Service is available to EVERY home and business on the West side of N 14th Street, and is also available to homes and businesses inside the red lines on these maps.
Residents residing inside the red lines on these maps can now get service!
The Construction contractor in Phase 4 and 5 is making good progress. Trucks with "Trans-Tel" logos can be seen throughout the day in the NE corner of town, making their way around to the SE corner of town.
Construction is a slow and pain-staking process. The first step involves hanging steel wire between utility poles. The next step is "lashing" fiber to the steel wire (using something similar to bailing wire). After those two steps, "closures" are installed (these are the devices customer connections are made at) ... and then the fiber can be fusion spliced inside the closures. After that, high-tech testing equipment is used to make sure the fiber and splices are adequate to actually enable service.
ETA for completion of Phase 4 and 5 is still expected by 1st quarter, 2023. Some customer service areas will come on-line as soon as the fusion splicing and testing procedures are fully completed, though. Every home and business inside any given customer service area will recieve a postcard in the mail as soon as service is ready to be installed at any particular address!
Construction in Phase 4 and 5 has begun. Contractors are working in the Northeast part of town, moving from N 14th St to Pecan along Prospect, then moving South … all the way to South Ave. Fiber optic network lines will be installed in the same fashion as the electrical service throughout each neighborhood (aerial, or conduit-buried).
Estimated completion date for Phase 4 and 5 is still tentatively stated as 1st quarter, 2023. As each individual customer service area (roughly 15 to 20 square blocks) is completed, postcards will be mailed to all addresses in that service area, announcing that service is available.
The construction bid for Phase 4 and 5 has been awarded to Trans-Tel Central, LLC, headquartered in Norman, OK. They are in the process of setting up the offices and warehouse, and anticipate beginning the actual construction process on 4/25/22.
Phase 4 and 5 consist of all homes and businesses on the East side of N 14th St, within the City limits. Estimated completion of this part of the project is 1st quarter, 2023.
Ponca City Broadband will assume ownership of customer service areas (there are 21 in Phase 4 and 5) as soon as construction and testing in each of those areas is completed. Postcards will be mailed to individual addresses, and the coverage map on the PoncaCityBroadband.com website will be updated as these service areas are ready to serve customers.
Work in the Acre Homes Subdivision (Elmwood, Glenside, Whitworth, Virginia, and Overbrook) is now complete. Postcards were mailed to everyone living in that area, announcing Ponca City Broadband is now available.
Construction continues in the rest of Phase 2 and 3. The winter weather caused a two-week delay, but the contractors have been busy all of this week.
The City Commission approved the final engineering contract for Phase 4 and 5 at their last meeting. The engineer will be on-site by the middle of March to begin that process, which is estimated to be completed by September, 2021. Once the engineering is completed and reviewed, the construction part of the project will go out for bids. Estimated construction start date for the last remaining phases of the project is January, 2022 -- and it's estimated to be complete by end of year, 2022.
Final testing has been completed and submitted for the Acre Homes Sub-division (all homes on Elmwood, Whitworth, Glenside, and Virginia). Once the test results have been verified, service will be available to those residents (ETA is 2-19-21). Residents will receive postcards in the mail 7 to 10 days prior to being able to sign up and connect. Construction in Phase 2 and 3 is still underway. This is actually a 5 stage process:
1) Steel cable is run between the utility poles and/or underground conduit is installed to hold the fiber.
2) The fiber optic cables are hung to the steel cable, or installed in the underground conduit.
3) Service ports are installed (these are the devices that service drops to the individual homes come from.
4) Testing is conducted to make sure all the individual strands of fiber work, and that each strand of fiber is identified as belonging to each particular home.
5) Testing data is verified for accuracy.
This is a slow and cumbersome process, but once finished, assures every customer will receive the best internet experience available in Ponca City.
