Like Mount Horeb, Arvig will pay for a portion of deployment costs for its project. Also like Mount Horeb, Arvig plans
to deploy FTTH at its own cost to villages that were not eligible for A-CAM funding.
The 25/3 Mbps speed tier is a popular one where it is
available, Klinnert says. Where the company has deployed
FTTH, 25%–30% of customers are selecting the top speed of
below the speed threshold. The company had previously
deployed fiber to about 15 network nodes, with the speed
each customer can get dependent on the customer’s distance from the node.
Mount Horeb is leveraging the USF money to replace the
copper connecting customers to the fiber nodes or to other
points in the network so that fiber will underlie their entire
connection. The company is offering download speeds of
10–125 Mbps over the upgraded network infrastructure.
Many people are choosing 65 Mbps
service, but the company also has “quite
a few” people on 125 Mbps service,
according to Lease. Customers choosing the higher speed may work from
home, have multiple users online
simultaneously and stream HD video.
Mount Horeb was not eligible for
A-CAM funding in more populous villages within its service area because
people there could get 10/1 Mbps
speeds over the existing infrastructure, but the company decided to
deploy FTTH to those customers as
well, covering the entire cost itself.
Another company that qualified for
A-CAM funding for part of its service
territory and chose to accept it is
Perham, Minn.-based Arvig (Perham).
The company, which is one of the largest A-CAM recipients, already had
deployed FTTH in some areas, but will
be deploying fiber-to-the-node to most
customers for its funded projects.
“We’re increasing the speed of the
fiber to the node and the capability of
the node,” explained Arvig Director of
Network Operations Andy Klinnert. The
equipment deployed previously could
support speeds of 5 or 6 Mbps downstream, but most customers will be able
to get speeds of 25 Mbps downstream
and 3 Mbps upstream after the upgrade.
“A small percentage will only get
10/1,” Klinnert said.
Deploying FTTH throughout the
project area would have been too costly,
Klinnert noted. But the company will
deploy FTTH to serve customers who
are more than one mile from a node
and therefore would not be able to get
10/1 Mbps speeds.
upgrades customers to
FTTH, they will be able to
get speeds of up to 1 Gbps
downstream. The minimum
speed the company
will offer is 25 Mbps