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! 

“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!

Introducing… Race BasicTV

Race Communications is happy to announce the release of a NEW product – A basic TV package that will be available in all of our markets. Many of our customers have asked for an alternative when it comes to our television offering, and our company has been working to come up with a solution.  Without further ado, let us present our newest product offering: The Race Basic TV package.

What is it?
The Race Basic TV package is a simple television offering that has local and off-air channels. The line up will vary by market based on which local channels are available. The package consists of 20+ channels including ABC, Fox, CW and more.

How much will it cost?
The package will be $28/month plus $7 for the required standard set-top box. This brings the price to $35/month. You’re welcomed to upgrade to a DVR if you need to be able to record your favorite shows.

Who is this package for?
This package is a great addition to customers who stream the majority of their entertainment but miss local news and weather programs. It also perfect for those who don’t watch a lot of television and just need a few channels!

Be sure to check out our sample line up here

Race Communications’ Summer Review.

2018 has been filled with releases, events, and expansion for Race Communications. In May, the company officially opened a new office in Tehachapi, CA where the company has a strong fiber footprint in the outlying communities of Stallion Springs, Brite Valley, Oak Knolls and Bear Valley Springs. Race has hired several local residents to build their marketing and sales team and is revving up their efforts in their service areas in the High Desert and Central Valley.

The month of May also brought the release of the first part of the “Gigafy Phelan” project, a hard-fought project that was approved in July 2017, after years of challenges and obstacles.

Since June 2018, Race has installed 98% of the residents who had previously inquired about service in the released zone – the release came two full months ahead of the initial target date of August 2018. “Gigafy Phelan” was not the only project to be released – the “Gigafy Occidental” project in Northern California was also released and installs began immediately. At this time over 70 percent of the community has signed up for services from Race.

The release of these communities has given Race the momentum to continue their expansion and Race opened a new field operations office in Phelan, CA and marked the occasion with a BBQ Kick-Off and ribbon cutting ceremony on June 21st. The company was recognized by Congressman Cook’s office for their efforts in the area and for their continued work in rural unserved and underserved areas across the state.

 

Race looks forward to the second half of 2018 and continued progress. Race is on a mission to provide affordable high-speed broadband to the communities where larger carriers have ignored the needs of the residents. Race will continue to support net-neutrality, promote broadband access and adoption, and will continue to seek out new projects in unserved and underserved regions in California.

Finally, a big THANK YOU to those who have chosen Race as their new service provider as we could not have done this without you. Our customers are part of the Race family, and we look forward to providing our customers with the newest technology and the friendly customer service they have come to know.  Stay tuned for more exciting news from Race as the year progresses!

 

Rockin’ and Rollin’-Out in Phelan!

Good News Phelan!

We have released the first zone from our Gigafy Phelan Project! The western half of Burgundy Zone (or “Burgundy Zone Panel 1”) is the first area to be released for pre-orders! The borders for Panel 1 are roughly: 263rd St. to the West, Calveras Rd to the South, Wintergreen Rd. to the East and Luna Rd. to the North. Borders for Panel 2 are roughly: Wintergreen to the West, Luna to the North, Beekley to the East, and Smoke Tree Rd. to the South. Below you will see a screenshot of Burgundy Zone with the two Panels outlined.

Blog_Phelan_BurgundyZone_PanelBreakdown

Panel 1 is set to start in-home installations and service activation in May. Panel 2 will be released for pre-orders around the same time. Our installation is a two-part process. The first part of the process is bringing the fiber from the street to the outside of the home and this takes roughly 6-8 weeks from the pre-order date. Once completed, an authorized Race technician is then scheduled to complete the installation to the inside of the home and activate the equipment.

Unlike those other guys, here at Race Communications we don’t make you sign any contracts. You also won’t have any installation or activation fees! We won’t charge you until our services are completely active in your home. Your first bill won’t even arrive until the first of the month following your in-home installation. So for example, if you are installed on May 1, you will not receive a bill until June 1, but it will be for all of May AND June. If you are installed April 26 then you receive your bill on May 1 with the prorated amount for April and then the bill for all of May.

A few people have wondered about the small Frontier flags decorating the roads in town. These flags are used to label Frontier’s underground lines so we know where to avoid when trenching for our own Fiber Optic lines.

When it comes to how our zones are released; we do not release them in any specific order. Zones will be released concurrently, dependent on construction progress and permit approvals, etc. We are working the entire coverage area as permits allow.

Looking at the map below you will see where all 13 zones are located and what they are called.

Blog_Phelan_ZoneColors

Here is some other important information:

If you are in Panel 1 of Burgundy Zone you can place an order online OR over the phone right now! To place your order online go to www.race.com/order/ and enter your address, click “Check Availability” and complete your order. If you prefer to speak to one of our sales representatives, please dial 877.722.3833 extension 602 and they would be happy to help. Pricing starts at $25 a month and we offer high-speed fiber optic internet, landline telephone services, and television.

At this moment, Panel 2 and all other Zones are not released for pre-orders. If you are in these areas, you can submit an inquiry form on our website at www.race.com/inquiry/ to get on our electronic mailing list. (Remember to enter the address where you will receive our service and not your PO Box, otherwise our system will not tag you correctly and you could potentially miss out on pre-ordering!) Submitting an inquiry form will put you in the first group of people in your zone to order!