Muscatine Power and Water (MP&W) has announced that construction of their much-anticipated Fiber to the Home project is getting underway.
System contractor Atlantic Engineering Group, Inc. (AEG) will start deploying crews April 6. Utility and contractor representatives, along with local dignitaries, will officially “break ground” in front of MP&W’s 3205 Cedar location April 12. The public is invited to attend the outdoor ceremony. The first customers are expected to be moved to the new fiber system by mid-2017, with construction moving from neighborhood to neighborhood through the end of 2018.
While much of the initial work will be building system architecture and converting main communication lines, MP&W wants residents to know that they should expect to see contractor vehicles and workers in and around commercial areas and residential neighborhoods where services will run. At this time, no one will need access to the inside of homes or businesses, but everyone is asked to exercise caution when driving in construction zones. AEG workers will have proper identification and their vehicles will bear signage indicating they are sub-contractors of MP&W.
“We wanted to give everyone a heads-up,” said Erika Cox, Community and Employee Relations Director. “Just like our own Electric, Water and Communications workers sometimes have to work in the street and enter yards, the AEG folks may need to cross property lines or briefly block traffic to complete their work on a given day. We do ask residents with outdoor pets to be aware and secure them when workers are nearby or expected.”
MP&W will provide general location information on its website and Facebook feed. Additionally, they are encouraging customers who would like to receive special email updates and other helpful information to become FIBER FANS by signing up online at mpw.org/fiberfans.
Once built, the new fiber system will enable next-generation capabilities in Internet, TV, and telephone services.
When asked to describe to customers Gigabit internets speeds (1,000 megabits), a representative gushed, “Gigabit internet is like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. It’s the top of the top of the top!”
“Several weeks down the line, AEG technicians will begin needing direct access to yards to mount devices on the exterior of customers’ homes,” said Tim Reed, Utility Service Deliver Director. “At that time, fiber will either be hung or buried on the premise. If buried, teams will use methods designed to not tear up peoples’ yards.”
Reed added that as workers move from neighborhood to neighborhood and direct access is needed, customers will be contacted directly in person, through mail and email, if available, as well as through news media and social media.
To learn more, visit mpw.org or call MP&W Customer Service at (563) 263-2631.