Dear GCPowerNet Subscribers,
We have some news about upcoming changes coming to both our service and the offerings from the Grant County PUD. We also hope that this post will be informative and a help to you in understanding what you are getting/buying when you sign up for fiber Internet service.
(1) First of all, it looks like we will soon be offering a higher-capacity account.
Currently most fiber Internet accounts are set at 100 meg caps by the PUD at the gateway. This means that under perfect conditions on the network, you should be able to see download speeds approaching 92-95 megs from some of the better download sites.
There is of course, no guarantee that speeds like this will always be available from everywhere at all times. That is the reality of things. There are too many variables involved for anyone to be able guarantee it.
All advertised download and upload speeds are “best effort” speeds, and it is not only on our part of the network. We often test them on the other providers’ networks and see the same thing as on ours.
But for those who have special needs and who want more than the 100 down the 100 up account we will soon be able to offer you a 250 down and a 250 up account.
The PUD has told us that they are prepared to support this and offer it and so we will be rolling it out soon.
They have also said they will offer a 1G down and a 1G up account and two of the larger providers are currently offering it, but we are not sure if we will do the same at this time.
Truthfully, the costs of supplying it and the cost to the customers, for what they actually get and use, with either of these accounts borders on the doubtful in terms of best value.
The fiber delivery system is so strong and so efficient that at this time I really question the need to spend extra money on the higher-capacity accounts.
Remember, when downloading data, usually there is a high-capacity, maximum load burst for a few minutes and then things settle down to a normal steady download speed. While it may be very satisfying to see a connection burst up to 200 megs or even, in the case of a gigabyte connection, burst up to 700 to 800, you usually will not see it stay there.
And then there is the issue of many destination sites limiting outflows from their servers down to your computer.
You may have a 100 meg or a 250 meg or even a 1 gig connection but the site you are downloading from may have a 10 or 20 or 50 meg download limit speed and so you cannot get any more than what they wil give you.
So really, unless you have something very specific that demands a high-capacity connection and justifies the additional cost, having one is mostly for bragging rights.
And finally, if many of you are using wireless connections within your homes, even with a high-capacity connection to the fiber, you may still be limited because your wireless router connection is often a limiting factor in upload and download speeds.
We see it all the time.
A customer will have a good solid 100 meg connection to the fiber and only be able to get 35-50 megs maximum on his download because he is using a wireless connection inside his home.
Switching over to a hard-wired connection directly into your router will often speed things up.
(2) It looks like we will be getting a small price increase from the PUD to connect customers to the fiber system.
We had one last year, a $3.00 increase, which we did not markup but simply passed along as $3.00. It was the first one that we had in several years. But now the PUD has told us that we can expect another increase starting with our April, 2019 billing.
We are trying to decide how to handle it.
We want to stay within the marketplace of prices and we are not in favor of gouging or taking advantage of our customers.
But we also need to make sure that we can cover our expenses.
Currently, we are good because we passed the entire $3.00 increase along last time.
We may be able to absorb this increase internally and do fine.
If we can we will. We will have to wait and see.
The PUD has also told us that over the next five years we can expect to get an annual increase every year at this time.
So we thought we had better let you know.
(3) It looks like there will be some major changes at the PUD in how they take care of customers.
More and more it appears that they will be pulling back many of the excellent services that they have offered to us and you in the past. And it appears that they will be transferring the responsibility for those support services to us, the providers.
Many of these changes are coming about as a result of the PUD hiring new people with new ideas to run their network. Some of the ideas are positive ones, some of them could severely set back the deployment of fiber within the County.
We think we will also be seeing a move by the PUD to push more of the expense of the fiber gateway installations out to the service providers and down to the individual customers.
Those are some of the ideas which are being floated and discussed within the PUD management levels.
In past years, the PUD has carried both the bulk of the expense of installing the fiber system to the customer homes and the support costs to keep it running. As more pressure comes from within the PUD to lower costs and increase profitability for the fiber system, we think more of it will be shifted to us, the providers and to you, the customer end-users.
We will keep you posted as we learn more.
So there you are, three news items for the day.
Thank you taking the time to read this post. If you have any comments and questions you can send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to give you straight answers that will help you.
Clint Bridges, Owner
Grant County PowerNet