How we are bringing Gigabit Internet to you
Bringing fiber-optic Internet to our community is huge challenge. With over 1,000 members of the Greek system already using our fiber-optic service online, Wicked Broadband's staff has proven that they are up to the technical challenge.
Step 1: Dig a hole
As with any network project that we've ever been involved with, the first step is to dig a big hole.
In our case this hole will be occupied by underground conduit. This conduit will be installed by a local contractor who is paid a fair price.
At the same time they are installing conduit, our underground contractor will be setting hand-holes. These holes are used to join separate conduit runs and to house enclosures where the fiber-optic cable is spliced together.
Step 2: Pull the fiber
After the conduit is in place, our underground crew will pull a fiber-optic cable through from the nearest hand-hole to your home. In some cases this will be housed in conduit, in others it will be "direct-buried" using a vibra-trencher.
Step 3: Terminate the fiber
Once the fiber is pulled to your site, the next step is terminating it. Fiber is terminated inside of a 12" x 12" x 6" galvanized steel NEMA 3R rain tight enclosure.
Inside of the enclosure we place an optical networking terminal (ONT). The ONT is also water proof and protects the connectors on the end of the fiber (the ferrules) from dirt, debris and damage. To connect the fiber-optic cable to the ferrules in the ONT, our technicians use a state-of-the-art fusion splicer.
Notice that we are only using two (2) of the four (4) fibers that we are installing on each and every house. We actually only need one, but are using two because trancievers with both a send and receive fiber are less expensive than single fiber trancievers.
The result? We are installing enough capacity for other carriers to make use of it in the future. We are hoping that once we've built out the fiber network Google Fiber, or another provider, will make use of it to provide additional high-speed services in our community.
Unlike cable and phone providers who are moving mountains to keep competition out of the market, we believe that competition provides value for our customers and forces incumbents to innovate.
Step 3: Install the electronics
Rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, we've selected durable, time tested electronic components for our fiber demarcation points. Our electronics package includes:
- Gigabit 1000-LX to 1000-T tranciever
- Five port managed switch
- Flexible power over Ethernet (POE)/solar charge controller
- 12V/5V voltage converter
- Five amp hour battery backup
This state of the art electronics package allows us to connect up to four devices at each site to our gigabit network core.
- Port 1 - member access
- Port 2 - expansion capacity
- Port 3 - managed wireless access point
- Port 4 - technician access
- Port 5 - core network uplink
Notice that once again we have included expansion capacity in our enclosure. This future proofs the installation and ensures that there will be a data port available for future technologies - like 3D holographic basketball coverage.
You might also notice that we are using port 3 to provide "managed wireless access". What's that?
Managed wireless access is one of the features that we are bringing to our members that other ISPs simply don't have. By installing a managed access point on each home and connecting it to our battery backup we are able to provide our members with:
1. Access to the Internet in the event of a power outage or emergency
2. Access to public information resources without a paid account
3. Roaming WiFi access throughout the community
Step 4: Install your wall port
Unlike legacy technologies (cable and telephone), our infrastructure is designed for 21st century telecommunications. You don't need a special modem to translate between your router and our service. Plug in, get on it is as simple as that.
We install a single wall plate on an exterior wall. If the member only has one desktop computer (some people still do!), they can simply plug into the port and get online.
Most families are going to want to install a router to share their connection among multiple devices. A router allows you to connect your laptop, cell phone, desktop, tablet, set-top box and game console to the Internet, all at the same time.
Step 5: Connect your devices
To get the most out of your Wicked Fiber connection, we recommend you upgrade your home router to one that supports a Gigabit connectivity. We recommend the Netgear N740 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router.
This $119 router can be purchased from us, or directly from Amazon or another online retailer.
This router will allow all of your wireless devices to connect to the Internet using 802.11g, 802.11a, 802.11n and 802.11ac. That means legacy devices like old laptops can connect using 802.11g while you are simultaneously watching HD video on your Roku 3 using 802.11n.
The router also has advanced technologies like DLNA to share music and videos with your TV, wireless print sharing, wireless backups using Time Machine and a bunch of other features that are useful.
Most importantly, unlike older routers, it allows you to actually use the Gigabit service we are bringing to your home.
Connecting your Roku, TV or game console
Even though many modern TVs, game consoles and streaming media players have WiFi, you are going to get the best performance and lowest latency using wired technologies. That is why we recommend you connect your wired devices back to your router using ZyXEL PLA4211 HD Powerline Adapters.
These adapters cost around $90 per pair and can be purchased from us, or directly from Amazon.
Using powerline networking technology, these devices allow you to connect the wired ports of your various computers and devices to your router by way of your electric power lines. Nominally rated to 500 Mbps, these devices make it easy to share data from your Wicked Fiber wall plate with devices in the basement or the attic.