The steel messenger cable fiber optic will hand from has been hung in more than 90% of Phase 2 and Phase 3. The contractor will begin hanging the fiber optic lines within the next week or two. Once that work has been completed they can begin isolating each strand of fiber to individual homes and splicing those fibers into the service ports the home will be connected to.
The underground work for the homes in the Acre Homes Sub-division (Virginia, Glenside, Whitworth and Elmwood) also continues. Fiber optic lines have been pulled through the conduits and the contractor is preparing to send the splicing team in by the middle of next week. It will take several weeks to complete the splicing and testing work ... but residents there should be able to get connected by the end of the year (shortly after the first of the year, at the latest).
Ponca City Broadband will be mailing postcards to every address, one to two weeks before new connections are anticipated. This will provide positive indication to customers that the service is available and they can request connections!
The contractor is in town and has set up their offices and warehouse. Materials and supplies are arriving on a daily basis. Construction efforts have already started in Phase 2 and 3 … setting ground anchors, some underground boring, and a lot of the essential "preliminary" tasks, preparing to hang fiber from utility poles, or bury it underground in conduit.
Fiber Optic network cabling is experiencing tremendous demand around the world. Lead times in Phase 1 were in the 4 to 6 week. The project hit a snag when the fiber for Phase 2 and 3 was ordered 6 weeks ago. Lead times are now in the 24 to 28 week range -- expected to hit the 52 to 60 week range before the end of the year. There's a lot of prep work that needs to be done before fiber can actually be strung between utility poles though, so at least at this point the project timeline has not been impacted. The ETA completion date for Phases 2 and 3 is still May, 2021.
The City Commission approved combining Phase 2 and 3 into a single Phase and that the construction contract will be awarded to Trans-Tel, LLC. Once the contract documents are signed, Trans-Tel has 30 days to get to Ponca City and begin construction. The combined areas of town are estimated to take 40 weeks to complete. With an August 1, 2020 target start date, that means construction should be complete by May, 2021. As construction is finished in each particular service area (there are 28 service areas in Phase 2 and 3) homes in those service areas will be able to connect and receive internet service. The first service area is expected to be completed before the end of calendar year 2020.
Phase 2 is the Southwest part of Ponca City; Phase 3 is the Northwest part. Combined with the already finished Phase 1 area, all the homes inside the City limits on the West side of N 14th St. will be able to connect and receive service. Ponca City Broadband will be mailing postcards to homes, announcing the date those homes will be able to receive service.
Construction bids for Phase 2 and Phase 3 have been published. Bid opening will be in early June, with a recommendation for the path forward presented to the PCUA Board of Trustees during their meeting on June 22, 2020. The contractor should be in town to begin Phase 2 by August 1, 2020 ... with a completion date of January, 2021. Phase 2 includes all homes West of N 14th St, and South of Highland Ave. Phase 3 includes all homes West of N 14th St, and North of Highland Ave. If both phases can be built at the same time, every home (and business) inside the City limits and West of N 14th will be eligible for service.
The project engineer is making final changes to the design and staking sheets for Phase 2 and 3. Overall the project is still on schedule. Ponca City Broadband staff will be working with the project engineer over the next several weeks to assemble the bid documents. Target date to open the bidding window is 2nd quarter, 2020 (April). Ponca City Broadband continues to receive new connection requests (residential, as well as business). Our average wait time between sign up and installation is 1 to 3 days. Customer comments about the new utility service is very positive: the service works all the time, and people enjoy receiving the level of service they pay for each month. Many customers have seen phenomenal speed increases compared to their original service provider. Many customers also comment on not having data caps -- this is positively influencing their overall internet experience (they can do/watch what they want, when they want, without having to keep track of monthly data usage, possibly altering what they do on the internet towards the end of each month).
Final engineering for Phase 2 and 3 has been completed. Crews from the engineering company are in town creating the staking sheets that the contractor will use to build the system. Staking sheets are essentially the blueprint of what will be built and is a slow, methodical process. The staking crews walk out every bit of the construction area, measuring the distance between each utility pole, making sure adequate clearance can be maintained from the ground to the fiber hanging from the poles. This process will continue until the entire area has been measured and mapped (ETA is January, 2020).
