Monthly Fiber Update: September

Huge Capacity is Ours!

The road is now clear for a fiber-optic superhighway. With the threat of a wide-scale Internet outage behind us now, we turn our sights on the new OPALCO submarine cable being installed in the next few weeks between San Juan and Lopez islands. This new cable will provide power and fiber transport (144 fiber strands) that will provide our network with greater stability and redundancy.

With the help of Rock Island and OPALCO, CenturyLink completed their work of replacing and removing their decaying fiber cable between San Juan and Lopez in August. After years of lobbying and letter-writing, they reacted in the final hour and cleaned up their mess so that OPALCO can commence with their work this month.

This crossing and the new fiber path is a pivotal moment in the Rock Island story. Thank you for following along with us this year. It was a wild ride, but now we can breathe a little easier.


Fiber Projects

We’d like to highlight the success of our fiber-optic Internet project this month. We currently have construction plans set through the end of April 2018, with about one year’s worth of work in the planning stages beyond that. With over 1,100 fiber connections made to date, there is no hint that fiber to the home or office will be slowing down anytime soon.

Take a look the groups in construction or planning at the moment. This list represents hundreds of homes and businesses soon to be connected to our fiber network:

  • Bonnie Brae on Orcas Island
  • Buck Mountain on Orcas Island
  • Carefree on San Juan Island
  • Cessna Avenue on San Juan Island
  • Eastsound Core on Orcas Island
  • Friday Ave on San Juan Island
  • Gary Oak on San Juan Island
  • Hannah Road on San Juan Island
  • Harney View on Orcas Island
  • Hilltop on Lopez Island
  • Humphry Head on Lopez Island
  • Lopez Village on Lopez Island
  • Madrona Satellite on Orcas island
  • Mitchell Bay on San Juan Island
  • Oberon Wood & Oberon Meadow on Orcas Island
  • Opal Commons on Orcas Island
  • Panorama on San Juan Island
  • Portland Fair on San Juan Island
  • Roche Harbor Condos on San Juan Island
  • Rosario on Orcas Island
  • Salmon Point on Lopez Island
  • Shark Reef Rd on Lopez Island
  • Wild Rose Meadow on Orcas Island
  • Yacht Haven on San Juan Island
  • View Haven on Orcas Island


Come on in, visit our website or call to learn more about fiber organizing. We’re still building our plans for 2018, so act now to get on our books.

Learn more about fiber organizing here:

A special note: THANK YOU to all of you who have been through our organizing process and are now our fiber customers. We know it was a journey and we are happy to have been your partner through the process!


Rock Island/T-Mobile Retail

Silently over on San Juan Island, a bustling little retail store has been #1 in their distribution network every week since they opened. In just about 100 days, Rock Island has placed over 600 phones in locals hands, and achieved more than what a mature T-Mobile store does on a monthly basis after years of being in business.

Sheila Martin and a crack team of frontline warriors including Summer Martin, Miles Cabrera, Becca Soland, Ferah Uri, and Dylan Allen, have been getting up-to-speed on the mobile retail business and all of its complexities. We have not been perfect, and we thank the community for their patience as we work to get better every day.

What we can say is that there are now 600+ more people in our county that can call 911 in an emergency and get through in a significantly wider area if needed. Come on in today and learn more about the benefits of switching to T-Mobile. We’re happy to help.



Free Technology Classes

Our free tech classes are designed to empower you with technology, and everyone is welcome – and did we mention it’s free? That’s right, anyone and everyone are welcome to come and learn about the latest technology and trends in our 2-hour seminars.

We will be hosting this series on San Juan, Orcas and Lopez Islands from now until the end of the year at our public libraries. In these classes, we will cover a wide range of topics each week. The curriculum will be the same on every island, so don’t worry about missing anything or having to travel to another island for a class you want to catch.

Here are our upcoming classes, all free of charge:

** There will be no classes during the week of September 11-15 **

Digital Photography

Whether it you use a smartphone or a dedicated digital camera, the principles remain the same. However, for this class, we will be focusing on dedicated digital cameras. Get the most out of your digital camera of choice and take better pictures.

Please do bring your digital camera to the class.

Friday Harbor – Monday September 18, 10am – 12pm
Orcas Island – Tuesday September 19, 10am -12pm
Lopezisland –  Friday September 22, 10:30am – 12;30pm


Photo Editing and Organizing in Apple’s Photos App

Get your photos organized into albums and events. Learn about the different file formats – their advantages and disadvantages. Learn how to crop, brighten, enhance and share your photos.

Friday Harbor – Monday September 25, 10am – 12pm
Orcas Island – Tuesday September 26, 10am – 12pm
Lopez Island – Friday September 29, 10:30am – 12:30pm

See the rest of our schedule and learn more about our Rock Island classes on our website:

We’ll see you at a class soon, and don’t worry, there is no need to sign up in advance. Just come on down if you have the time and we’ll be happy to greet you.

That’s all for this month. Thank you for your time and attention. We’ll be back next month with another Monthly Fiber Update. We appreciate your ongoing support; we couldn’t do this without you!

All our best,

The Rock Island Team

P.S. – 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.