What is Fiber Internet?
Fiber optic cables, sometimes "fiber" for short, are cables made of tiny strands of glass that carry data (the Internet) using waves of light. In contrast, traditional DSL or cable connections are usually copper wires that transmit data using electricity (radio frequency). Fiber optic lines are usually faster and more reliable to transmit on the Internet.
Why is Fiber better than traditional cable?
Fiber is known for being “future-proof,” meaning the fiber we install today will be able to handle increased data loads as the need for more speed or bandwidth continues to grow. Fiber technology makes it possible to deliver internet speeds up to 1 Gig (1,000 Mbps, megabits per second)—this is 100 times faster than what the average home or business in our area currently receives.
Fiber is more reliable than other types of networks and less prone to interference and complications from lightning and other natural elements. Fiber Internet also tends to raise the property value of homes by as much as $5,000.
Why is there a Pre-Registration process?
ElbertonNET is a department of the City of Elberton. In order to minimize risk, ElbertonNET moves forward with projects in a phased-in approach to protect the City's utility customers and the financial integrity of the existing ElbertonNET system. Before construction can begin in an area, a pre-determined number of customers must pre-register. This "take rate" ensures that ElbertonNET will not spend money to build a fiber network in areas where it cannot be financially sustained because of lack of customer demand.
What does it mean when I Pre-Register?
By pre-registering you are expressing interest in taking service when ElbertonNET comes to your road or neighborhood. At the time of pre-registration, no signed contract is required, but we do require a cash deposit. This means there is "buy-in" from the customers who want to receive ElbertonNET services. When construction begins in your area, we will contact you to complete the necessary steps to take service.
What will I have to pay when I Pre-Register?
If you are in an area where service is planned but not yet available, we will require an upfront payment of $100 to pre-register you for service. That amount will be used to connect your home or business to the fiber optic network, from the premises to the main line cable at the roadside. If your neighborhood is not constructed within a reasonable period of time, as much as 24 months, we will be glad to refund your entire $100 back to you. We will also refund your fee if you move before service is available. So there's no risk to you.
Is there a deadline to Pre-Register, and what are the benefits to Pre-Registering?
Pre-registration is "OPEN" until construction is complete in your area. We encourage all eligible residents to pre-register as soon as possible because community interest helps drive the construction process. We can only build a new neighborhood or road after we get enough pre-registrations and deposit payments. That helps to ensure that we will have enough customers to pay for the new build once it is completed and in service. A benefit of pre-registering now is to lock in your $100 connection fee. Plus, if a community does not show enough interest, ElbertonNET may not be built along those roads. You are encouraged to pre-register now if you are interested in receiving service from ElbertonNET.
What does the construction process involve? What is the timeline? What will be built first?
Please know that pre-registration and the pre-registration goal is only one factor in determining build plans and timelines for your community. Once a community meets the set goal for pre-registration and is approved for construction, we will communicate a build timeline. Construction involves attaching fiber optic cables and network interface points along the power line poles along county roads. This can take many months to complete for an individual community. Once the network is active in your area, you will be contacted to schedule an installation appointment for your home or business.
The areas of planned construction that will get built first depends on several factors, but pre-registration is an important one. We will build first where there is the highest demand of customers.
How will you install fiber if my service is underground?
ElbertonNET's fiber optic cable will, for the most part, follow the power lines. Therefore, if your electric service is overhead, your fiber service will also run overhead. If your electric service is underground, ElbertonNET will bury a fiber optic cable approximately 10" to 12" deep from the power poles near your home to your home. Sometimes there is a surcharge for underground installation.
Do I have to sign a contract for service?
No. ElbertonNET does not require service contracts for standard installation. We need your commitment as a customer to make any build successful and to pay for the cost of construction over time. However, there are no strings attached. We think our prices, speeds, and customer service can't be beaten, so we are confident you'll keep us around for years to come!
Why am I assigned to a certain Zone? Can I choose my Zone?
Your neighborhood or road's "zone" was assigned during the design process for the network. Your area was selected based on several factors including geography, how many people are on your road, and the direction that your power lines take along the roads and rights-of-way. A zone can only serve a limited number of people, and there has to be a logical starting point and ending point to each zone. Once your address is placed in a certain ElbertonNET zone during the network design phase, it is set and cannot be changed. All of the zones tend to be balanced in terms of the number of addresses that can be served by the network. You cannot choose your zone assignment as that is an integral part of the network design phase that has to be completed before we even can consider building an expansion on the ElbertonNET network.