Have questions about the difference between internet and WiFi? Do you know the difference between bandwidth and speed? Do you know how much bandwidth you need? Are you trying to decide the best place to put your WiFi routers? The answer to these, and many other questions, can now be found via information videos posted at: http://www.poncacityok.gov/723/Educational-Videos Check them out!
Ponca City Broadband met with the Engineering Company this week to formally begin the final engineering process for Phase 2 and 3. This process will be an ongoing work effort between now and February, 2020. Once final engineering is complete we’ll be able to assemble the construction bid document and open the project to competitive, public bidding. Homes in the Phase 1 area continue to be connected to the new utility service. If your home is between Bradley Ave and Highland Ave, and between N 14th St and Union Ave and want the fastest, most reliable internet access in Ponca City, please come into the Utility Billing office (City Hall) and sign up for this new service!
The City Commission approved the next step of the project at this week’s Commission Meeting. Ponca City Broadband is working with the engineering firm to develop final design specifications and the staking sheets (aka: blueprints) for Phase 2 and 3 of the project. Phase 2 is the area West of N 14th St and South of Highland, all the way to the end of the City limits. Phase 3 is the area West of N 14th St and North of Highland, all the way to the end of the City limits. We want to design and bid both phases at the same time, in order to take advantage of potentially lower expenses, as well as speed the project along. We’ll actually bid the project as Phase 2 by itself, with Phase 3 as an "add-alternate". If pricing is good on the bid return we’ll recommend awarding both contracts at the same time. If not, we’ll recommend awarding Phase 2 and re-bidding Phase 3 a few months later. In any case, having Phase 2 and 3 completed means everyone on the West side of N 14th Street will have service capabilities. The estimated time for completing Phase 2 and 3 (if done together) is 1st quarter, 2021.
New customers are being added daily and, overall, their responses are encouraging. The typical customer response is "WOW! This is FAST". People desiring service need to come into the Utility Billing Office at City Hall to sign the utility services agreement. Ponca City Broadband will call within 24 hours to set up an installation appointment. The installation team typically installs a new customer within 2 to 3 days after that. Our installation appointments are set by the hour: we don’t have you sitting at home half the day waiting for us, in other words. Everything needed to connect to Ponca City Broadband is provided during the installation process and the customer is shown how to connect the first computing device before the installation team leaves that day.
Ponca City Broadband is working with the Engineering company on the final design specifications for Phase 2 and Phase 3 now. The final plan should be ready for presentation to the City Commission within the next several weeks. The Northeast corner of Phase 2 is the intersection of N 14th St and Highland, and will cover everything to the West and South City limits from that point. The Southeast corner of Phase 3 it the same intersection, and will cover everything West and North to the City limits from that point. NOTE: the existing Phase 1 area sits inside the same boundaries as Phase 3, but those homes (minus the home in Acre Homes Subdivision) are already connected. The Acre Homes Subdivision will be added back into the Phase 2 and 3 portions of the project!
Our second week of live operations. More and more customers are coming into Utility Billing to begin the process of connecting their homes to the absolute fastest and most reliable internet service in Ponca City. What sets Ponca City Broadband apart from anything else in town?
1) The utility service is locally owned and operated (by the City of Ponca City).
2) There are no long-term contracts, no data caps, no fluctuating month-to-month prices, and no asterisks. Period!
3) Ponca City Broadband is running on brand new, state-of-the-art fiber optic cables and equipment; meaning, this new utility provides excellent internet connectivity 7 days a weeks, 24 hours a day
.4) No one else in Ponca City offers truly 100% fiber optic networking. From the Central Office, all the way to the fiber modem sitting in your house -- there is nothing but fiber optics in Ponca City Broadband.
