PIEG has been exploring providing Fiber Optic connections for everyone in their service area for over two years. In the last 60 days they have been given subsidies by the FCC in Presque Isle County, and an RDOF grant for 11MM specifically for Fiber to the Home. They plan to hire a consultant to manage the build out over the next 5-6 years, and create the infrastructure to maintain and bill it after construction. They will be starting in Onaway where their offices are, and where several thousand customers could potentially be connected. And it is the location of many Industrial business that would certainly be customers as well. They are also looking to use the system to to automated meter reads, and that would save them money. It is clearly a win/win/win for PIEG.
It should be noted that the entire build out will cost much more than the grants and subsidies that have been awarded. They would need 60-75MM more. The large variance in my estimates is that there are geologic issues they may encounter within the country. Within PIHA, where we have buried electric cable it should be less complicated, but other areas may be a lot tougher for them. PI and Krakow are a long way out from their initial build area, and fiber ‘tends’ to be easier to lay contiguously, so we may be in for a long wait. BUT, at least the future looks like we will get gigabit service available here in 5-6 years. It should be noted that they DO NOT have to deal with any Planning Commission delays since they already have an easement and their buildout does not require it.
After the Board of PIEG officially begins I will get you more information, AND they are currently planning on hold a meeting this summer in Posen, so we may well be able to ‘flood the zone’ a bit and let them tell us when they are going to provide us Fiber to the Home.