Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

By Jim Pilgrim

I’ve joined the club. West Central Telephone Association just today cut me over from copper to their new FTTH network.

There are a couple of odd circumstances that stand out to me in the event. The first is where it is. I’m not sure I would have guessed that I would have FTTH at my farm house, in very rural Minnesota, before my home in a Minneapolis suburb. Secondly, I’ve been in the telecom industry for 32 years and the last 5 of that have been very specific to the FTTH market where I work with engineering consultants on FTTH designs and products.

So now I have the end result, premiere service, from the industry that I have been dedicated to serve for the past 5 years. Very cool!

I always thought of my farm as a sanctuary away from being “connected”. I would rather be working outside, cutting wood for my wood-burning stove or 4 wheeling, snowmobiling, or hunting on the wooded 230 acres. I got by just fine with a single landline and satellite TV, with nothing more than dial-up capability for data. I always thought that would be good enough. But last fall when I found out WCTA was passing me with fiber; I decided to take the triple-play bundle. Give it a try, support my industry. I couldn’t be happier.

3 techs came out and installed the NID in my basement, ran Cat5E to my 2 TV set-top boxes. They configured the wireless router that is integrated in the NID, set up the security, and we were rolling. I got the basic package which includes all the TV channels I wanted, landline, and 5mb/s downstream and 1mb/s upstream data. All for $99/month, free installation and equipment.

The TV picture was clean and crisp, my laptop loved the data speeds, and my phone line worked. Life is good.

Don’t tell my boss, but I may be working from home a little more now, my home in the woods.

I’m on an Active Ethernet network. So when I’m a grandpa, hopefully not for several more years, I can have WCTA crank up my bandwidth and download 3D videos of my grandkids playing basketball. Don’t laugh, it’s going to happen. I’ve joined the club and I am very happy with the membership. I’m one of 6 million homes that are connected with FTTH across our country. There are about 18 million homes passed, not sure what they are waiting for.

5% of American homes have been connected and 17% have been passed. So I’m in the club early.

I guess I better get up out of my chair on the porch, take my laptop and head back to Minneapolis and go to work; or maybe not.