In order for us to get our high-speed, reliable internet service to your neighborhood, you may notice several different contractors in the area throughout the duration of our network build. They may be driving through your town, checking the condition of the utility poles, trimming trees, or in some cases, visiting homeowner properties performing field collection. While they are there to prepare for a smooth network build, we want to make sure our community members know who may be in your neighborhood, and why.
To identify a contractor who may be working on behalf of NEK Broadband:
- Vehicles will have a “Contracted by NEK Broadband” sign on both of the vehicle’s front doors;
- NEK Broadband will provide updates to Governing Board members about any planned work as it comes to a particular town.
STEPS TO BUILDING A BROADBAND NETWORK IN THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM
Believe it or not, NEK Broadband will need to deploy more than ten different sets of contractors or technicians for each community that we’re building in, in order to construct a broadband network. Below, we’ve broken down each stage of the network build, and listed the types of contractors that may be in your area throughout each stage.
- Design: The comprehensive “planning period” of our build occurs during Design.
- Field Collection: Once Design has been completed, it is field verified. The role of a Field Collector is to make sure the design “on paper” makes sense on the ground. Field Collectors gather all the information that the installation team will need, preliminarily inspect existing infrastructure in the area, and identify potential changes.
- Permits and Licenses: Our Right-of-Way Specialist is often looking for areas where we can place NEK Broadband equipment cabinets in a central location for that town/area. It often takes analysis of a dozen or more sites to find the right cabinet location.
- Make-Ready Rideout: Make-ready is the process of making the utility poles ready for the fiber to be installed to it. The Make-ready rideout is usually conducted by the local electric company, the communications company, and NEK Broadband. During this rideout, the work that needs to be done to make the poles ready for NEK Broadband to attach to is agreed on by all of the parties.
- Make-Ready Work: Make-ready work is usually done by the electric utility or their contractor. This work can range from changing a pole out, to moving wires and equipment on a pole to make room for our fiber attachment.
- Tree Trimming: Though the pole owners do some tree trimming on their own, our subcontractors may need to do some as well, in order to install the fiber on the cable. This may be necessary in order to navigate a right-of-way, or to ensure that the fiber isn’t likely to come down during the next wind or snow storm.
- Underground: Sometimes, there are gaps between poles. In these situations, we may need to place conduit underground to string the fiber. You may see different types of large equipment (often with a big roll of orange duct on the back!). Underground work is always done in compliance with town and state permit requirements, the necessary easements, and Dig Safe compliance.
- Construction Rideouts: When the steps above are completed and ready, NEK Broadband’s Construction Manager and construction crews head out together on a Construction Rideout to look at the details of the build.
- Construction Build: Construction Build happens in phases, and encompasses getting our strand (the wire that the fiber attaches to) on the poles, and then spliced to the fiber. It is one of the most time-consuming steps, because each of the phases requires its own crew of technicians, and can only occur once the prior crew has completed their phase.
- Installation/Site Survey: Once we are ready for customers (and sometimes in the weeks prior), we will do site surveys for the customers that have pre-registered for service on this page. Site surveys will determine if anything is needed to install service to your home from the main distribution line.
- Installation: Finally!! A crew will come to your home as agreed-upon per your installation schedule. NEK Broadband installations are free,* there are no added fees for equipment, and there are no caps on our data.
*Standard Installation from the distribution fiber is free to subscribers up to the first 400 feet of unobstructed aerial connections on existing poles. The cost per aerial foot between 400 feet and 2,500 feet is $1/foot at the expense of the customer. Customers are responsible for any underground work, any trimming to alleviate aerial obstructions or any new pole installations on their property. Installation into the home includes all equipment, including the router and Wi-Fi. This installation policy is NEK Broadband’s standard policy, not an introductory offer.