In Summer of 2016 we purchased 40 miles of cable system from a defunct RF Cable system, this type of system is one way for transmission of Television. Our vision was to convert it into a two-way Internet system without Television. There really isn’t a need for cable TV anymore since it’s normally 150+ channels of junk TV when you can buy Hulu for $11.99 and watch what you want when you want to. We were confident it wouldn’t take too much time to get the system converted and operational, boy were we wrong.
A half million dollars later and at $25K a month in expenses, a new warehouse, multiple bucket trucks and four employees dedicated to the cable system and over 2 years later it’s finally been rebuilt enough that it’s finally usable. We have learned a tremendous amount of knowledge about cable which is an entirely different business than Wireless, in fact our cable employees have nothing to do with our Wireless side and we’ve kept them separate so each side could concentrate on their respective jobs.
In the process Washington Broadband doubled the size of our company employees and also ordered our second 10 gigabit per second circuit. I should point out that the phone company only runs 1 gigabit circuit to the small communities that we now serve with 10 times the bandwidth. Our goal is to make our network entirely two different paths. The new cable 10gbps circuit runs through Goldendale along the Columbia Gorge straight to Portland. The Wireless side of our business has a 10gbps connection over the cascades to Seattle. We’re the only Internet company that runs completely divergent paths with such high capacity. This means our uptime will be better than most any other provider as proven last year when Charter went down, we never went down because of our strong belief in redundancy and divergent path Internet backhauls.
To assist in moving large amounts of bandwidth we have laid 7 miles of fiber optic cable from Gleed to Naches and up to the city of Tieton. We have another 5 miles of fiber that will be deployed this summer to Cowiche and into West Valley. The system in the Gleed/Tieton/Cowiche areas is cable for residential and Fiber for businesses. We also have cable up the Nile Valley but we’re at least another year or two out from putting that in service. The fiber system will be used in West Valley as we will start snaking through neighborhoods with what’s called a GPon fiber to the home system. That system is actually already running, we just need to put up more fiber. I’ve heard my competitors talk about having fiber, trust me they don’t have one foot of fiber but where they connect their Wireless networks. We actually are already on 2500 Pacific Power poles so we actually walk the walk, while they talk the talk.
OK what you’ve been waiting for, where does the Cable system run? We will be charging the system in four segments, the first is the Town of Naches for which we already have a signed Franchise Agreement. That is the system that is working right now. The next leg will be charging the Gleed system which will happen in a few months. In late Spring we’ll have Tieton ready to turn up and into the Fall we’ll have Cowiche ready to go. We do have a significant amount of cable up on poles in the North Selah areas where Charter also runs on the same poles. We’d rather spend our time building our network into underserved rural areas first so we don’t anticipate adding service to that area anytime soon.
I realize that our first deployments will be where our cable passes by your home or business. We will not be trenching, at our expense, extending to areas we are not right now for about a year. Then we will start installing drops down long driveways, planting more right-of-way poles of our own but for now we’d first like to start seeing a return on our current system. There are some areas where it’s not practical to extend cable due to low density houses. For those we will be building fiber fed Wireless radios that will feed these smaller developments with Wireless at much higher speeds than even our current Wireless network can provide.
We’re working on the map that will be online and a link placed here within a week. We’re SO happy to have this segment of our new system, with Wireless beginning to be an unusable product with all the overpowered home routers and competitors who feel they should interfere as their method of marketing we welcome a sound wired network. We’ll keep the same policies of stable pricing and even more consistent speeds that you don’t see in the National companies. Our initial pricing will be $39/month for 3 months at 25mbps/down and 3mbps upload or $79/month for 100mbps download and 3mbps upload. This is a $20/month initial discount we are offering through April 1st and then you can decide after that 3 months which plan you wish to stay with. We also have business plans for higher upload speeds and of course fiber optic pricing for larger businesses. Call for that pricing.