The network seems slow. What is wrong?
There are many reasons that the network might seem slow. The most common fix is to reboot your wireless router; this often fixes apparent slow downs. If you want to test your connection, get an Ethernet cable and plug your laptop directly into the fiber modem and run a speed test. You will likely see that the speed test results are five to ten times faster than what you are seeing via a wireless link.
My neighbors are getting faster speed test results. Why?
Older computers and laptops have slower WiFi cards and chips. And your neighbors may be running a speed test with their laptop directly connected to the fiber modem, and you are testing via a wireless link, which could be five to ten times slower.
I get different results every time I run a speed test. Why?
Speed tests are not just testing the network in the neighborhood, they are also testing the Internet connection between you and a speed test server that could be hundreds or thousands of miles away. Time of day can affect speed tests. In the evening, the entire U.S. Internet is going to be less responsive because so many people are streaming video; the speed test results will reflect, in part, what is going on far outside Blacksburg.
Who will provide service?
Biznet is a local service provider who will offer residential and business class Internet and VoIP (telephone) services.
Will I have a choice of services?
BizNet Technologies is our first service provider on the network. More services and providers will be available as the network grows. As we add subscribers, we expect to be able to offer VoIP phone service, a package of TV, and many other specialty services.
What will I get?
Each home in our neighborhoods are getting a Gigabit fiber connection that runs back to a single cabinet where the network equipment is located.
Will my lawn get torn up?
The contractors will repair any damage caused by installing the cable from the street to the house. The contractor will bore under paved driveways and gravel driveways will have a very narrow trench dug across them and will be repaired as soon as the conduit is laid.
How does the fiber get into my house?
The fiber enters a small grey box on the side of each house, typically at the same location as your electric meter and telephone service. A short piece of fiber passes through the wall (often in an existing hole used for phone or cable), and is connected to a box very similar to a DSL modem or cable modem. The box is plugged into a standard AC wall socket for power, and your existing wireless router or Ethernet switch can be plugged in. There are four copper Gigabit Ethernet ports, and optionally, two additional ports for VoIP phone service--your existing landline phone cable can be plugged into an ATA port for voice service.
Will I have to spend a lot of money to re-wire inside my house?
You will not have to make any changes inside your house to use the WideOpen fiber connection. The box we use to connect you has copper Ethernet ports, and if you currently use a wireless router inside your home for Internet, all you have to do is plug your existing wireless router into the WideOpen box. If you have Ethernet cabling in your house (e.g. Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6), you can plug up to four cables into our box, or if you have an Ethernet switch, you can plug that into our box--quick and easy change.
Can I buy or rent the box?
We plan to have both buy and rent options for the box (also called an ONT (Optical Network Terminal), or CPE (Customer Premises Equipment). Right now, the fiber modem is included with the one time connection fee.
How long does fiber last?
Fiber typically lasts thirty years or more. Studies indicate that homes with fiber connections typically sell for $5,000 to $7,000 more than homes without fiber. It is a better investment than adding a new deck or upgrading a master bath, both of which cost more than fiber and return less when you sell your home.
How do I pay for it?
You can make a one time payment to cover the cost of installation, and Blacksburg Broadband will offer a payment plan that will allow you to pay the cost of the installation over several years to make it more affordable.
Isn’t wireless cheaper?
Wireless does not have the capacity that most homes will want even in the next two to three years. New video services from Netflix and Hulu are already being tested that require 10 to 15 megabits per channel.
What happens if I sell my house?
The fiber cable would transfer with your home to the new owner. When selling your home, having a Gigabit fiber connection will make your home easier to sell and will help your home sell at a premium compared to homes that do not have Gig fiber.
Will there be TV service?
Typically, several hundred homes would have to be connected to the network to make TV service affordable. WideOpen Blacksburg intends to expand to additional neighborhoods quickly, and we want to offer TV service as soon as possible. In the meantime, video on demand services like Netflix and Hulu will perform extremely well on the new fiber.
Where will the fiber be placed?
The fiber will be buried as close to the edge of the pavement as is possible. In most locations, this will be within two to seven feet from the road’s edge.
What if I don’t want to be connected?
There is no obligation to pay for the fiber connection to your home if you don’t want it. However, to make the project financially practical, a minimum of 60% of the homes need to agree to be connected. It will help if you talk to your neighbors and let them know about the opportunity.
How long will it take to get connected?
Once we have reached the 60% commitment mark from you and your neighbors, construction would start immediately and would be completed in about 120 days. You could have Gig fiber and be using your new Internet services by late summer.
What happens if the power goes out?
The equipment that is used to connect a neighborhood will have battery backup that will last several hours--longer than 90% of power outages. Residents can add battery backup to the equipment in their home so that the Internet and phones will work during a power outage.
Who will repair the fiber if it is damaged?
The fiber that runs along the side of the road will be maintained by WideOpen Blacksburg. If you damage the fiber cable from the street to your home, we will repair it, but if the damage was caused by you, we may assess the cost of repairs.
Can we switch providers?
As we add providers to the network, you will be able to change from one provider to another. Some providers will ask for a contract with a term length (e.g. one year, two years), and if you want to switch before the contract is up, there may be a termination fee.
Will Netflix and Hulu work?
We have all the bandwidth you need to use video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Our first customers are already discovering how much money they can save by subscribing to our super-fast Internet and dropping their cable or satellite TV subscription. Private VPNs (e.g. to connect to the Virginia Tech network) and videoconferencing also perform extremely well.
Does the WideOpen Blacksburg network support IPv6?
The WideOpen Blacksburg network is an Multi-service Multi-provider network in which services will be offered by your choice of service providers. The network equipment utilized by WideOpen Blacksburg will support mixed IPv4 and IPv6 traffic (dual-stack). As such, the Service Providers providing services over our network will be able to provide services with either IPv4 or IPv6 (dual-stack). The management address space used by WideOpen Networks to manage the network will utilize a private IPv4 address space.