Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘fiber optic cable

Fiber Buried

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The ongoing waiting game notched another step closer to having a fiber cable internet connection in our home when the crew showed up yesterday to run the cable from the pole on the street up to the side of our house.

I found it fascinating to observe the techniques of burying cable from close proximity. They had to bore under the road to bring the cable from the pole to our property. I learned they use a jet of water to carve a path for their piping. There was a rather large crew who took turns doing a fair amount of waiting between moments of busy activity.

They actually start at the house and bury the cable back down to where it gets pulled through a protective tube they install beneath the road.

Wherever they cross a gas line or the buried electric supply line, a hole is carefully shoveled to provide clear visibility of the depth they must avoid.

I attempted to schedule the last step of the in-home connection but jumped the gun because there is one more task that needs to happen first. Today’s crew simply buried the fiber optic cable and mounted a box on the outside of our house. A different person will show up to splice the connection of the cable routed under the road from our house to the feed that comes off the telephone pole.

I’m told that once the splice is done a tag will be hung on our front door with instructions to call to set up an appointment for the technician to run the cable from the box on the outside of the house through the wall to where we will connect the modem they provide.

It shouldn’t be long now until we take a leap forward into the present-day state of streaming content on the internet.

We will finally be able to allow our devices to download software updates whenever they become available, along with other high bandwidth activities. Streaming music threatens to command my attention for more hours a day than I should allow. I may need to actually practice some self-discipline or something.

Before I get to start worrying about that, somebody needs to show up and splice the connection across the road. But, it sure is sweet to have the cable finally buried up to the house. That is a milestone for which we have long awaited.

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Written by johnwhays

September 21, 2022 at 6:00 am

Within Weeks

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Indications hint at our fiber broadband connection coming within 4-6 weeks. We’ve been waiting for about a year since our rural Pierce Pepin electric cooperative announced the launch of a new subsidiary, Swiftcurrent Connect, to provide high-speed internet service to members.

Tuesday evening I received an email announcing it was time to sign up for the connection to our house. I logged in and signed up immediately. Just 12 hours later, Cyndie reported seeing a utility truck on our road.

They were hanging fiber optic cable on our electric poles. By the end of the day, I noticed a drop from the pole on the other side of our driveway, coiled up and ready for connection to a line to be buried alongside our electric supply up to the house.

I don’t mean to be greedy, but I’m really hoping we don’t have to wait the full number of weeks for that line to the house to be installed. Maybe the fact that the cable showed up on our electric pole about the same time they contacted me for sign-up is a good sign of their efficiency.

Either way, our wanting something like this for the ten years we’ve been here makes waiting a few more weeks seem like something we should be able to handle. Soon, we will be able to discontinue delivery of Blu-ray discs from Netflix through U.S. snail mail for our movie entertainment desires.

I look forward to being able to update software without fretting over consuming the majority of our allotted monthly data. We have been living under the arbitrary limitations of GB of data per dollar I was willing to pay. Our service provider gladly offered to sell us more full-speed data whenever we used up our initial 15 GB in a month but it was at what I felt was an excessive price.

Feels a little like we are catching up with the current century. Or, it will in a few weeks or so.

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Written by johnwhays

August 11, 2022 at 6:00 am

Struggling Here

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Our connection to viable speed internet has been hit and miss for much of the last ten years since we moved to our central location in Pierce County, WI. We are not very far away from more populated communities but we are decades behind in digital connectivity.

There are options we could have paid for that would improve our situation but over a year ago we resigned ourselves to waiting for a promised fiber-optic connection currently being installed in the community by our local power cooperative. It seems now that as the fiber gets closer to our driveway, our usage has become increasingly taxing on our current limited bandwidth service.

This month has been particularly frustrating because I messed up and wasted gigabytes transferring documents and updating an application in the first days of our 30-day period. Coincidentally, our house sitter unknowingly used up data just days before. In the days since, I have been relegated to trying to navigate at the equivalence of 1980 dialup speeds to load 2022 page complexities.

It’s all based on overall traffic. Sometimes it works for me, and other times I can’t even get a page to load to read it.

It is also constricting my ability to create posts, so that gives me an incentive to see if I can pick a temporary option to get us through the next week and a half. All the while watching the end of our driveway for utility trucks to show up with our future.

A good connection is a luxury. Enjoy it if you got it.

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Written by johnwhays

June 12, 2022 at 9:20 am

Slowly Approaching

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We’re talking fiber, baby. A cable of optical fibers to carry data in pulses of light. It will be buried alongside the electric cables that already bring power to our house. Our rural community is slowly but surely being connected to the global information highway bringing speeds that have been the norm for people in cities and suburbs for years.

On my bike ride last week, I found the spot where they had stopped for the day and was thrilled to see the optical cable getting ever closer to our street.

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On Saturday, as Cyndie and I were walking Delilah around the hayfield fence by the road, a utility car stopped and a technician got out to survey the power poles along our street. I was able to chat with the guy and learn the phases that remain before we will finally get connected. It will be longer than we wish but it’s closer than ever.

Until then, it’s cell signals and 15GB of full-speed data per month limits. If we use that up, they throttle our speeds to insufferable levels. A fate that they offer to lift if we agree to give them more money. I’m too cheap to give in to that ploy.

Hassles and limitations that seem more tolerable with the pending improvement becoming more visible on our horizon every day.

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Written by johnwhays

March 28, 2022 at 6:00 am