What does it take to get installed?

Bringing our services to a community is a resource-intensive project that requires careful research and planning. From start to finish there are 4 main phases of our process, each with its own sub-steps and processes.

  1. Research and Exploration.
    We spend a lot of time in this phase, developing a construction plan for the communities we are researching and working with local authorities on permitting and other issues.
  2. Design.
    We use the data gathered to create a map of where we can build based on existing infrastructure and obstacles.
  3. Construction.
    This is the step you see the most. Once our plans are complete, our crews get straight to work laying and splicing miles of fiber.
  4. Sign up and Installation.
    Once our construction is almost complete, we will release our order form for your region, and you can choose the services you want for your home or business. This will initiate the installation process which has its own steps.

A Preliminary Site Survey is Conducted

Race field engineers survey homes throughout a project area (for example Occidental or Phelan), house by house and make an initial determination as to whether a home is an aerial or underground installation.

The Steps to bringing you Fiber:

Step 1: Designing the network. At this stage, we determine the path and size of fiber cables in our network as well as identifying the size and location of connection points (where homes and businesses will hook up to). This is a long process and can take anywhere from 6-12 months to complete depending on the area size.

Step 2: Pole licensing and ordering materials. Utility poles are owned by telephone and power companies. Third party users like RACE must apply and pay a fee to attach. This is also the time we go ahead and order the materials needed for the project.

Step 3: Make-ready. This is one of the most time-consuming and expensive parts of the process accounting for up to 40% of the cost. The make-ready process consists of making room for the new lines on poles, which could involve moving cable TV up, the phone company down, or both. If the pole is too small or too full, it may need to be replaced. Replacing poles is expensive due to the involved process of setting the new pole and transferring all of the phone, TV, and power lines.

Step 4: Hang strand on utility poles. Fiber optic cables need to be supported by a steel cable, or “strand.” Installers in bucket trucks will drill a hole through the pole and install a bolt that attaches the steel strand to the pole. Then they hang the strand on the pole.

Step 5: Lash fiber cable to strand. The fiber-optic cables are attached to the strand by being lashed on with wire. This is done using a cable lasher which is pulled along the length of the fiber cable and strand.

Step 6. Add splice and connection points. Splice cases and slack loops are added at various points along the network. The splice case is where each section of the fiber optic cable is joined together, while the slack loop provides some extra fiber cable to facilitate restoration of service in the event the cable is damaged.

Step 7. Splice fiber segments. To join lengths of fiber together, a technician heats up the ends of the fiber strands and fuses them together to form a single strand.

We Call Customers that have submitted an inquiry
This information is handed over to our communications team who will reach out to homeowners who have inquired about Race services.

To Submit an inquiry, go to https://www.race.com/inquiry/ .

Step 8: Install drop cables. Once the network backbone is constructed, small fiber cables are connected to the backbone and the customer’s building. These drops can be aerial or in a conduit, depending upon how the customer’s current utilities reach their home.

Step 9: Install electronics and light your network. Specialized electronics are needed at both ends of the fiber-optic cable to “light” the fiber and provide a usable Internet connection. This includes Optical Network Terminal (“ONT”) at the customer’s home or office. ONT’s typically provide multiple places to connect Internet devices and phones. Once the devices are placed, engineers program and activate the service so that it can be connected to your computer or Wi-Fi router.

 

A Visual Guide: Placing your Race order

We’ve surveyed your property, researched the area and completed construction. That being said, it’s almost time to place your Race order!

With all the excitement that comes with opening a new zone, we tend to get a lot of questions regarding how to place an order.

At Race, we always have two methods of order placement. Remember, you can call our Sales team at 877-722-3833 to complete your order or you can order online.

For those customers who wish to order online, make sure you use this guide to familiarize yourself with order questions, format and the necessary information needed to complete your order.

First step!

1) Visit Race.com and click the “Check availability” button on our home page or go to your specific community page and select “Order Now” (See Figure 1)

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2) Because we do a site survey during our construction phase, our database is preloaded with addresses we’ve already collected. We’ll know already if you’re an underground or aerial property. The second step now is to enter your address. If it doesn’t pre-populate, there’s a chance that your zone is not ready to take orders as of yet. (Figure 2)

3) Once you’ve successfully selected your address, will be taken to the order form which will default to the “Residential” order form. If you are a business, select “Switch to business” in the top right corner (Figure 3)

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4) We’re half way through! Welcome to the Order screen! This is where the step-by-step order process begins. The first important step is: would you like your Race services à la carte (which allows you to choose individual services) or would you like to bundle our services (RaceTV, Phone and Internet). (Figure 4)

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Figure 4: Choosing your services screen

5) After you’ve selected your desired package (For this exercise, we’ve decided to bundle our services), it’s time to pick out your services. (Figure 5)

