Dear Nushagak Cooperative Broadband Members,
A lot has happened since our annual meeting in March of this year. I am contacting you to give you an update on the NETC broadband upgrade, the microwave systems buildout project, and progress on the local connections we use to deliver internet access to homes and businesses in our communities.
The DSL (phone line based internet access) upgrade initiated last year is nearing completion. DSL capacity was upgraded in Dillingham, Aleknagik, Clark’s Point and we are currently working to complete Manakotak.
The DOCSIS (cable tv system based internet access) upgrade is ongoing. The Head End (main delivery point) has been upgraded with a new building and new electronics. The plant upgrade will begin late August.
The microwave transport system between Dillingham, Clark’s Point and Manakotak was upgraded in 2017-2018. This effort allows for significant new capacity to serve these communities.
In an ongoing effort to increase transportation capacity between the local systems, several new fiber connections have been made in the last two years and several more are being planned for next year.
Now that we have a strong foundation, we need to provide our communities better access to the internet including improved speeds and data capacity. We approached this project with the goal of providing as much of the service as we could while minimizing the need for third party assistance.
To address this need, NETC initiated a microwave long haul transport project in October of 2018. The original design included seven sites starting in Dillingham and ending in Anchor Point, where NETC would access fiber-based internet.
As we worked through the project, NETC realized we could leverage existing GCI resources to deliver better value to our customers. NETC and GCI have come to an agreement that will enable NETC to access GCI fiber-based internet in Levelock. This partnership allows NETC to change the scope of the build and eliminate four of the seven sites including three mountain top repeaters. This change means that NETC will be able to greatly reduce the construction and ongoing maintenance costs of the project while increasing reliability and without diminishing service or access capabilities. This updated project plan will be phased in over three years with the first phase on track for completion this year.
We are proud of our progress so far and look forward to future projects that will help us deliver even better service, at a greater value, to our members.
Bob Himschoot, CEO/General Manager
Nushagak Electric & Telephone Cooperative, Inc.
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