Broadband Project Update
11:21AM September 27, 2019
It’s been two years now since Gibson Electric Membership Corporation and its broadband subsidiary, Gibson Connect, launched join.gibsonconnect.com, a website where you and other members can register for just $20 and move your area a step closer to high-speed internet access. Several zones (Medina, Three Way and Dyer) quickly met their participation goals and we started engineering and construction in those zones during the summer of 2018. We also applied for and received Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Grant funds enabling a buildout for the Ridgely, Tiptonville and Samburg zones. This was Phase I of our buildout. In late April, more zones (Humboldt/Gibson, Trenton South, Trenton North, and Hornbeak) hit their participation goals and were approved (by the Gibson EMC and Gibson Connect boards) for Phase II of our buildout. We also applied for and were awarded a second Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Grant enabling the buildout of the Gadsden zone.
Following is an update on our progress as of September 4, 2019. Knowing that you want as much information as possible, we’re also providing projections. Please understand that while these are our plans, weather and other factors may cause delays.
- Medina and Three Way Zones: We have connected 1,409 of the 1,777 members who have registered for Gibson Connect internet service in these zones. For more than a month we’ve been doing 70-80 installations per week which means we’re on track to have members who registered by July 1, 2019, connected by the end of September.
- Dyer Zone: We have connected 399 of the 623 residential members who have registered for Gibson Connect internet service in our Dyer zone. For more than a month, we’ve been doing 70-80 installations per week which means we’re on track to have members who registered by July 1, 2019, connected by the end of September.
- Ridgely Zone: We have begun connecting service to a few residential members in the Ridgely zone; however, this in-home installation work will move at a relatively slow pace until we finish up connections in the Medina, Three Way and Dyer zones. We expect this could happen as early as October or November.
- Tiptonville and Samburg Zones: We are currently running service drops. We plan to begin splicing by mid-September and start scheduling some in-home installations in October.
We are pleased to report that Phase II work is also underway. Based on what makes the most sense from an engineering design perspective, we’ll be building Phase II in the following order: (1) Humboldt/Gibson Zone; (2) Trenton South Zone; (3) Trenton North Zone; (4) Gadsden Zone; and (5) Hornbeak Zone.
If you are unsure which zone you are in, you can determine this by visiting join.gibsonconnect.com or you can call your local Gibson EMC member service center. We’ll be happy to check this for you.
- Humboldt/Gibson Zone: We have begun main fiber line construction and service drops in this zone. We also have begun splicing in the southern parts of the Humboldt/Gibson Zone, and we will continue moving northward through October. Areas north of Humboldt toward Fruitland can expect construction and splicing to begin in late fall. Other work in the “Steps to Buildout” (below) also will be completed as resources become available.
- Trenton South Zone: We have begun engineering this zone. We expect construction and service drops to begin in October or November and splicing to follow in December or January. Other work in the “Steps to Buildout” (below) also will be completed as resources become available.
- Trenton North Zone: We expect to see construction of main fiber lines and service drops begin in November or December and splicing to follow in January or February. Other work in the “Steps to Buildout” (below) also will be completed as resources become available.
- Gadsden Zone: We expect to see construction of main fiber lines and service drops begin in February or March and splicing to follow in April or May. Other work in the “Steps to Buildout” (below) also will be completed as resources become available.
- Hornbeak Zone: We expect to see the construction of main fiber lines and service drops begin in March or April and follow with splicing in May or June. Other work in the “Steps to Buildout” (below) also will be completed as resources become available.
As your local, non-profit, member-owned and member-controlled cooperative, Gibson EMC and Gibson Connect are doing this broadband buildout to meet your need for high-speed internet service and to support our communities. We’re encouraged when members like Mayors Chris Younger of Dyer and Denny Johnson of Lake County tell us that having access to high-speed internet has benefitted their communities.
“We are so blessed that we have a progressive cooperative like Gibson EMC that is not only giving our rural area access to world-class internet service but also proactively applying for and securing grants throughout its service area,” said Lake County Mayor Denny Johnson. “Lake County will be the first true 1 Gig county in West Tennessee. This is a game-changer for our county and for potential industries considering the Port of Cates Landing.”
“Gibson Connect’s speed and reliability have improved efficiency in several of our departments,” said Dyer Mayor Chris Younger. “More and more, we rely on online resources, and it’s imperative that we have fast and dependable internet access. I’m grateful Gibson Connect serves our community, and our residents are incredibly pleased with the service they’re receiving. From the youngest to the oldest, they’re all more than satisfied with their new Gibson Connect internet service!”
“Our members will have internet access equal to or better than major metropolitan areas and at reasonable prices,” said Charles Phillips, Gibson EMC VP of Technical Services and Gibson Connect VP of Operations.
Gibson Connect’s residential offerings are:
- 250 Mbps Internet with Professional-Grade Wi-Fi for Just $49.95/Month: This service has blazing fast internet access for email, web browsing, video streaming and all of your social media needs with equally fast uploads.
- 1 Gbps (1 Gig – 1,000 Mbps) Internet with Professional-Grade Wi-Fi for Just $69.95/month: This is the fastest internet available with speeds up to 100 faster than DSL. You can Download HD movies in less than a minute!
- Phone for Just $24.95/Month: Unlimited local and long distance within the continental U.S., and in most areas, you can keep your current telephone number.
Gibson Connect also has business products available. Learn about these at https://www.gibsonconnect.com/business or by calling your local Gibson EMC member service center.
And for those members who are interested in a Gibson Connect TV package, it is in the works. We had planned to launch this service already, but we encountered quality issues that led to a change in vendors and consequently caused a delay. We are now working with a new software vendor that we believe will better meet Gibson Connect’s and our members’ expectations. We have begun testing this new product, and we’ll let you know as soon as it is ready to be deployed.
You and other members are driving our construction plans. If you want us to build fiber to your home or business, register at join.gibsonconnect.com today. When a zone reaches the required participation level, our board of trustees will vote to approve the fiber build-out. Zones that demonstrate the highest levels of interest by exceeding the required participation levels will earn priority, so make sure to encourage others - your friends, neighbors and community - to register too!
Steps to Buildout
- We begin with contractors doing the engineering design.
- Once the design is completed, the contractor builds the primary fiber lines along our primary electric lines.
- Next, the contractor will begin the splicing process to direct the primary fiber communication path back to the substation.
- During this time, service drops from the street/road to the home will be constructed. (If your electric service is overhead, your fiber service also will be overhead. If your electric service is underground, your fiber service also will be underground.)
- The contractor or a Gibson Connect employee will then perform additional splicing to direct the fiber communication path to the home, attach a network interface device (NID) to the home and test it to ensure the fiber is ready for installation.
- Once it tests ready, we will call you to schedule your in-home installation.