don’t. A few of the many advantages of broadband access are:

  • Online teaching capabilities allowing our students to learn from home

  • Healthcare benefits, such as telemedicine

  • Work-from-home interoffice connectivity and videoconferencing capabilities that will help professionals

    stay in their homes while being productive

  • Quality of life improvements through enhanced communications

  • Economic development and growth in rural areas. Access to high-speed internet can raise home prices and attract businesses to communities.


    By connecting Kosciusko REMC’s electric substations with fiber, we will create a smart grid with more automation capabilities to better serve our members. A smart grid is becoming the standard for optimum electric infrastructure.

How will I benefit from fiber internet access?

Our sole reason for offering high-speed internet services is to meet the needs of members like you. You will no longer have to rely on DSL, fixed wireless, cable, satellite, or cellular internet to stay connected online. You will be able to stream high-definition media smoothly. You will have the data capacity to download and upload large files, photos, and videos quickly and efficiently. With Kosciusko Connect, you will have access to the latest technological advancements and applications. Our FTTH world-class service will be reliable, affordable, and backed by KREMC.

You will be able to run multiple devices – such as cell phones, computers, and laptops – simultaneously in your home or business without decreased download and upload speeds. The table below gives you a speed comparison between what you may have now and what is possible with our FTTH service.

* Typical DSL / Wireless / Satellite (3 Mbps) Standard internet speed (25 Mbps) FIBER INTERNET
Up to 1000 Mbps (Gigabit)
Download 100 photos 14.7 minutes 1.8 minutes 2.8 seconds
Download HD movie 4.8 hours 34.4 minutes 54.3 seconds
Download 50 Songs 8.2 minutes 1 minute 1.5 seconds
Download 50GB Game 39.8 hours 4.8 hours 7.5 minutes

*Download speeds calculated using the following averages:
Phone Photo – 3.15 MB
HD movie – 6 GB
Song – 3.5 MB
Game – 50 GB

Phone Services

Do I have to sign up for phone service to get high-speed internet?

No.

How does the phone service work?

Phone service through Kosciusko Connect uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Calls you make are processed over the public telephone switched network, which results in a higher quality call.

Can I keep my phone number?

In most cases, yes. We sign agreements with various carriers to "port" phone numbers to the new services so you can keep your number.