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.

 

What Does It Take To Get Fiber In Your City?

High-speed internet allows businesses and residents alike to connect to the world. In addition, faster internet will improve your online experience for education, businesses, and entertainment. At Race, we are committed to bringing high-quality, affordable internet infrastructure to communities across the state of California.

However, before our fiber network becomes available to the community, there are several steps that need to take place. Bringing our services such as fiber internet into communities is an in-depth project that takes extensive research and planning, not to mention the actual building of the network and infrastructure. Today we are giving you a behind-the-scenes look and breaking down what it takes for Race to come to your community. Let’s go!

What is internet infrastructure? 

Before we get into how to build an internet infrastructure, let’s define it. Internet infrastructure is the framework of the internet. It’s made of physical hardware, transmission media, software, and cables that connect everyone to the internet. The infrastructure essentially hosts, stores, and possesses all the information and content you find on websites, cloud services, and applications. It is the heart of the internet. 

18 Months Out – Research and Exploration Begins

This development phase typically begins 12-18 months out from the time the internet is available to the community. During this phase, Race creates a construction plan for the communities. This phase explores exactly how we’ll bring high-speed internet to the city. We work to develop the project in partnership with local authorities. During this phase, we cover permitting and review infrastructure. This covers everything from where roads are located, researching underground utility paths, finding utility easements, and uncovering potential challenges.

9-12 Months Out – Design Begins 

9-12 months out from the launch of services Race enters the design phase. During this phase, our engineers and design team partner with the city to plan out the network. Every inch of our network is carefully planned using data we gathered during our research phase. Our engineers create a map of where we can build based on existing infrastructure and map out obstacles such as existing utility poles, water, gas, and electric lines. 

6-9 Months Out – Construction Begins

The plans are now complete, and it’s time to get to work! Our crews hit the ground during construction and get straight to work laying and splicing miles of fiber cables. This is the time you’ll see our team members out on your street. The team is working diligently to bring you some of the fastest internet in the nation at a great price! 

The construction phase is most vulnerable to outside factors that can delay or stretch out this timeline. Like any construction, Race can be heavily impacted by weather, permitting, and resources. This is especially true while the global supply chain is disrupted due to the pandemic. 

9 Months Out – Spreading The Word

Now that we know bringing high-speed internet to the community is possible, it’s time to make announcements. The announcements come around the same time as construction crews begin arriving in an area – usually around 9-12 months before the launch. Race begins to prepare the citizens for the arrival and announces the services to come. At this point, we build a community page on our website and publish a press release informing residents about the upcoming services and developments in their city or town. We develop pages with community-specific information and allow residents to subscribe to monthly newsletter updates. 

1 Month Out – Sign up 

Construction is now in its final stage. We are inching closer to bringing high-speed internet to the community! Once our building is almost complete, Race releases our order form for your region. This gives you the ability to choose the services you want for your home or business. 

Once services are chosen and construction is complete, we will begin the installation process. The installation process has its own unique steps based on your location so check with your customer service representative to find the process in your area.

Conclusion 

There you have it! It takes time to build a carefully thought out internet infrastructure, but the high-speed internet at the end is worth waiting for. We are committed to providing high-quality internet to communities throughout the country. If you are interested in learning more, check out our services to see what we offer in your area!