Monthly Fiber Update: June

Howdy Neighbor,

June’s Monthly Fiber Update is here and Summer is coming! This email series will help answer some of the most common questions we receive about our fiber initiative. We‘ll continue to send out information like this every month to keep you up to date on the project, and let you know how to get involved if you choose to do so.

If you missed prior editions, you can read them here. If you prefer not to receive these updates, simply click the “unsubscribe from this list” link at the bottom of this email.

The Rock Island team is currently engaged in several fiber projects throughout the county with a long line of projects on the horizon. No other project of this scale has ever been rolled-out in our county to date, and we’re proud to be leading the effort in this historic event! Thank you for your ongoing support.

Here is our current project list; we hope you have enjoyed watching our progress:

Current Group-Funded Projects: These are groups that have gone through the fiber organizing process, paid for their middle miles and are currently under construction.

Harney View Park on Orcas Island
Cayou Valley on Orcas Island
Brown Island on San Juan Island
Cape San Juan Part 2 on San Juan Island
Salmon Point on Lopez Island
Elderberry on Orcas Island
Matia View on Orcas Island
Whiskey Hill on Lopez Island

Upcoming Group-Funded Projects: These are groups that have gone through the fiber organizing process, paid for their middle miles and are waiting to be scheduled by our construction team.

Downtown Eastsound on Orcas Island
Hilltop and Sea Ranch on Lopez Island
Otter’s Pond on Orcas Island
Roche Harbor Village on San Juan Island
Garry Oak on San Juan Island
Portland Fair Area on San Juan Island
Panorama Place on San Juan Island
Walker Drive and Karen Ln on Orcas Island
Morley Drive on Orcas Island
Indian Point on Orcas Island

ONLINE Fiber Groups: Just as it sounds, these people all have gigabit fiber connections in their homes and/or businesses!

Eagle Lake on Orcas Island
Alder Cottages on Orcas Island
Alder Forest on Orcas Island
Seattle Pacific University on Blakely Island
Mineral Heights on San Juan Island
Mineral Point on San Juan Island
The Highlands on San Juan Island
Cape San Juan Part 1 on San Juan Island
Morning Light on Orcas Island
Spring Point on Orcas Island
LCLT Tuatara Rd on Lopez Island
The Hamlet on Lopez Island

There are hundreds and hundreds of fiber connections under development now and in planning for the year to come. If you want to get your group organized, please visit our website to learn more about the process.

We’re getting busy on San Juan!

San Juan residents are getting very excited about the fiber activity that’s been happening on the island over the past few months. We have been rolling out miles of distribution fiber, along with setting up several key LTE wireless sites that will be coming online this summer.

If you live there, you may have noticed the huge push both OPALCO and Rock Island have been making to get fiber from the north side of the island down to the southern tip. We’ve run fiber down Argyle through False Bay, and down Cattle Point Road on a project designed to bring fiber all the way to Cape San Juan. As this segment gets lit, it will activate a second, westbound segment with over 18 miles of fiber that was hung last year down Bailer Hill, Douglass and San Juan Valley roads.

As fiber lights up across the island, groups like Garry Oak, Portland Fair, and Panorama Place will start getting service. If you have been waiting to get connected, it’s time to start thinking about mobilizing your group! Talk to your neighbors and be sure to visit our website to get educated on the process.

Video Update on Rock Island Communications

Islanders sometimes think that OPALCO’s commitment to fiber Internet began a short time ago. This 9-minute video ties the history of fiber optic communications in the county, and the work of Rock Island, to the OPALCO mission of improving our quality of life in the islands.

Foster Hildreth serves as general manager for both OPALCO and its wholly-owned subsidiary Rock Island Communications. In this video, he talks about Rock Island’s progress over the past year. This update video is packed with details and numbers outlining the company’s progress since early last year. Enjoy!

Why am I not on your fiber project list??

We hear people ask this question from time to time after publishing our project roster (above and in the local papers) and its worth mentioning what it means to be on our list. The main confusion seems to be centered around the notion that someone has, at one time or another, completed an indication of interest form online. This could have happened during one of the formation periods of this project years ago, or as recent as visiting our Indication of Interest page today. These forms were designed gather ‘interest’ in fiber service around the county, and as such, does not put anyone on a fiber project list automatically.

At this point in time, organizing and getting on our project list requires more than filling out an interest form. Any group on our project list has gone through several phases – from organizing locally and selecting a Fiber Group Organizer (FGO) to represent their group – to receiving a final middle mile design from Rock Island and making a payment on that invoice.

Getting fiber at this phase of our project requires following a process that we outline on our website. Visit the Fiber Broadband section of our site to learn more about getting your group online and start your journey today.

We hope that helps clarify this subtle point! We recommend you attend one of the Monthly Group Organizer Meetings we hold every month. This month we will be at the Lopez Library on June 15th, from 5:30 – 6:30pm.

Monthly Open Meetings; Lopez Island in June

We started hosting monthly fiber meet-ups to open up a longer format, face-to-face dialog with the community about our fiber project. Meetings rotate every month from island to island and we hope to see you at one soon!

We announce upcoming meetings and locations here and in our local papers every week. Be sure to attend at least one of these meetings if you’re interested in learning more about our progress.

Please join us at the Lopez Library this month. All are welcome and there is no cost to entry.

Here are the details:

1) Our Monthly Open Meeting: Join us next for this general information session. We will provide a general update and answer questions from the audience.

Next Meeting: June 8th. from 5:30 – 6:30pm

2) Monthly Group Organizer Meeting: Learn more about organizing your group at this session. We will go over the process and share best practices on how other groups have organized and got fiber to their homes for reasonable rates.

Next Meeting: June 15th, from 5:30 – 6:30pm

Both of June’s meetings will be held at:

Lopez Library
2225 Fisherman Bay Rd
Lopez Island, WA 98261
(360) 468-2265

That’s it for now all. We’ll return next month with another edition to our monthly fiber update. In the meantime, thank you for your time and your support. We couldn’t do this without you!

All our best,

The Rock Island Team