What to Expect During Your Fiber Upgrade
We’ve broken it down into six phases.
Sign Up & Choose Your Package
When your neighborhood gets selected for fiber construction, watch for marketing materials in your mail from Benton. You may also get a visit from our staff at your door to let you know the good news! At that time, we’ll gather your contact information and help you decide which package best fits your internet usage needs.
Pro Tip: Count up all the devices in your home (smart TVs, gaming consoles, tablets, laptops, phones, security cameras, baby monitors, etc.) All these devices use the internet! We want you to have the best internet experience possible; that’s why choosing the right speed for your family is a key piece of the puzzle!
Schedule Your Construction Site Visit
Before we can start digging, we first need to schedule a site visit at your home. A Benton technician will meet with you to discuss how the fiber optics will be brought up to your home. They will mark a proposed route for plowing in your fiber drop, and you’ll discuss any privately owned underground facilities (pet fences, sprinkler systems, well, septic systems, electricity, etc).
We’ll also call Gopher State to get the other underground facilities marked (water, sewer, electricity, gas, etc). It’s important that once those flags are placed in your yard, they stay put until your fiber drop has been constructed so a line doesn’t accidentally get cut. If you haven’t scheduled your site visit, but we’ve been trying to reach you, please call us at (320) 393-2115.
Construction has officially begun when the mainline gets plowed. During that time you’ll see lots of trucks and heavy machinery in your neighborhood. They are busy digging the mainline fiber cable into the main boulevard. Underground vaults are also strategically placed at that time.
Fiber Drop Construction
Once the mainline is constructed in the right-of-way, individual fiber drops are constructed to each home. Once the entire project area is constructed, we’ll then tidy up your lawn and the right-of-way the best we can by smoothing the ground and scattering grass seed.
Splicing and Networking
After the mainline fiber and fiber drops to the home are constructed, the splicing and networking phase begins. Did you know fiber optics are actually made of glass? In the splicing process, a specialized fusion splicer machine is used to precisely align the two fiber ends. The glass ends get “fused” or “welded” together using an electric arc or some type of heat. This produces a continuous connection between the fibers enabling the fastest internet speeds possible. The fiber optics get spliced from each home, then to the vault, then back to our central office or node site so it can be tied into Benton’s network. Pretty cool, huh?!
Schedule Your Install
And now for the moment, you’ve been waiting for! It’s time to schedule your installation! Our team will call you to set up an installation date. Remember your experience is only as good as the WiFi coverage in your home. Although you may have amazingly fast fiber internet, if the signal isn’t getting to all areas of your home, you’ll be left feeling frustrated and disappointed. We recommend adding Worry-Free WiFi to your internet service. When the technician is installing your internet, he’ll do an analysis of your home’s WiFi coverage so we know exactly where to place our equipment and where to boost the signal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why get fiber-optic internet?
Fiber-optic internet is the newest and fastest broadband technology out there. Fiber-optics future-proofs your internet needs for the next 25 years! A fiber line also increases the value of your home by approximately $6,000. In most cases, the fiber line is constructed at no cost to the homeowner.
What could slow down the progress of the project?
Typically we get a five to eight-month construction season. Mother Nature plays a huge role on that timeline. Rain, frost in, frost out, the temperature outside, and overly wet ground can slow us down. Inventory delays can unfortunately delay us too. Generally, we order our inventory a year or even two years ahead of time. We plan out enough vaults, pedestals, fiber optics, electronics, routers, etc. for each construction route. Natural disasters or a worldwide pandemic impacts when our inventory will arrive.
What do the flags in my yard mean?
Before we can begin digging, Benton calls in a locate to Gopher State One Call to have your underground facilities marked. Plowing typically starts within 14 days after your locate, depending on the weather. If it goes past 14 days, a new locate will need to be done. The colors of the locate flags identify what type of facility is underground:
- White Flags: Used to mark the proposed construction route
- Reg Flags: Electric
- Yellow Flags: Gas
- Orange Flags: Communication
- Blue Flags: Water
- Green Flags: Sewer
- Pink Flags: Temp Survey Markings
- Purple Flags: Unknown Utility