Fiber to the Home Construction

Fiber to the Home Construction Update

Spencer Municipal Utilities is continuing to expand fiber to the home communication services throughout Spencer. Phase IV is all that is left and conversions in that area are nearly complete.

Since SMU first began offering Internet service to customers the amount used by customers has increased and we expect to see that continue. For example, the average peak usage from customers in the fall of 2010 was 125Mbps and at the end of 2015 it peaks daily at 2.2Gbps and is rising monthly. The project to convert the whole town of Spencer is taking several years to complete.


Phase IV: customer conversions nearly complete

What this means for customers in Phase IV:
Customers affected by the updates to our system will be notified when the time comes that we need their assistance in getting their service address set up. There will be some work both outside the service address as well as inside.

A map of the project:

Map of Spencer showing Phase IV FTTH in gray
What is it?

Fiber to the Home or FTTH is the delivery of a communications signal over optical fiber from SMU’s switching equipment all the way to the service address. Just like internet service has evolved from dial up to DSL and cable modem, fiber will give customers the next level of service to continue to improve the way they live, work and play here in Spencer.
Optical fibers are long, thin strands of glass about the diameter of a human hair. These fibers are arranged in bundles to create a cable or line to determine the capacity (or bandwidth) of a communications network.

Preparing for the future

Sometimes when a provider like us upgrades to fiber, they refer to it as ‘future proof’ or ‘future proofing’ the system. Optical fibers are considered ‘future proof’ because they ensure the flexibility to deliver additional services. By expanding to FTTH, SMU will be able to provide higher bandwidth to customers which will enable them to experience video, internet and voice services beyond our already reliable services. Today more industries are using the Internet as their delivery system. Many listen to the radio, watch television shows and full-length movies-all from the comfort of our PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The need for faster Internet speeds and more bandwidth has grown and will be growing in the future.

What do customers need to know about the installation process?

Customers in the areas of construction will receive a postcard from SMU letting them know when contractors will begin working in their area. During the first part of the installation, the contractors will be working on burying the fiber from our system to their home or business. This will be replacing the existing copper infrastructure like telephone wires and coaxial cable. They will also install an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) box on/in the home. This box is similar to the box that is currently on the outside of the home, but slightly larger.

During the next part of the installation process, an appointment will need to be set up for a technician to finish the installation process by installing the battery backup inside the home to enable the new service to work. At that time SMU will reach you by phone to set up an appointment that is convenient for you.