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Westminster, MD

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Westminster construction update: what we’ve been up to and where we’re headed next

Westminster construction update

Westminster construction update

This post will catch you up on the construction status of the fiber network in Westminster and let you know what areas can currently get crazy fast fiber Internet from Ting.

Ting completed constructing, installing and lighting of a new a new redundant backhaul connection for the Westminster Fiber Network.

A redundant backhaul connection is basically an alternate route to the larger Internet. It’s what will prevent unavoidable infrastructure issues (like an accidentally severed line) by providing a detour that Internet traffic can use. A redundant backhaul accepts the overflow in the case the main highway is closed because of an accident.

Building reliable redundancy for Westminster

redundant backhaul
We don’t think much about how the Internet gets to our homes.

Well, I mean, we here at Ting do. We think about it all the time.

We, in the collective sense, as citizens and users of the Internet, don’t. Unless our access to the Internet goes away. Then we have some questions that deserve answers.

Since Ting brought the first fiber customer online in Westminster back in August 2015, we have faced some challenges. Some of those challenges have become network outages. We’d say more outages than we’d like but one outage is more than we’d like.

Network growing pains.

Construction is underway in Westminster

You’ve probably already seen the construction crews around town, dropping conduit in the ground alongside roads to build the Westminster Fiber Network.

That’s great news because with each foot of conduit that goes into the ground, the municipal fiber network is one foot closer to completion.

It’s not great news for fence-sitters, though: The window for Phase 1 to pre-order Ting crazy fast fiber Internet is swinging shut and on December 1, 2016, it will close for good for phase 1 neighborhoods: Stoneridge Overlook, Bolton Hill, Cliveden Reach, Whispering Meadows, Village of Meadow Creek. It’s not like you can’t get Ting Internet after that date (that would not be a very sustainable business model) but the unprecedented discounts on gigabit fiber Internet offered to pre-orders will go away.

“Unprecedented discounts on gigabit fiber Internet,” you say? Indeed. $200 to apply to the $99 installation cost with the remainder ($101) going toward purchase of the Ting Internet Box ($200) or to put toward your monthly Ting gigabit Internet service. Just check your address and place a pre-order before December 1, 2016 to lock in these discounts.

ting_westminster_map_4-5

So what’s happening with the fiber network?

The crews you’ve seen around town are laying conduit. That’s the rigid tubing that routes and protects the thin glass strands that actually connect homes and businesses to the larger Internet.

If you follow these things, you may have heard that global demand for fiber is currently outstripping supply. While that affirms the strategic move the City made by choosing to build the Westminster Fiber Network, it does complicate things somewhat. That said, Westminster’s fiber is on its way and will arrive soon.

The fact the fiber hasn’t yet arrived isn’t holding up construction of the network at this point; conduit is going into the ground every day. As soon as your fiber arrives on the scene, the team will carefully pull it through the conduit that’s already in the ground.

Why is that machine in my yard?

Fiber Construction in Westminster

As the City Manager of Ting Internet, I’m excited by the network build, and look forward to the people of Westminster gaining access.

As a Phase 1 resident, I’m thrilled that I’ll soon have unfettered Internet access at my house! Just like approximately 800+ homes, I’ve had to live with utility markings on my property, navigate around construction equipment on my street, watch them dig up my grass for a test pit and what looks to be a hand hole and hope that the grass grows back. In case you’re wondering what a hand hole is, it’s a box in the ground, and when the lid comes off, it allows technicians to get in there and get their hands on the actual infrastructure.

I also recognize that this isn’t it. Later this year, they’ll bury a drop in my yard. I too am worried about where I should have the Ting team drill through my house, terminate the fiber, and place the router. I just moved here in January (yes, I picked out this house because it was in Phase 1) and my walls are a freshly-painted shade of burgundy in the room where I want the router. No matter how hard I try, the yellow or white fiber and the blue Cat 6 cables are not blending in. I’ve got some ideas of how to hide them, but short of redoing the drywall, they’re going to be seen!

Markings in my yard
Here, the construction team has marked where they need to dig.

Construction underway in Westminster

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Check out our new digs

Take a look around. Notice anything different?

Yep, we’ve updated the site. Kudos to our development team — they worked tirelessly to roll out a snazzy new site design, including a number of upgrades and fixes, separate home pages for each Ting Town, and improved load time besides!

Construction underway

SMC, Inc. has begun Phase 1 construction of the City’s fiber network and are currently burying conduit on Uniontown Road and Meadow Branch Road. They’ll be coming to your neighborhood soon, so now is the perfect time to preorder and sign the access agreement.

Contractor chosen for next phases of Westminster Fiber Network

It’s official

The Mayor and Common Council of the City of Westminster have selected a contractor to continue Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Westminster Fiber Network. SMC, Inc. is a telecommunications, utility and government contracting firm. They’ll be installing the fiber that will be powered by Ting to bring crazy fast high-speed Internet fiber to an additional 2,700 homes and businesses by 2017. Construction of Phase 1 begins this July!

Check out the official press release recently published by the City.

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