Why We Use Temporary Drops for Winter Installations

Why We Use Temporary Drops for Winter Installations

We know the wait for fiber internet installation can be tough. After all, you are on the verge of having fast, reliable broadband fiber internet from Medina Fiber and all the best streaming entertainment the web has to offer.

Winter adds to the technical challenges of fiber installation. Frozen grounds, shorter days with less sunlight, excessive moisture from melting snow and heavy rains drenching the soil — all of these issues and more can make it exceedingly difficult to bury and install fiber. It’s also a riskier time for our crew of technicians.

While permanent fiber installation may sometimes be delayed during winter and early spring, temporary drops can help deliver the high-speed internet you’ve been waiting for — even if you’ll have to wait for better, safer weather and ground conditions for final installation with buried fiber internet lines.

Below we provide answers to common questions about temporary drops and help explain the process for installing them, so you’ll know what to expect.

What is exactly is a temporary drop? 

A temporary drop, also referred to as a temp drop, is simply an above-ground fiber internet connection line that provides fiber internet service temporarily to your home until weather and ground conditions are feasible and safe enough to bury the fiber line in the ground.

What kinds of conditions necessitate temp drops?

There are two common reasons why Medina Fiber may not be able to bury the fiber and complete installation during the winter and early spring.

#1: The ground is frozen. 

During winter and early spring, the colder temperatures can make the ground too hard to dig and bury fiber. And just because the temperatures warm up for a few days doesn’t necessarily mean the conditions are improved enough to complete the installation. In general, the ground must be fully thawed at least one foot deep, which can take weeks of 60 degree-plus temperatures, depending on the soil’s physical and chemical composition.

#2: The ground is too wet. 

The winter and spring can bring heavy precipitation, from heavy snows and snow melts to days of rain. When the soil is over-saturated, it is simply not feasible to install fiber optic lines below ground safely and effectively. Additionally, burying fiber when the ground is too wet can upset lawns, flowerbeds, trees, and other vegetation — not to mention upset your neighbors and their lawns, too!

What are the steps to installing a temporary drop?

After determining that the conditions do not support burying fiber, a temp drop is authorized. Our technicians will then connect the Multi-Port Service Terminal (MST) (i.e., the “box” near the street where internet service is supplied to your neighborhood) to your home via a fiber line placed above-ground to your home.

So instead of burying the fiber in the ground, the temp drop keeps the fiber line above the ground and connected to your home, temporarily, until the buried installation can occur when the weather and other conditions improve.  

The line will typically run along the side of your house in your lawn or up the side of your driveway.

Is the temp drop line safe?

Yes! While we don’t recommend you handle the line, it is not dangerous. Fiber technology consists of tiny glass strings that transmit light. So unlike live electrical wires, there is no risk of electric shock.

However, we suggest that you do your best to avoid the line while tending to yard work or clearing snow. Although the fiber lines are sturdy, snowplows and other equipment and tools can sometimes harm the line, necessitating more technical support—not to mention the inconvenience of losing internet!

Medina Fiber greatly appreciates your patience as we strive to provide you with fast, reliable fiber internet as efficiently and quickly as possible! As always, feel free to reach out us with any questions or concerns you may have.

And to learn more about our fiber internet services, be sure to follow along Medina Fiber’s social pages!

The Difference Between Fast Medina Fiber and Your Cable Provider

The Difference Between Fast Medina Fiber and Your Cable Provider

For years, the best option for internet in Medina County has been cable. When it works, it can provide an adequate connection, but it’s susceptible to weather-related outages, peak hour slowdowns, and bandwidth limitations.

Fortunately, something better is on the way: fiber internet from Medina Fiber. While other providers may advertise “fiber” internet, it’s still built on outdated cable infrastructure. Only our network is 100% fiber. And while we haven’t connected the whole county yet, we’re making progress every day.

But why is fiber better than your past service options? We’re so glad you asked. Read on for five reasons Medina County prefers Medina Fiber.

#1: Local Support and Service 

We separate ourselves from cable companies right away by being a local service provider. Your neighbors are the ones installing the fiber lines, answering your questions on the phone, and helping you get connected. They’re members of your community and care what happens around here, just like you.

