Addressing the fiber rumorsRon Holcomb | Tuesday, November 01, 2016
An increasing amount of questions are being asked about Tipmont’s fiber implementation, so let me use this opportunity to describe the project and its many benefits.
What’s happening now and why
Tipmont is currently installing fiber lines across its system to improve electric service reliability and operational efficiency. Fiber-based communications improves Tipmont’s command and control capabilities when connected with an array of distribution system equipment. The benefits include reducing outage times by isolating trouble areas on the grid more quickly, avoiding outages altogether by having better visibility to asset performance and optimizing system performance by reducing energy losses.
The fiber build is on track for completion in 2018 and will connect all 22 of Tipmont’s substations.
Will implementing fiber cause my bill to increase?
No, it will not. The investment is part of our normal system modernization operations budget.
Will Tipmont provide communication services?
When Tipmont surveyed its membership in mid-2015, part of the survey asked whether Tipmont members were interested in communication services from Tipmont, which basically means providing Internet access to your home using fiber optics.
The survey was divided into three regions: north, middle and south. That geographical categorization helped us understand where needs are not being met.
In the middle region, about 50% of Tipmont members are underserved. Access is better in our northern service territory, but still, 28% of members don’t have access to broadband service.
This survey information, coupled with ongoing member feedback regarding the lack of adequate services, provided the evidence necessary to encourage a formal study process. The study will help determine how to best make offering broadband services financially sustainable for the long-term.
The study will include a second member survey in early spring 2017. If you receive it, please take the time to fill it out. Your feedback is very important as we consider this important step.
Tipmont’s mission is to “empower our communities by providing state-of-the art essential services.” We at Tipmont know that broadband access is essential to the American way of life in 2016. You can be assured that as we continue to build fiber optics to optimize our electric services, we will continue to investigate how we can best leverage these fiber optic resources for you.
I look forward to your thoughts.
- Last modified: Tuesday, November 01, 2016
Ron Holcomb is CEO of Tipmont REMC.