General Manager’s Fiber Build Update – December 2019
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend the Telemedia Annual Meeting in October. However, I realize it’s not always possible get out on a Thursday evening, so I’d like to take a moment to update you on the upcoming fiber build that was discussed.
First, a little catch up. At the 2018 Annual Meeting our members voted to secure a loan and proceed with a fiber build that had been authorized earlier in the year by the Board of Directors. In 2019, we secured a loan totaling $14.35 million through the USDA. Currently, we are finishing up the engineering for the first phase of the project in 2020. We expect to break ground this coming spring.
Our intention is to finish the build within 2 to 3 years. The 2020 area consists of approximately 900 homes, with an additional 850 homes being added in 2021. Please feel free to call our office at 812-967-3171 (Option 5) if you would like to verify your address is in the build area.
The fiber build will be buried primarily for better service reliability, but also because we think it leaves the area more beautiful. Burying the cable also means it’s important we contact each member individually to review location specifics. Our on-site representatives will be contacting members in the 2020 build area sometime between now and next spring (if they haven’t already done so). If you are ever concerned about the authenticity of a field representative, you can always call us to verify. The representative should be wearing Telemedia ID badges. It’s normal for them to take some pictures to ensure our installers know where to mount the fiber equipment on your home when it’s time for installation.
Please note, there is no installation fee to take advantage of the new service. More importantly, there will be no setup fee if you decide to take the service later. While we recommend you take our new fiber service for more reliability and better value, you won’t be forced to do so and we won’t punish you for waiting to opt in later. Fiber service will bring you speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second (1000 megabit per second). As indicated in the chart below, the new service will be both faster and less expensive than our current copper based service. We encourage you to compare prices with other broadband providers anywhere. You’ll need to look long and hard to find better pricing!
*Denotes upload/download speed
Some of you have questioned over the past several months how we view the increasing competition in the area. As is the case in most rural areas of the US, broadband in Indiana is a rapidly changing landscape. We know you have choices, and I personally believe in the value of competition. Telemedia’s purpose has been, and continues to be, driven by bringing you the very best in both service and pricing. When combined with our personalized support, we are confident we can provide you with a better value than our competitors.
Because we believe in going the extra mile, we include our Pledge Support as part of your membership. Whether it’s keeping local technicians on-call nights and weekends, making a house call to connect a new device, or troubleshooting a perplexing connectivity issue, we want to make sure you get the most out of being part of this cooperative, now and in the future.
We are certain you will be thrilled with your new fiber service. Few companies have the privilege of focusing on a local base of customers and we recognize this is special. As part of the community, we love supporting our local schools, events and businesses. We take pride in providing services that improve the lives of patrons who live, work, and play in the same area we do. This fiber investment in our community is our way of saying “thank you” for being a member of our small but amazing hometown cooperative!