Fiber Coming to Nolan Park Area

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Fiber Coming to Nolan Park Area

On April 16, 2015, Posted by , In Customer Service, By ,, , With No Comments

Fiber Optic Internet Network Expands in Eagle Mountain to Nolan Park Area

 

Chimney Rock Network area map--soon to change from green (copper) to orange (fiber.)

Chimney Rock Network area map–soon to change from green (copper) to orange (fiber.)

The Chimney Rock network area around Nolan Park will become the next Fiberhood in Eagle Mountain, where older copper connections will be upgraded to new Fiber to the Home, bringing faster speeds and more reliable Internet service for residents in the Windhover, Cold Springs, Sundance, Crittenden Corner, Red Rock Ranch, Rockwell Village, and Castle Rock neighborhoods. The fiber construction project will begin in April 2015 and is planned for completion by the end of the 2015 year.

Project Schedule

Project Name Chimney Rock
Engineering Start 1-Feb-2015
Bids Out 14-Apr-2015
Bids In 27-Apr-2015
Pre Construction 28-Apr-2015
Construction Start 17-May-2015
Construction End 1-Aug-2015
Cutover  Start 1-Sep-2015
Cutover End 1-Jan-2016

Cody Bailey, Inside Plant Manager For Direct Communications, explained that there will be two phases to this fiber upgrade project: in-house construction by Directcom crews, and a contracted piece, where construction will be completed by outside contractors. “The in-house work will take place in neighborhoods that have existing duct or conduit, and Direct Communications crews will be placing handholes, blowing in the fiber, and splicing the fiber. The contracted work will mainly consist of underground boring in all the older neighborhoods where there is no existing conduit, and the developers just laid copper lines straight into the trenches.”

Bailey said the fiber construction will begin in the Windhover neighborhood, and crews would work counterclockwise from there, moving next on to the Cold Springs townhomes, then to Sundance, Crittenden Corner, Red Rock Ranch, Rockwell Village, and end with the Castle Rock neighborhood. Windhover and Cold Springs were the easiest places to start because they have existing conduit.  Bailey, who was a field tech in the days of the old Eagle Mountain Telecom, explained that sometime around 2003, once the city-owned telecom knew it was probably going to be sold to a private company, the City of Eagle Mountain changed the construction and development spec to require conduit to be laid in the trench alongside the copper in new subdivisions.

Flags in Windhover mark utility lines prior to the start of underground fiber construction.

Flags in Windhover mark utility lines prior to the start of underground fiber construction.

Bailey explained that generally yards and gardens will not be disturbed, except where existing telephone pedestals are located at the corner of property lots– these pedestals will be replaced with handholes, which will be buried and placed level to the ground, which the company hoped would be welcomed by homeowners, since having no visible equipment would enhance curb appeal of the neighborhood. Most yards do have existing conduit from the old copper pedestals to the home NID, so we should be able to pull the copper out of that conduit and replace it with new fiber without disturbing the yards or lawns.

Kip Wilson General Manager for Direct Communications in Eagle Mountain said the Chimney Rock area was chosen because the existing copper laid by the original property developers was in the most dire need of an upgrade, and causing the most problems for both customers and the network techs. “We understand all customers still on copper Eagle mountain can probably think of good reasons why their neighborhood should be upgraded next, but this area made sense from our network management perspective, because it was some of the oldest copper plant in our network area, and extremely expensive to maintain and rehabilitate. Due to the poor state of the copper, the speeds we offered here were limited to 14 Mb in some neighborhoods, so we really wanted to be able to give our customers here access to higher speeds. We also have to look at population density, and where we can provide the greatest benefit to the most people with the limited funding that we have available to us each year. As we upgrade this neighborhood to fiber, it will provide a springboard to take fiber to some of the areas, and also improve the copper network in other areas.

Wilson was reluctant to publish a final cost of this fiber upgrade project. “In the past we have generally invested about half of our annual $1.5 million capital investment construction budget into fiber upgrades each year, and we expect this project will put us some way beyond that for this year. This will be our first attempt at completing the upgrade of such a large subdivision all within a single year. We have also generally done it in smaller bites, and completed all of the work in-house, and this time we’re going to be bringing in subcontractors to speed up the upgrade process, so this is kind of an experiment for us. We hope the construction project will stay on budget so that we can make this accelerated model work in another subdivisions that still need to be upgraded to fiber.

In Jan 2015, Direct Communications announced that new 1 Gigabit speeds are available to customers with fiber to the home, and all residents of Chimney Rock who want fiber will have those speeds available to them by the end of the year. The company is currently accepting pre-orders for fiber service for residents of Chimney Rock, which will expedite the upgrade process, because techs will be able to hook up customers who pre-order as they are placing equipment at the home.

Direct communications will be holding an information open house for residents in the chimney Rock area the Nolan Park Pavilion on Thursday, May 7, 2015 from 4 PM till 8 PM. The company will outline the construction schedule and upgrade plan, and answer any questions about how fiber will improve the quality of life for residents of Eagle Mountain.

 

Pin marks location of open house pavilion east of Nolan Park

Pin marks location of open house pavilion east of Nolan Park

 

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