AcenTek is investing in the community and Rushford residents will benefit. The local provider of Internet, Voice and Video services is replacing their copper facility with fiber optics. Last year AcenTek converted residents and businesses in the city limits of Rushford but now will begin the process of bringing fiber to the rural areas. This upgrade will provide rural residents much faster internet speeds, starting at 200Mbps, all the way up to 1 Gig.
While faster internet speed is the biggest, most obvious benefit of a community being upgraded to fiber, it is not the only one. This upgrade also will allow some customers who currently were unable to get video service because of their remote location, the ability to have that service. A fiber connection is more reliable than copper so customers can expect far less disruptions to any of their services during storms. A community that can offer future residents (and potential businesses) connectivity to fiber optics is more attractive if people consider relocating to Rushford.
Todd Roesler, CEO of AcenTek commented, “Last year we were able to bring fiber to the city of Rushford and now, we are excited to be expanding our fiber build into rural Rushford. We will be addressing rural Rushford in two phases. This investment of time and money is well worth it because the end result is being able to provide the customer with the best service available. The best is fiber.”
The process of bring fiber to rural Rushford has begun. Residents are being contacted by AcenTek to schedule a brief home visit. This is the first step in the process and involves someone stopping out to quickly review the property. This step is done so workers can determine where the fiber optics will enter the building(s) and to gather specific information about your property, such as location of septic systems or private power to buildings, for example. From that visit, drawings and notes are made to be referenced at time of construction. Even non-customers are invited to schedule a brief home visit. This allows fiber optics to be buried to their location in the event that they, in the future, choose to become a customer, or if a future resident of that property chooses to become a customer. Even if the person never becomes an AcenTek customer, having fiber to their property is a benefit, as it increases the value of their property, should they ever choose to sell.
Appropriate right-of-way permits were obtained from Fillmore County and the state of Minnesota before construction on the project can begin. Studying the soil and terrain of the area also occurs before construction starts. Understanding the topography allows the crew to determine what technique is needed for replacing the underground cabling. Locating the existing underground utilities takes place before crews begin work, in order to avoid disruption of service during the construction process.
The residents living in rural Rushford can expect construction to begin in their neighborhood mid-September. Central Cable (the contractor hired by AcenTek) vehicles and equipment will begin their work, placing the fiber in the ground. This can be done in a couple of different ways. Knifing the fiber in is one of the techniques used, which is the faster and less expensive way, of the two. Boring machines can also be used. These machines act like horizontal drills, minimizing the disruption to the landscape. This is the tool of choice when running fiber under a cement pad or some surface that cannot be worked.
The final step in the fiber process is installation. At this time, an AcenTek technician will visit the property to convert services from copper to the new fiber optic network. Once this is done, residents will begin enjoying the benefits fiber optics have to offer. The estimated date for customers in rural Rushford (phase one) to be installed is spring of 2019.