ELY – MIDCO, the newest fiber internet service provider operating in Ely, announced the start of fiber connections on Monday. The company, one of two fiber providers in the city, recently completed a two-year project to install fiber infrastructure throughout the city.
“Our first customers got fiber internet starting November 29, and we are rolling out fiber to more customers every week through February,” said Tenille Manning Heier, director of corporate communications at MIDCO in a statement. E-mail. “Residents of Ely will be notified as soon as they have fiber access.”
MIDCO plans to provide initial fiber optic connections to service clusters of 60 to 120 homes on an ongoing basis.
“We would like to make 1,000 connections by Christmas,” said Cole Mack, MIDCO’s vice president for field engineering and construction, who works in Bemidji. Mack said the company’s fiber service area includes 2,500 homes in Ely and Winton.
Existing customers will receive a notification that a fiber optic connection is available through their preferred communication channel with the company. MIDCO will also launch a marketing campaign on fiber availability to potential new customers.
To handle the expected volume of connections, Mack said, “We’re bringing in crews to get the job done.” The crews come from other MIDCO offices in the northern Minnesota region and complement the company’s Ely field service staff of three, plus their manager.
The known service improvement of a fiber internet connection is speed.
“We currently offer plans of up to five gigabits per second (Gbps). Of course, most people don’t need those speeds,” Mack said. He added that many modems cannot yet handle this top speed.
“Technology will catch up, but we’ve built this network to last until the end of the century.”
In addition to higher speeds, the fiber service will offer 100% high-density video service under the MidcoTV brand plus a “home wireless solution,” Mack noted, because the fiber modems that MIDCO can provide have a much longer range. larger than older cable modems.
Mack said the unseen story on the service is MIDCO’s new ‘back-end’ infrastructure which has built-in redundancy: “(For the coaxial cable infrastructure), Ely was isolated. We suffered loss of service in 2019 and 2020 because of this.Since last year, we have implemented a new back-end network.
MIDCO wanted breakdowns to be a thing of the past. To accomplish this, the new network uses two leased fiber lines from the Northeast Services Cooperative, one from International Falls and one from Duluth. In addition to these two fiber cables, MIDCO installed its own networking equipment, including all of its own fiber cables throughout Ely and surrounding areas.
“The big highlight is that there are now two routes for the internet to Ely,” Mack said. “Our equipment is redundant, so even if one (to Ely) fails, service will be uninterrupted as long as it continues on the other line. The new network is also passive, meaning it does not depend not city power like the old coax lines. If the city power goes out, we have our own power plus local backup generators to keep the grid powered up.”
While MIDCO will offer fiber connections in the city of Ely this winter, the company will also continue to expand its fiber internet service area. “We’re going to expand to the north shore of Miners Lake in the spring and summer of 2023,” Mack said. Winton will also be included in the 2023 expansion.
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