The Charleston Fiber-to-the-Home Project
- What was announced by Arkansas Valley Electric and the City of Charleston?
WAVE Rural Connect, a subsidiary of Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corporation (AVECC), announced a partnership with the city of Charleston, Arkansas, to provide high-speed fiber broadband Internet to homes and businesses within the city limits.
- Where will the broadband be available?
Charleston residents living within the city limits will have access to high-speed fiber broadband provided by WAVE Rural Connect.
- Why is the fiber broadband only available within the city limits?
AVECC’s electric grid encompasses the city, allowing WAVE to easily support approximately 1,100 homes within Charleston while continuing to provide service to AVECC members across the River Valley. WAVE Rural Connect is committed to serving 100% of Arkansas Valley Electric members. If you are a member of AVECC, check availability here.
- Where did funding for this project come from?
In September 2021, WAVE received $1.2 million from AR Rural Connect (ARC), a grant program created by Governor Asa Hutchinson to help expand the broadband footprint in rural Arkansas. The Charleston partnership fits the structure of the ARC program, geared toward serving incorporated communities with at least 500 people.
- When will construction on the network start? How long will it take to complete?
Construction will start immediately with service expected to be available in late 2022.
- Is WAVE the only internet provider in Charleston?
WAVE is the only fiber-to-the-home provider to offer services to rural homes and businesses in the area, including Charleston.
- Will other towns receive WAVE Rural Connect?
Currently, Charleston is the only citywide project that we have in our work plan. With that being said, we are always looking at opportunities to expand our fiber project.
- How will the Charleston broadband project work?
Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) in Charleston will look different from WAVE’s existing network construction, as Charleston construction will be underground. Crews will still be working on regularly scheduled zones. Our main line fiber is hosted on AVECC-owned infrastructure. Since OG&E supplies Charleston homes, WAVE will hire additional crews to place fiber underground in Charleston. Aerial and underground projects require two different types of construction, so we will not be taking any crews away from our existing fiber project.
- How will I know when service is available?
Right now, everyone can go to waveruralconnect.com to check availability. This is the best way for us to get news to you quickly when fiber is ready in your area. We also provide updates and zone openings on our Facebook page – Wave Rural Connect.
The Technology – Internet Service
- What is a fiber-optic network?
Fiber-optic systems are made up of tiny strands of glass that carry data using light waves, resulting in much faster internet speeds and better reliability than traditional copper lines. Most internet providers use fiber in their systems but use copper lines for the final connections to the home, resulting in slower speeds. Arkansas Valley Electric and WAVE Rural Connect believe 100% FTTH is the best, most sustainable communications choice. With our FTTH service, we offer “symmetrical” speeds, meaning you’ll enjoy the same high speeds whether uploading or downloading. A fiber-optic network can carry an extremely high amount of data and is more reliable than other networks because it’s less susceptible to interference and damage from lightning and other acts of nature.
- Why is the WAVE Rural Connect network different from other internet services?
WAVE Rural Connect builds only 100% FTTH networks. Others may tout fiber, but in many cases that fiber stops at the street, meaning another transmission medium is needed to bring internet into your home. Many internet providers use fiber in their systems but use copper lines for the final connections to the home, resulting in slower speeds. Fiber to the home brings a new level of reliability and speed.
- What internet, TV and telephone packages will be available for my home?
We don’t stop with Internet! Check out our fiber tv and phone services.
Fiber TV Service Starts at $43.99 Fiber Phone Service Starts at $29.95
- I have a business, will you offer business packages?
Every business is different, so we offer packages that work for you and your business’ budget. Click here to learn more about our commercial services.
- What Is Managed Wireless? For $4.95 per month, we will provide a combination modem/Wi-Fi router and then set up, maintain, and manage your wireless network, including troubleshooting, updates, and security. Without Managed Wireless, you will be provided with an ONT that functions as a modem-only and must supply your Wi-Fi router and maintain their settings and firmware updates on your own.
- Are there data caps with this service?
- How can I sign up for service?
You can visit waveruralconnect.com to check availability and sign up for service.
The Next Steps – Getting Service
- What is the installation process?
Once you sign up for service, fiber installation is simple. A contractor for Wave will come out an assess the path from the serving terminal to the members home or business. And speak to the property owner if there is any question or concerns about fiber placement. After the assessment, the contractor will call in ARKUPS to locate the underground utilities. Next the contractor will come in and place the line from the serving terminal to the home or business with an approved Wave method of placing the drop.
- What equipment will I need to purchase?
You are not required to provide any equipment for internet service, and there is no fee for the ONT device. However, our Managed Wireless service includes an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) that also has WiFi routing capability for $4.95 per month. (Managed Wireless also provides monitoring and advanced networking tools.)
- Can I Use My Own Equipment?
You must use the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) as the modem. The standard ONT functions as a modem that translates the light signals to standard data formats. You may use a third-party wireless router if you prefer.
- How will I benefit from fiber internet access?
Our primary reason for partnering with Charleston is to bring world-class fiber that is found in urban cities across the US right here to rural Arkansas. You will no longer have to rely on DSL, fixed wireless or satellite internet to stay connected online. You will be able to stream high-definition media smoothly and quickly, have the data capacity to download and upload data such as files, photos and videos at super-fast speeds, and have access to the latest technological advancements and applications. This FTTH world-class service will be reliable and affordable.
Phone Service & TV Service
- Is WAVE offering phone service and TV service?
Yes. WAVE offers fiber phone service for residential and business customers. Prices start at $29.95. Find out more about our phone service here. WAVE offers HD Fiber television services to your home or business with over 200 channels with packages starting at $43.99/month. Click here to learn more about our television package options.
- Can I keep my phone number? Yes. You can keep your phone number or choose to pick a new one.