Cummington Connect Updates!

July 2020

Week of July 27, 2020

July 29, 2020


Dear Cummington Residents,


The TriWire crews continue to work on splicing and testing in FSA 02 and FSA 04. FSA 03 has been tested by both TriWire and WG&E and will be released to the customer service folks to start making appointments for the installations. We expect to see FSA 02 ready for final testing by August 4th, with the other 2 Field Service Areas to quickly follow. As we have noted, after construction is finished, first TriWire does bilateral tests on each connection, then WG&E has a whole series of tests for OPM (Optical Power Meter) certification. Once TriWire releases an area, then it is another couple of weeks of testing before certification.



What about underground connections? If you have an underground connection, you should have gotten or will soon get, a phone call from Westfield Gas and Electric for a consult in FSA 03. All other FSAs will soon follow. These are critical and must be done before the underground connections can be done.


This is a multi-step process. First you get a phone call for the consultation appointment.The consultant will come to your home and go over the designed path. You will need to be home to sign off on this.


The next 3 steps will happen over the next 30 days, but you will not need to be home, nor will you get a phone call.


  1. If Dig Safe needs to be called, they will come out to flag the path.
  2. The crew from the sub-contractor, Advantage Utilities will come to put in the microduct.
  3. Another crew from Advantage Utilities will come and install the fiber into either existing or the newly installed conduit.


Then your underground conduit will be ready for the network installation and you will get a phone call from Whip City when it's your turn ( done on a first to sign up/first to get installation basis).


So far there are 48 consults that have been scheduled or completed and 16 homes with the conduit construction completed. There are another 8 scheduled for today. * Note- this isn't the broadband connection- it is the underground conduit.



Municipal Network

As part of the town broadband project, the MLP is also working to provide a municipal network. Ideally, when complete this will provide a much needed service to the town.



What's next?

Crews continue to work on splicing and testing. The customer service reps are contacting all the underground connection customers for consults. FSA 02 will be released for final testing . All the other FSAs are on track. Customer service from Whip City fiber will soon begin calling to schedule installations to homes in FSA03. This will be done on a first in/first out basis by sign up dates.


We post where the crews will be every day on the main page of the town website under Recent News, as well as on both Facebook and Twitter.

Which FSA am I in?

We often refer to these FSAs as if everyone knows what we are talking about and which FSA (Field Service Area) they are in. Here's a link to quickly check to see which area your home is in. https://bit.ly/findmyFSA
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Successful Tests in FSA 03

As part of the testing process W G & E installed broadband in 6 homes a couple weeks ago and will be doing another 7 this week. These pioneers are basically testing out the system and the backhaul system. (Backhaul is kind of like the highway that data needs to use to get from the provider to the customer. In Cummington we are using fiber for the medium to allow data to move from one point to another. Another example would be wireless backhaul- cell towers to make these connections. Fiber is more expensive, but more reliable and faster.)


So what have these brave (lucky) homeowners found as they use the system? Some quotes:


"You can't even imagine how grateful we are to you and how incredibly happy we are! It changed our lives." ( Bruce and Victoria)


Dave says, " The new WiFi is working great. I’m able to download items quickly, and stream movies without buffering. The phone system seems to work very good also. The change was seamless. Thanks to the committee for all their hard work.


When we asked Karl how the install process went, "Everything went really well and quickly and we are very happy with the service! Thank you so much! This is really a great thing the town has done and I’m sure it will really enhance the quality of life here for everyone and provide better economic opportunities for people of Cummington. Especially with the current pandemic."


Here's a few photos of the installation at Karl and Liz' house.

Underground Conduits

I had never actually seen one of these Ditch Witches in action, and got the chance to watch the sub-contractor- Advantage Utilities- put in the lines at Bernie Forgea's house. I was really surprised at not only the speed, but how little mess was made. Here's a couple clips to show you what I mean. This happens after the initial consult, after the flags are set up for the path and they have contacted Dig Safe.
Ditch Witch

Broadband Signups

Remember that you can still make changes, eg. switch from a cold drop to a service drop. Just go back to the WCF sign up page and put in your changes, call WCF customer service ,1-413-485-1251, or email the MLP committee and we can help you out.

Streaming

Streaming... what is it? Is it part of the broadband service? Can I get rid of my dish? What channels does it get? So many questions...


Hopefully this link to the streaming information from Whip City can help answer many of those questions. https://bit.ly/streamingwcf

Progress Tracking Week ending July 24

This is quick video of the progress tracker for the entire project. The colors correspond to various stages of construction from make-ready, to fiber placement, splicing and testing. If it's blinking, it is in progress. The map is updated constantly and shows us where we are in the project.
Progress Tracker- Week ending 7.24.20
newsletter July 2020

Cummington MLP

Allan Douglas, MLP Manager

Maureen Tumenas

Scott Keith

Brenda Arbib

Mike Perkins

Having trouble? Who do you call?

Once things are up and running... If your internet is down- call Whip City 413-485-1204


If your power is out- call Eversource: 800-592-2000

If your landline is out- call Verizon: 1-800-922-0204