2020 is going to be a big year for Baldwin Lightstream.
Last October, the business announced plans to upgrade the copper and coax plant facilities in the villages of Baldwin and Woodville in 2020 to fiber optics.
Saturday was the last of three informational meetings the business held explaining its plans. Between 20-25 people were in attendance at the Woodville Lions Den.
Matt Sparks, Baldwin Lightstream General Manager, explained the why.
“Copper facilities are nearing the end of life,” he said. “And coax facilities have been here since the early 1980s.”
Fiber optics, he continued, provide the bandwidth customers need for online gaming, streaming content, using smart home devices, medical monitoring devices and more. High-speed internet will allow customers to download an HD movie in less than 30 seconds and hundreds of songs in three seconds.
They also increase the value of the home by approximately 3.1 percent.
“If it doesn’t have fiber, it isn’t selling,” he added.
Over the next three months, Lightstream representatives will be going door-to-door to explain the project and help homeowners determine where the facilities will enter the home.
Sparks and other Lightstream officials stressed that visit will be free and, therefore, encouraged everyone to partake in it. They also explained, they understand, if homeowners say no thanks about them entering the home. Yet, they argued, at least let Baldwin Lightstream get to the side of the house, because that cost is going to be way more in the future compared to now.
Underground fiber optics utilities will be buried in the same location as the current copper and coaxial cable at the back lot line. Customers will need to notify Baldwin Lightstream if they have private utilities or a dog fence where fiber will be installed.
The only cost for the customer will be completing the prep work, which includes establishing a network interface location (NIL). The NIL will need to be on a wall space on a plywood or wood wall and is traditionally in a utility room or an area in the basement near the power entrance.
A 1” PVC pipe will need to be installed from the NIL to the outside of your home. Lightstream officials explained it needs to be installed before the drop being plowed to avoid additional charges and will identify where the outside plant contractor needs to plow the drop. If one is unable to o the work, Baldwin Lighstream has a list of approved contractors.
Construction will start in Woodville as soon as weather permits in the spring. Outside plant construction will be completed in Woodville before crews move to Baldwin. The goal is to have all construction completed by late fall 2020.