by Bill Scott, GLE President/CEO
Nearly 5,200 surveys were returned last year when we polled members on their interest in high speed fiber Internet. The favorable response is one of the things that prompted your board of directors to have a more thorough study done.
A feasibility study for deploying fiber is now underway in the Petoskey area of Emmet County. This study will more accurately identify the costs involved, potential number of subscribers, and revenue to expect. It will address challenges in attaching fiber optic cable to the many miles of poles that cross rivers, hills and swamps. A private consultant with extensive experience in fiber Internet deployment is conducting the study for GLE. Their findings will be shared with the board later this year.
Should we find the service can be justified from a business standpoint, it could initially become available in part of our service area as a pilot project. We could then monitor the new program in action to better analyze whether it’s meeting our expectations.
Expansion of the service into other areas would be the goal if the pilot project is implemented and found to be successful. However, it would take years to complete the expansion due to the large territory we cover.
Please continue to watch PowerTalk, Michigan Country Lines, our website and our Facebook page for further updates.
once again GLE is slow on the uptake by the time they start checking on possibly doing it the technology will be out of date and going the way of dial up. But if like theire power bills it will be over priced with extra fees and owner ship fees like the power is.
I would love to see this happen. Living in a rural area, nothing has been available, except over priced and very limited service. Please keep us posted. Just hope you guys beet some other carrier out there.
We appreciate your interest, Ronda! We know it’s a much-needed service. Watch for more updates later in the year after the feasibility study has been completed and board members have been informed of its findings.
Much-MUCH needed. Thanks for looking in to.
You’re welcome. We’ll do our best to keep you updated.
I vote to start in Otsego County,,,preferably Old Vanderbilt Road. Kidding aside, when our power goes out we have no way to contact GLE. We are in a cell phone dead zone, no power no land line either. If it’s really windy I don’t like to drive a couple of miles for cell service. Any ideas?
If you have an actual land line, the old fashioned phones (ones with cords) do not require electricity. That’s what we use if power goes out.
The feasibility study is currently taking place in Emmet County, chosen for its challenges with local terrain, which would be a consideration for installation and use of fiber. As for contact with us during outages, we sympathize. Actually, Susan Dean-Ingersoll’s suggestion of using an old corded phone is a good one, if you happen to have one. (Thanks, Susan!) As you observe, these situations underscore the need for reliable Internet access in parts of our service territory like yours.
All I can say is hurry up! I would love to have fiber or any kind of internet but we can’t get anything by us.
Unfortunately, if study results do lead to a decision to proceed with a pilot project, it will all take time. Hang in there and watch for an update later this year once we have feasibility study results. Thanks for your interest!
I just can’t wait. I am thinking optimistically and hope that your studies show good results 🙂 I will keep an eye out for what happens
Bringing high speed internet to rural areas is a gold mine waiting to be used. All of the big name providers won’t touch this revenue source because they can’t get a return on their dollar in a couple years. Stay in this for the long haul and the rewards will be well worth it. Right now I pay $55 a month for a lousy 2 mgs down and 1 mg up. Plus it’s terrible service. Constantly slowing down so that you don’t even get the 2 mgs. If you could just double that speed at the same price I would… Read more »
Thanks for your comments and your interest, Larry. Watch for more news to come later this year.
Ohh this would make us so happy. We love living “in the woods” but have terrible internet service and no other good options for internet that are affordable and “excellent”. Cell service isn’t much better, the reason I refuse to give up our land line. PLEASE and THANK you for listening to us and thinking outside the box!!! Fingers crossed that your feasibility study will give us all hope!
We appreciate you taking the time to comment, Heather. We’ll keep our members updated once we have something to report on the study being done.
Really appreciate the proactive, forward thinking! Question…is this approach to service working anywhere else with other power coops? Is there a business model that is working for others that can or will be used as a model? Hoping the answer is YES which would add to a potential positive outcome to you feasibility study. FINGERS CROSSED OVER HERE!
Keith, high-speed Internet is a service being provided by numerous electric co-ops throughout the U.S. We are including feedback and information from them as part of our considerations. However, GLE is larger than the “average” size co-op, plus serves some areas of pretty challenging terrain for a project such as this. That will all have to play into our decision. Great questions, though, and we appreciate your interest! We’ll do our best to keep everyone posted as more is known from the feasibility study later this year. Thanks!
Please, we feel like we are living in the dark ages here, and just 3 miles from downtown Petoskey! The terrain here prohibits satellite and there is no cable service. I need to work from home, and it’s just about impossible. Kids need access to the internet for education which is super important too. We love where we live and don’t want to move, but this is so super frustrating!!
Thanks for your comment, Lisa. We do understand the need, and it is reflected in all 26 counties of the area GLE serves. Read the latest update here: https://www.gtlakes.com/fiber-internet-study-continues/. Should our board approve a fiber Internet project, the service will be available as a pilot project in Emmet County beginning in mid-2019. Our progress toward attempting to implement a solution will take time due to the vast area we serve, winter weather slowing installation and cost. However, we’ll keep our members posted as information develops on findings from our studies and the pilot project being considered. Thanks for your continued… Read more »
I live just 2 miles outside of a area of coverage outside of Petoskey. no one will cover my area, i am in a dark zone. only mobile hotspot in my area so it would be nice to have a reliable service in a time that everything requires internet.
Thanks for your interest and your comments. We’ll have more information on this topic soon, Devin. Stay tuned!
How long before this reaches Kalkaska? I would love to have better service!
Hi Dawn, please visit https://www.truestreamfiber.com/news/ for the most up to date news regarding Truestream availability!