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Figure 5: Triple Play Bundle Screen

6) By selecting the bundle deal, you get our premium Gigafy package, which includes our advance router, no need to change this screen. You can continue straight to our phone section. (Figure 6)

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Figure 6: Gigafy Screen

7) It’s time to select your phone package. Keep in mind, for customers who wish to keep their original telephone number, this is an important step for you. Make sure you select the option ‘I would like to keep my number’ at the bottom of the section. (Figure 7)

 

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Figure 7: Phone Services Selection Screen

 

8) Almost there! Now it’s time to select your RaceTV services. For this portion, it’s important to decide how many Set Top and DVR boxes you would like to include with your order. If you have multiple rooms you wish you to install, this is the time to select the quantities you will be needing. (Figure 8)

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Figure 8: RaceTV Service Selection Screen

9) Congratulations! Now it’s time to review and place your order! Always remember to double check key information such as quantities of boxes, if you want to keep/get rid of your home number, your billing information, and social security number. Once you have successfully reviewed your order, click the submit button and you will receive an order confirmation number along with the services you’ve ordered. Please allow up to 24-48 hours for a welcome call from our in-house Customer Service team for next steps. (Figure 9 &10)

 

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Figure 9: Review Order Screen

 

 

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Figure 10: race Confirmation Order Screen

 

 

The Anatomy of your Race Order: What should you expect?

You’ve filled out your Race inquiry form. You’ve signed up for our newsletters about your community and we’ve been keeping you in the loop. Your order form is ready and you’ve selected your desires Race services and placed your order with us. So what happens now? It is important to understand that every community is different, but here are a general guideline that we follow.

  1. Your order is processed: Once you’ve placed your order either online or over the phone, the order will be sent to our in-house Customer Service team. Within 24-48 business hours, you should receive a welcome call that will review your order, confirm your selected services and go over next steps of what to expect.

Speaking of next steps…

Let’s discuss: Aerial vs. Underground: For many of our zones, we know beforehand whether your property is an aerial or underground drop (this is why we ask for your address at the start of every form and call). This is all determined in our engineering and construction phase. Now it’s important to know the difference between these two terms. They will dictate how your services will be installed.

  1. Aerial Drops: There are a number of ways an aerial drop can be completed. The most common way we install our aerial drops is a Race technician will install a line from a telephone pole to the side of your home and connect the fiber optic cord along the existing utility line to your home. Aerial drops are usually done within 7-10 business days after your order is placed. Once the drop is completed, our scheduling team is notified. Scheduling will then call the home owner to schedule the final in-home installation.
  2. Underground Drops: If your home has been deemed an underground drop or you have chosen to be underground, make sure your conduit has been approved by a field engineer. Note: Race does not dig on private property and a pull string must be provided so that technicians may pull the fiber through the underground conduit. If you have been deemed underground, but do not have existing conduit, make sure to review our underground specifications form before performing any work. See here for more details.

I’ve gotten my fiber lines installed, what should I expect next?: You’re almost there! Welcome to the final step of your Race installation process! A Race technician will be present for this step, we like to refer to this as the “Day Of” or “In-Home” Installation. For the day of install, it’s really helpful if you know where exactly you want your equipment to permanently be. Remember, once the technician installs the equipment, you cannot move it again. To see the best tips what affects your wireless speeds, see our blog here.

The first piece of equipment the technician will install will be the Optical Network Terminal (ONT), which is a piece of equipment that take the fiber optic cable and convert it into an Ethernet connection. After the ONT has been installed, the technician will install any other equipment you may have ordered such as a DVR or set top box. Once all your equipment is in place, it’s time to run a speed test to make sure your Race services are up to par. Once that is done, the technician will show you how to access your network and provide you with your login information.

Congratulations! You are officially connected to your new Race services. Now it’s time for you to upload, download, surf and stream at never before seen speeds. If at any point in time you have any questions about your products or any of our services, feel free to visit our website at race.com or give us a call at 877-722-3833.

Thank you so much for choosing Race!

Gigafy your life, Gigafy your business!

Our projects don’t just consist of homes and families that need better connectivity – our communities are also filled with small business owners. We know that adequate broadband is a necessity for businesses in today’s digital age and we can’t wait to see what many of the local business owners can do with our ultra-high speed Internet.

With our expansion into new communities, we feel that we should address and clarify some key differences between residential services and business offerings.

  • Our business plans are not just limited to commercial buildings – if you live and work from home (content writer, graphic designer, web developer, etc) and feel that a business plan may be right for you then you are welcomed to sign up for our business broadband services.
  • A key difference between business and residential plans is that while Race offers static IP addresses, it is only offered to businesses. Unfortunately, Race does not offer static IP options for residential customers. So if you need a static IP, a business plan is the way to go.
  • While we only offer two plans for residential customers, Race offers a variety of plans for businesses starting at just $60/month.
  • Race offers fiber-based phone service for the highest-quality voice calls. Our unlimited phone lines come with nationwide calling and very low international rates. Our business plans are just $35/month – that is a bargain compared to any of our competitors!
  • We have dedicated business representatives that can assist you every step of the way – from order to install!

