Fiber Coming to Kiowa
Fiber Optic Internet Network Expands in Eagle Mountain to Kiowa subdivisions
The Kiowa Valley network area will become the next Fiberhood in Eagle Mountain, where older copper connections will be upgraded to new Fiber to the Home, bringing 1 Gigabit speeds and luxury Internet service for residents living in the older Kiowa subdivisions. This new fiber construction project will begin in May 2016 and the first customers will begin to be cut over from DSL to Fiber connections in Fall 2016. All homes in Kiowa currently on copper should be completely cut over to 100% fiber to the home by the end of 2016. This project will bring fiber service to about 340 more homes in Eagle Mountain.
Tentative Kiowa Project Schedule
This Kiowa construction project is part of a greater push by Directcom to speed up the process of converting every neighborhood in Eagle Mountain to fiber. During 2015, the company invested over $2,250,000 in fiber construction with about $750,000 being spent in keeping up with utility construction in new subdivisions, and the rest invested in fiber upgrades to older subdivisions previously served only by copper.While the newer western subdivisions in Kiowa, built since Directcom bought the network from Eagle Mountain City in 2006, were all constructed with Fiber to the Home, the older neighborhoods on the east side of Kiowa are currently still on copper, and these older neighborhoods will now be upgraded to all-new Fiber directly to the home. Everything between Clark Street and South Pass Road will soon be converted to 100% fiber to the home.
During 2015, Direct Communications upgraded the Chimney Rock area around Nolan Park to fiber, and began upgrading the Silverlake area to all new fiber. At the time of writing in Jan 2016, the final phase of Chimney Rock customers (the fourth of 4 phases) were being hooked up/cut over to fiber, and Silverlake fiber construction was complete, and customers in Silverlake were just starting to be cut over to fiber connections. Chuck McCown, Operations Manager of Direct Communications, explained that this Kiowa project will be similar to the other projects completed in 2015 in that the work will mostly be done by utility contractors, in order to speed up the upgrade process.
However, the final splice to the home and cutover to fiber at the home will be completed by Directcom’s own techs, who will be installing Optical Network Terminals on the outside of customers homes. Another contractor, Phelps Electric will be out at the same time installing outdoor power supply on houses to power the fiber electronics on the side of the homes. Since fiber does not carry an electrical signal like copper, each fiber terminal needs a power supply to power the electronics which convert the digital laser light to an Ethernet signal inside the home.
Kip Wilson, General Manager for Direct Communications in Eagle Mountain, said that although he understands everyone wants to be the next neighborhood to be upgraded, areas are chosen and prioritized carefully as upgrade projects for various reasons such as:
- Whether the subdivision has existing duct already in the ground, which makes the capital investment cost requirement for the upgrade lower per sub,
- The distance from the central office to the subdivision, which can make the area more difficult to serve satisfactorily with copper,
- Higher number of potential customers: “We 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.”
- The condition of existing copper laid by the original property developers. Much of the original copper is in dire need of an upgrade, and where the old copper is causing the most problems for both customers and the network techs, the company will often seek to upgrade those areas to fiber first.
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, so crews should be able to pull new fiber through to the side of the house without disturbing the yards or lawns.
1 Gigabit speeds will be available to customers in Kiowa with fiber to the home. The company is currently accepting pre-orders for fiber service for residents of Kiowa, 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 Kiowa area on March 30 2016 from 4pm-8pm. More information will be published about the location closer to the event, but it will likely be held somewhere in the Kiowa subdivision. These are informal events where the company will outline the construction schedule and upgrade plan, and answer any questions one-on-one about how residents can prepare for fiber to the home, and how fiber will improve the quality of life for residents of Kiowa in Eagle Mountain.
Network Map of Current Fiber availability in Eagle Mountain Utah
Click on the “view larger map” icon on the top right bar of the network map below, and enter your address in the search field in the google maps interface to see if fiber is already installed at your home or future home.
Yellow areas are Fiber-to-the-home. Blue areas are still copper to the home, and will be upgraded to fiber in the future.
Direct Communications will announce the next fiber project later this year, after Kiowa construction is underway.