5) Fiber optic networks have little or no "latency" (wait time) to get to the internet, and offer speeds that are substantially higher than traditional wire-based (e.g. coaxial, or twisted-pair copper) networks. Bandwidth no longer matters as much in the overall equation .... as a 50 Mbps fiber optic network connection will generally out-perform a 100 Mbps wire-based connection 6 to 10 times over (in fact, a 50 Mbps fiber optic connection will usually give a 1 Gbps wire-based connection a run for its money when it comes to streaming High-definition movies, playing on-line games, or any other data-intensive use of the internet).
The sign-up process is relatively quick and easy, and installation appointments are scheduled the same, or next day (to occur anytime that week, or early the next week). Appointments for Ponca City Broadband are set by the hour, not "sometime in the morning", or "sometime in the afternoon".
Our first week of real, live operations! Customers coming into Utility Billing to actually sign up for the service throughout the week are receiving phone calls within 24 hours to set up the in-home installation process. So far we’re hitting our goal of having the installation finished within just a few days of a customer actually requesting the service. Klaasmeyer Construction continues to clean up the areas they’ve been working in: topsoil, leveling the ground, and planting grass seed. The landscaping will return to normal appearances soon.
It’s official … Ponca City Broadband will open our doors for service at 8 AM on Monday, July 8, 2019. Customers in the Phase 1 area of town must come into the Utility Billing Office located at City Hall (516 E. Grand Avenue) to sign a utility agreement form (not a long-term contract, just a form similar to what was signed to obtain Energy and Water service ), select their service plan, and pay (or make arrangements to pay) the $200.00 activation fee. Once this step is done Ponca City Broadband will call to schedule an in-home installation date and time. The in-home installation is limited to penetrating one exterior wall (no attic, crawl space, or interior wall installations will be performed). Anyone desiring more installation work than this will be referred to any of the local installation companies in Ponca City providing in-home, interior-wall installations.
Klaasmeyer continued testing the fiber runs this week. Monte R. Lee and Company have been busy keeping up with Klaasmeyer (they have to certify each of the fiber traces as being within the parameters of the project scope). The inventory warehouse shelves are steadily filling up with materials and supplies needed for in-home installations. Customers who pre-signed up for the new Utility service should expect an email from Ponca City Broadband sometime next week, announcing the "open for business" date for Ponca City Broadband (ETA for that event is still expected to be July 8, 2019).
Network electronics have been fully installed and tested. Final fiber test results on the Transport ring and Northeast corner of Phase 1 have been completed, inspected, and accepted. Testing on the remaining areas of Phase 1 will continue over the next 2 to 3 weeks. We’re still looking good for a "doors open for business" the week of July 8, 2019.
All the outside plant work is finished (fiber is installed, neighborhood service pods are in place, and splice enclosures are hung). Klaasmeyer still has several fiber splicing teams in town, as well as testing teams. Each strand of fiber has to be tested and certified to function as expected and that’s what these teams are doing now. Background work is also in process now to finalize the business systems for the new Utility service (inventory/supplies, work orders, in-home installations, etc.). Everything is still looking good for a go-live on July 8, 2019.
All service drops to the homes who pre-signed up have been installed and the contractor is working in the last customer service area to install fiber. Klaasmeyer now has 7 fiber splicing crews in town; they are making final connections and fusion splicing each end of the fiber. The transport ring has been completed, tested and accepted. As soon as the splicing teams are finished in any given customer service areas (there are 7 areas in Phase 1), final testing and acceptance certification steps will be done. Anticipated date of go live is July 8, 2019!
Construction is back on track this week, but the contractor has officially requested a 3-week time extension to complete the project. This means the system will not be operational on our June 12 target date; rather, we’re now looking at July 3, 2019. The City Commissioners approved two new contractor agreements this week, both for performing service drops and in-home installations. Ponca City Broadband staff will be meeting with those contractors to go over the details of specific tasks to be accomplished during these two installation methods.
