ENID, Okla. — Enid residents are starting to see the fiber-optic fruits of the city’s labor to get more broadband options into the area.
Customers will be able to sign up for higher-speed internet and TV services as construction continues throughout the year, representatives with the two fiber-optic broadband companies laying the new networks said Thursday.
Dobson Fiber installed fiber internet for its first residential customer Tuesday, according to a news release.
Enid homeowner Chad Baker said he had canceled his satellite TV and switched to streaming before changing his current internet provider to Dobson, which he said was faster and cheaper.
“I tested it out the first night by downloading a 100 GIG file on my Xbox,” Baker said in the release. “It downloaded in about 20 minutes, so it’s fast.”
Dobson’s underground and aerial network will cover around 20,000 addresses, or half of Enid, spokesperson Ali Clark said Thursday, but not specifying how many miles of the fiber-optic cable.
Clark said construction would be completed simultaneously in multiple zones around the city, with services being installed for new customers along the way.
“So many more devices are coming online. Those speeds are going to be needed for the power of users,” she said. “Just because you live in a more rural area doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the same thing that people in metro cities have.”
Those interested in the Dobson internet service can register their address online at www.dobson.net/getfiber and will be notified within 60 days of their zone being ready for installations.
The Oklahoma-based telecommunications company, which broke ground on the multi-million dollar project in August, said it expects construction to be done by the end of the year.
Bluepeak services not yet live
Within two weeks, residents living in western Enid can begin preordering services from Bluepeak, the city’s other planned fiber-optic broadband provider, company representatives said.
To be scheduled, those interested can go to www.mybluepeak.com, enter an already pre-loaded address and select a TV or internet package. Crews then will come back in at least two weeks to micro-bore the property to install the cable.
Bluepeak anticipates going live in the first phase of homes by the end of February. The company is constructing its fiber network in the much of the first zone’s roughly 3,400 homes.
Construction for Bluepeak’s network still is years away from completion, but, like Dobson, services will be activated in zones on both sides of the city, Vice President Desi Stoops told Enid city commissioners Thursday night.
Bluepeak is waiting for OG&E to approve permits under its pole attachment agreement to begin aerial construction on the east side of Enid, Stoops said.
The company’s franchise agreement with the city of Enid promises to construct a fiber-optic network made up of 135 miles of aerial distribution and 98 miles of underground fiber, crossing around 17,000 homes. In return, the city will receive 5% of gross revenues from cable services.
Bluepeak is offering at least 14 channels for $50 a month, and minimum $50 a month for 1 gigabyte per second, up to $100 for 5 gbps. Fiber internet is required for a TV service, but not vice-versa, Stoops said.
City Manager Jerald Gilbert told the News & Eagle that new broadband providers were sought out in order to provide residents better customer service than existing options.
“In a matter of … two years, pretty much the whole city should be covered and everybody should have choice,” he said, “whereas now, there’s not a lot of choice.”
Clark, with Dobson, called fiber the “latest and greatest” technology because it allows for faster symmetrical speeds, for both uploads and downloads.
Fiber is not affected by the weather either, Clark said, unlike satellite or other dish plans.