Residential Fiber Pilot Program Q&A

//Residential Fiber Pilot Program Q&A
Residential Fiber Pilot Program Q&A2019-02-08T15:53:28+00:00
What is fiber, or fiber optics?2019-02-11T10:57:14+00:00

Fiber, or fiber optic line, is actually a thin strand of glass that is stretched to great length and can conduct light similar to the way a wire conducts energy. The light that flows through the glass fiber carries data. A powerful advantage to fiber is that this light travels at the speed of light—making fiber the fastest available method for data delivery.

Why is fiber important to Idaho Falls?2019-02-08T11:38:56+00:00

High speed, broadband data connectivity is essential for business and economic development. It is the future of digital communication and essential for the growth and success of business, government and education

How is fiber distributed throughout the city?2019-02-08T11:38:52+00:00

Fiber is distributed throughout the city in one of two ways. It is strung along poles with existing overhead power lines or it is buried underground, within existing or new conduits.

What is “dark fiber?”2019-02-08T11:38:47+00:00

Dark fiber is a strand of unlit fiber that is available for use and is not currently transmitting data.

What does it mean to “light” fiber?2019-02-08T11:38:42+00:00

Data transferred via fiber is transmitted by light. So to “light” fiber means to activate it or transmit data through it.

Does Idaho Falls already have a fiber system?2019-02-11T10:56:46+00:00

Yes. Idaho Falls has operated a fiber optic enterprise using a “dark fiber” model since 2002. We provide and maintain the fiber while other entities light it with their data and electronics. We do not currently have fiber in residential neighborhoods.

Who uses that system?2019-02-22T08:45:41+00:00

There are over five hundred and fifty (550) connected fiber locations in the city used by twenty (20) different business customers. While the city provides the fiber, Local Internet Providers “light” the fiber, or provide the data service to the businesses.

What is the purpose of providing residential fiber service?2019-02-14T11:59:34+00:00

Change and innovation in the electric utility business require enhanced connectivity to customers. In the near future IFP will have the need to use fiber technology to connect to customers in order to provide advanced metering systems, demand response, time-of-day pricing and outage response and restoration. In addition, there has been increasing demand from residents to provide residential fiber service for their use in additional internet connectivity. A great many residents also want the option to work at home with state of the art speed and reliability.

Can the fiber network be used for both purposes?2019-02-11T10:56:08+00:00

Yes. Monitoring, metering and response for IFP purposes will only take a tiny portion of the available bandwidth available through fiber. Local Internet Service Providers can utilize the significant remaining capacity to provide data service to residents.

Why doesn’t a private company provide the fiber infrastructure instead of Idaho Falls Power?2019-02-14T12:02:16+00:00

Idaho Falls Power is a “not for profit” utility that already owns utility poles, utility easements, underground conduit, and hundreds of miles of existing fiber that could be used to provide the backbone connectivity for a community-wide fiber optic service. Because of this existing infrastructure already in place, IFP believes it can run the fiber for far less cost than what it would cost others.

Will Idaho Falls Power be providing Internet service?2019-02-22T08:44:33+00:00

No. Idaho Falls Power and Idaho Falls Fiber are only installing the fiber and will maintain and manage the physical infrastructure not the actual internet service. Our utility has over 118 years of experience with maintaining similar reliable infrastructure.

Who will provide Internet service?2019-02-22T08:43:37+00:00

Local Internet Providers! A public-private partnership was established between Idaho Falls Power (IFP) and local Internet Providers. IFP in partnership  with UTOPIA will provide the fiber and manage the open access network. Local Internet Providers will provide the data service to residents through the locally managed network. Residents will not only have access to high-speed broadband, but they will also be able to choose whichever provider and service package they desire.

What is UTOPIA?2019-02-08T11:38:02+00:00

UTOPIA is a Utah-based not-for-profit-entity, similar to Idaho Falls Power that is partnering with us to help design and engineer the residential network infrastructure and manage the open access network. They are NOT an internet service provider

Will I have to pay for this even if I don’t use the service?2019-02-14T12:03:13+00:00

No. The only time a resident is charged is if they are using the fiber. Resident will also not have to pay for the installation of the fiber network in the area.

What if I don’t want to connect right away? Can I connect later to the network?2019-02-08T11:37:48+00:00

Yes. Residents can connect in the future without having to have ever been connected before.