The weather this week has certainly hampered construction efforts. Not only was work stopped for a couple of days, some of the underground boring now has to be re-done … the massive amounts of water effectively closed up most of the unfinished work. I suspect that we are now looking at a possible delay in the project (possibly and much as 3 weeks). On the positive side: both internet backhaul circuits are now in operation, the major internal electronics to run the network were installed, tested, and handed over to Ponca City Broadband, and large numbers of the in-home electronics and installation materials are beginning to arrive.
Connection to the first of our two backhaul providers was successfully completed this week. We are now ready begin configuring the network electronics, preparing for the equipment manufacturer to be on site next week to set up their equipment and test many of the in-home components. The City Commissioners approved the service agreement form, customer service guidelines, acceptable use policy statement, and a Resolution establishing the fee structure for any lost or damaged equipment. All the orders were processed this week for the last bit of the in-home installation materials; they are in transit to Ponca City now. We have experienced no construction delays at this point in the project so we’re still looking good for a completion date of June 12, 2019 ... followed by final acceptance testing. This means we are still on track for potential first customers being brought on board by July 1st!
Major work has been accomplished this week, getting connections established to our two backhaul providers. Backhaul providers are the tier 1 internet providers we work with to establish connections to the rest of the world’s internet. Final installation of both of these circuits will be completed by middle of next week. Klaasmeyer Construction has steadily been pre-connecting to the sides of homes on our pre-sign up list. In-home installations will be much faster for the homes where these pre-connections have been established. Everything is still on track for bringing customers on board toward the end of June, 2019.
Ponca City Broadband is making progress in connecting our two backhaul circuits. This is what actually connects the new Utility service to the internet … and we’re using two. If one fails, the other automatically takes over. Rain this week impacted construction efforts. Construction didn’t stop, but was slowed down a little (especially during the hard down-pours). The hardware vendor for in-home electronics confirmed their shipments are on the way to Ponca City; they will be in town within the next couple of weeks to install and test the electronics at the Central Office.
Klaasmeyer Construction began installing service drops to the homes in Phase 1 who pre-signed up for the utility service. Fiber optic cable has been extended to these homes to a demarcation point near the electric meter. From that demarcation point in-home installation will begin. Estimated time for in-home installations is still projected to be mid-June, 2019. Ponca City Broadband completed a competitive bid document and published it this week, seeking professional contractor companies assistance with additional service drops and in-home installation tasks. The close date for that bid is 3:00 PM, May 23, 2019. Ponca City Broadband will open those bids and make a recommendation to the PCUA Board of Trustees at a regularly scheduled meeting in May, 2019.
Ponca City Broadband staff reached temporary agreements with two business partners: one for network support, the other for customer helpdesk support. The temporary agreements provides time to fully understand what is actually needed in these areas so that a comprehensive bid specification can be developed for a future competitive bid process.
Ponca City Broadband and Ponca City Utility Billing have been working to finalize the customer guidelines, utility service agreement, acceptable use policies and a list of frequently asked questions. Customers who have pre-signed up for the new utility service were contacted by Klaasmeyer Construction to make arrangements to access their property to begin the initial installation process.
Contruction of the main transport loop was completed this week. This part of the network provides the communication path between the Central Office and the neighborhoods to be serviced. Klaasmeyer Contruction also began hanging the fiber optic cable into specific neighborhoods this week, which will be used to connect customer homes to the new network.
Ponca City Broadband began the research and due-diligence process for identifying potential business partners for the new Utility Service and obtaining price quotes from those potential partners for the services they will provide.
Construction in the Phase 1 area of town continues to progress. The Central Office and Network Operations Center were established this week and Ponca City selected the equipment vendor to provide the electronic components needed to run the system.
Klaasmeyer Construction arrived in town and began construction of the major, outside plant portion of the new Utility Service. Construction efforts will continue until Phase 1 is completely built out. The estimated timeframe for completing this work is Jun 12, 2019.