Fiber Service Suspension

A letter from the President/CEO


FAQ

What’s happening? 

We have paused expanding our fiber network. Consolidated Cooperative is delaying mainline construction of its residential mainline fiber network to all members. 

Why are you doing this? 

We are re-evaluating how to best provide broadband for our members. Our original plan included continually evaluating the rapidly changing market and actual costs involved in our efforts, and there has been enough change to warrant this delay for the best interests of our members. 

Why didn’t you plan better? 

Some changes cannot be foreseen. Our plans included reasonable levels of contingencies; however, factors we could not realistically foresee drove costs outside of acceptable limits. Additionally, new funding opportunities are becoming available and to minimize the financial impact on our broadband customers we need to take time to pursue those resources. 

When is fiber construction going to resume? 

We simply don’t know currently. We will be spending considerable efforts into adapting our plans and seeking newly available funding opportunities, but until those plans are complete, we cannot provide an accurate estimate. We are just as anxious as you are! 

What can I do to help? 

Reach out to your legislators. Contact your state and federal legislators about the importance of rural broadband. Every little bit helps! It’s a cooperative effort and appropriate governmental funding will help accelerate our efforts.  

What happened to cause the delay? 

Several factors, but the biggest is increasing costs caused by global economics and the current labor market. The delays we encountered in late 2018 with the loan funds through the USDA gave us the opportunity to carefully examine our actual costs to the original plans. Global economics and local labor costs created conditions that drove our costs outside the acceptable parameters of our original plan. The solutions to those challenges are complex and will take time for us to determine how best to move forward.  

Hold up – my fiber internet is already working. Is it going to stop? 

No – if you already have working internet service from Consolidated, you will continue to have service.  

What if I’ve already made a deposit?! 

It depends on where you are located whether you will get service or receive a refund. If we already have mainline residential fiber built to your zone you will get service. Houseman, Ostrander North, Ostrander South, and Olive Green will get service; other zones will receive a refund.  

My yard is already dug up! Who’s going to restore my yard?! 

Nothing there has changed; we will. Our construction crews are accountable for maintaining your community and keeping a clean work environment. If there is any disruption to your property, Consolidated will repair it.   

I know you’ve got fiber strung in front of my house. Can you just connect it, so I can have broadband? 

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple; it just depends. Not all fiber is the same. Fiber is a complex network, and individual hookups like that aren’t always possible. Please contact us so we can look at your specifics.  

How can you do this? You promised us we were going to get high-speed internet – for years!  

We hear you, and we understand. Those were our expectations, but the market has changed. We’re just as disappointed as you are, and we continue to work diligently within our scope to see that broadband internet service is made available to your residence as soon as practical.  

When you start back up will the prices be advantageous as they are now or will we see an increase?

​Until our reevaluation plans are complete, we cannot provide an accurate estimate on future pricing.

With the implementation of the new farm bill and the American Broadband Initiative under Rural Development, do you see fiber optic installation occurring in the near future?

We are investigating various funding opportunities, but we implore you to reach out to your legislators. Contact your state and federal legislators about the importance of rural broadband. Every little bit helps! It’s a cooperative effort and appropriate governmental funding will help accelerate our efforts.

If you have additional questions, please call us at 800-421-5863 or email service@consolidated.coop