Before we start the Q&A on the new build from Frontier, we need to assure you that WE AIN’T DONE YET! We are working to get improved speeds and expand the impacted area of the summer of 2019 buildout in the Township. But we do not want the perfect to become the enemy of the ‘good’. The quicker we get fiber to the nodes the better off we will all be. We also want to improve the cellphone service in our area as well. We hear you but the issues are mixed with politics and bureaucracy. I can assure you that the bureaucracy delays are NOT from any of your local officials or the association, it the FCC, and the State of Michigan that can both help us and hinder us. We are working with our elected officials in Lansing and D.C. and they are all doing their best to help us with this issue.
The current ‘tentative’ completion date for the approved build-out area is August 2, 2019. That can always ‘slip’ or come in early. Only when the build is completed can anyone order the service, so please don’t phone Frontier now and just wait until we announce it to everyone once the phone lines are open to orders. Installers and people on the 800 lines for Frontier can’t tell you anything or take your orders until their management gives them the go ahead. Please just wait until we can let you know for sure that the systems are up and they are ready. This will keep misinformation about the install to a minimum. If you can keep your current provider until then that will save you any fees for early cancellation!
Q. What speeds can we expect from Frontier?
A. In the primary build area, the minimum speeds will be 10 Mbps Download and 1 Mbps Upload. BUT many people closer to the nodes will get much higher Download speeds. Until the build is complete NO ONE can tell exactly what the speeds will be. Houses that are NOT in the build area funded by the FCC, but who have Frontier phone service available (even if you don’t currently use it) may well have service although it likely will be slower than the 10/1 mandated by the FCC. Again, we will not have any firm idea of the exact speed for any area or any particular home until the build is completed.
Q. What are the areas that will be covered by the build?
A. We are working to get maps that detail the official build area and will post them here when they are available. But the main fiber optic cable will be brought to the Birch Hill area and then distributed to the existing ‘nodes’ that service the current copper phone lines. This is NOT ‘fiber to the home’, but brings fiber optic to the nodes and distributes it via the copper lines that are used for current landline service.
The current build will cover approximately 2/3’s of the Association homes with the minimum 10/1 speeds. Areas near North Bay and the Lighthouses are currently outside that area. We are working to get grant money to cover those areas at the 10/1 speeds and we will keep you posted. BUT those areas will likely get slower speeds at the very least. We just can’t give you an idea of what that will be right now. We ARE working to get additional funding for those areas. THIS is not a Frontier issue, it is a problem with the official FCC maps that show that area as ‘serviced’ by SpeedConnect. We are working to correct that issue, but it is NOT easy due to FCC rules. They won’t fund builds in areas that are shown as being currently served. We are trying a workaround with State of Michigan funding but that is not close at the moment.
Q. Will there be a fee for connection, data usage, or a fixed term contract with Frontier?
A. No there will not be an installation fee and no fixed term contract. You can even turn the service OFF if you wish on a monthly basis if you are away. Frontier provides an always-on service that has no data limits. So there is no reason NOT to sign up for their service when it goes live. The reliability of fiber to the node is not subject to interruption by weather issues either.
Q. What will the costs be?
A. It will depend on the speeds that you sign up for, but it will be a fraction of what you are paying for Speedconnect or Satellite Internet now.
Q. When and how will you let us know when we can sign up?
A. Notices will be on all community billboards AND the PIHA Clubhouse! We will also have all the information on this site. And if you are signed up for our email list you will get all the announcements in your Inbox. Once we get closer we will also schedule times to meet with you at the Clubhouse.