We also offer broadband services and tailored solutions for enterprise clients – for a business or enterprise quote, contact Chris Hajj at 877-722-3833 and dial extension 129.

 

“Gigafy Phelan” is underway – here’s what to expect!

As Race works to gigafy the communities of Phelan, Pinon Hills, and Oak Hills, the company has begun to revamp existing processes. Starting with the release of Mint zone, homeowners who placed their order with Race immediately received their final in-home installation date. The installation date given was 90 days out from the time the order was placed to ensure that the line extension (aka “drop”) from the street to the home was complete. This timeframe also allowed for the completion of service testing.

As of September 13th, homeowners who have had their drop completed in Mint received a call moving their final installation date by almost 30 days. This process has worked extremely well and Race intends to continue following this model. Our company does NOT believe in overpromising and underdelivering. We want to set realistic expectations with our customers so that they can be pleasantly surprised should their installation date be moved up.

With a new release (“Gold” zone on 9/20) right around the corner, we want to make the process easy to understand and we want those ordering to be aware of what to expect in the coming weeks.

Bringing our services to a community is a resource-intensive project that requires careful research and planning. We hope that most residents have filled out an inquiry form by now (if not, be sure to do so). Residents who have submitted an inquiry will receive an e-mail from Race 24-48 hours before the order form is released for their address and zone. This e-mail will contain a step-by-step to placing an order and will give residents in the area a reminder that the order form will soon be released.

Once a zone is released, residents in that zone can go to our website to place their order. Residents can also call 877-722-3833, but be aware that hold times can be longer around a release date due to a much higher volume of calls than normal.

For order instructions, be sure to visit this blog post – it has a visual guide and thoroughly explains the order process.

Once your order is placed, a sales team member will give you a call to explain the next steps and schedule your installation. Don’t be alarmed if the appointment is scheduled 90-120 days out. This is just to ensure that our contractors have enough time to complete the line extension (drop) to your home.

Here is a quick breakdown of what happens once your order is placed.

  1. Your order is processed:
    Once you’ve placed your order either online or over the phone, the order will be sent to our in-house Customer Service team. Within 24-48 business hours, you should receive a welcome call that will review your order, confirm your selected services and schedule your in-home installation.

Speaking of next steps…

Let’s discuss – Aerial vs. Underground:
For many of our zones, we know beforehand whether your property is an aerial or underground drop (this is why we ask for your address at the start of every form and call). This is all determined in our engineering and construction phase. Now it’s important to know the difference between these two terms. They will dictate how your services will be installed.

  1. Aerial DropsThere are a number of ways an aerial drop can be completed. The most common way we install our aerial drops is a Race technician will install a line from a telephone pole to the side of your home and connect the fiber optic cord along the existing utility line to your home. Aerial drops are usually done within 7-10 business days after your order is placed, but in newly released zones it can take up to 4 weeks. Once the drop is completed, our scheduling team is notified by our contractors. Please allow 2 business days for the drop to be marked as complete as testing must be done to ensure the drop was successful.
  2. Underground Drops: If your home has been deemed an underground drop or you have chosen to be underground, make sure your conduit has been approved by a field engineer. If you do not have conduit, that’s fine too! Our contractors will dig a trench and place a conduit for you – the only downside is this may take a little longer than an aerial drop.

I’ve gotten my fiber lines dropped, what should I expect next?:
You’re almost there! Welcome to the final step of your Race installation process! If your drop and testing have been completed, we will do our utmost to move your installation date up so you don’t have to wait.

A Race technician will be present for this step, we like to refer to this as the “Day Of” or “In-Home” Installation.

For the day of install, it’s really helpful if you know where exactly you want your equipment to permanently be. Remember, once the technician installs the equipment, you cannot move it again.

The first piece of equipment the technician will install will be the Optical Network Terminal (ONT), which is a piece of equipment that takes the fiber optic cable and converts it into an Ethernet connection. After the ONT has been installed, the technician will install any other equipment you may have ordered such as a DVR or set-top box. Once all your equipment is in place, it’s time to run a speed test to make sure your Race services are up to par. Once that is done, the technician will show you how to access your network and provide you with your login information.

Congratulations! You are officially connected to your new Race services. Now it’s time for you to upload, download, surf and stream at never before seen speeds. If at any point in time you have any questions about your products or any of our services, feel free to visit our website at race.com or give us a call at 877-722-3833.

Thank you for choosing Race!