Spiral’s Gigabit Fiber Optic Project Update

We’ve had an incredibly busy year at Spiral Internet since our $16.7M funding from the California Public Utilities Commission was approved. We know we’ve been quiet about our state-of-the-art gigabit 100% fiber optic internet network project. However, everything is being put in place so we can begin construction. The “shovels” will hit the ground in early 2017.

Environmental Assessment Ready to Go
Recently, we completed a comprehensive environmental assessment of our Zone A project area, which will cover 26 square miles and 150 linear miles of construction. (Who knew there were so many amazing historical and biological assets in western Nevada County? We sure do now.) The next step is to send it to the California Public Utilities Commission for review. We will absolutely build our network to carefully preserve these past and future resources.

Neighborhood Champions
In order to reach everyone in our project areas, we knew we needed “neighborhood champions” to help us. To date, we have 74 people who have volunteered to organize their neighborhoods in Zone A. That number is crazy wonderful. We’re honored and thrilled to have so many folks willing to work with us to bring ultra-high speed internet service to their neighbors in south county.

In early November, we’ll be hosting informative and fun workshops to bring those champions “up to speed” on what it will take to have their neighborhoods lit up with fiber first. (Yes, it will be a bit of a competition. The neighborhoods with the highest percentage of sign-ups will be built first.)

If you’re willing to volunteer as your neighborhood’s champion, call Nick (Spiral’s Neighborhood Coordinator) at 478-9822 x203.

Sign up for Service to Start Soon
Once the champions hit the road, households and businesses in Zone A will be able to sign up for service. There will be no cost to bring the fiber optic cable all the way to the outside of your home during our initial 2-year construction period. Our construction crews will do the trenching and installation. All underground.

“Internet at the Speed of Your Mind”
Yes, that’s what we’re calling our symmetrical 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) internet access. 1 Gigabit per second = 1,000 Megabits per second (Mbps) of speed. In contrast, the fastest speed a household might now have in non-cable internet areas is 25 Mbps downstream and 1.5 Mbps upstream via a fixed wireless provider. And that level of speed is rare and “asymmetrical”. So uploading is very slow.

“Symmetrical” means 1 Gbps downstream and 1 Gbps upstream. This is important for high-definition video calls/conferencing, gaming, virtual reality, home tele-healthcare, and other new internet applications that are being developed. If you have poor cell phone reception at your home now, it will be crystal clear on the WiFi network that our fiber optic modem provides.

Also, we are building what’s called an “active ethernet” network. So, you will get a true 1 Gigabit experience at all times. This is unlike fixed wireless or cable, where bandwidth is shared, and service can slow down to a crawl during peak usage.

And there is one more bonus … according to a 2015 Fiber to the Home Council study, the value of your home will increase by an average of 7% just because it’s connected to a gigabit fiber optic network.

A Long and Winding Road
We know it’s been quite the wait, but 2017 will see the future begin to arrive here in Nevada County, even before it arrives in the San Francisco Bay Area and most of California.

Remember, if you haven’t done so already, please “map” yourself at spiral.com/fiber.
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