Our focus will always be serving you. We’re never going to strong-arm you into a contract you don’t want or restrict your access to great internet. Our job is to create a fiber internet network that makes your life better.

We understand that reliable internet access is essential for your family. It empowers you to pursue the remote career of your dreams and conduct telehealth visits from home. It ensures remote learning helps your child stay on track (without making you want to throw your computer out the window). And it enables family movie nights that aren’t interrupted by slow download speeds or dropped connections.

And when you have problems or there’s an issue, you can count on us to work hard—and quickly—to make things right.

#2: What You See Is What You Pay 

You don’t like seeing surprises on a bill (and neither do we!). That’s why we don’t have hidden fees or fluctuating prices. What you see is what you pay. You can count on it being the same every month. We don’t send inflated bills or charge you when you call in for help. And if you want to make a change to your account, we’ll make sure to accommodate you.

Our pricing is straightforward and listed on our website for all to see. Curious about available promos? Just give us a call! We’re committed to transparency and happy to answer any questions you may have. 

#3: Fiber Internet Increase the Value of Your Home 

When you’re selling your home, you think about the things that make it desirable, like a great backyard, a new roof, or a perfect view of the sunrise. Each of those perks can increase the value of your home.

So can fiber internet.  

Studies show that fiber internet adds about $5,000 to your home’s value. And you can anticipate that number to rise over the next several years as more people work from home and need access to reliable internet.

#4 Symmetrical Upload and Download Speeds  

Before we explain why this matters, let us tell you a bit about what symmetrical upload and download speeds mean.

The download speed of your internet determines how fast things like files, streaming videos, and websites you’re looking at load on your screen.

Upload speed determines how fast you can send things to the internet, like social media posts, images, and video calls. If your upload speed is slow, you won’t have a good connection for your virtual meeting, or your image may take a long time to post to social media.

With symmetrical upload and download speeds, you have equal bandwidth for both types of activities. But cable internet providers are not able to offer symmetrical speed due to limitations of the technology. If you’ve ever noticed that your boss can’t get a clear video from you on a video call or your files take a long time to upload, you might be held back by slower upload speeds.

With fiber internet, you can have equally fast speeds for uploads and downloads. This means you can have meetings without interruption, and your telehealth visits will go smoothly. And when it’s time to stream your favorite show, you won’t have to worry about buffering.

#5: The Freedom of Fiber  

Cable internet providers want you to be dependent on them for both your internet and television access.   

When you switch to fiber internet, you have the freedom of choice. You can cut the cord on cable TV (and those expensive bills!) and enjoy many options for watching live television or streaming your favorite TV shows and movies. Simply use our free MyBundle tool to discover which streaming platforms offer your favorite channels for less.

But reliable internet is for more than watching TV — fiber upgrades your life in so many ways! You can skip the waiting room and have a telehealth visit at home. Or you can cut the commute and enjoy the flexibility of remote work.

Better internet is on the way. And we’re excited for you to experience all of the positive changes fiber internet will provide. If you’re still on the fence about making the switch, take a look at this chart and see how we compare to your cable provider:

If fiber internet isn’t available in your neighborhood, don’t worry, it will be soon! You can stay up to date on the installation process by signing up here. Then, you’ll be notified when fiber internet is available in your neighborhood. We can’t wait to get you connected!

The Process of Installing Fiber Internet

The Process of Installing Fiber Internet

At Medina Fiber, we prioritize building, installing, and maintaining high-quality, reliable, and fast fiber internet.

Like any cutting-edge technology, constructing and providing fiber internet in your community and home is…well…complicated! So, getting it right matters — for reliability and speed.

But “getting it right” can sometimes take a bit longer than many communities and residents would like!

While we realize that you just “can’t wait” to finally have high-speed fiber internet in your home, we’d like to explain the industry-wide process of installing fiber broadband infrastructure so you will better understand all that goes into providing this service to you — and why we hope you will understand why we ask you to bear with us as we work to install the best service possible!

What is “Fiber Make-Ready Construction”?

Installing fiber internet is subject to strict industry and governmental standards. From planning to permitting, to shovel-ready groundbreaking, to wiring and launching, it’s a step-by-step process to make sure we follow regulations and limit any potential long-term problems.

Specifically, when we build the fiber broadband network in your community, we build it to “Fiber Make-Ready” conditions.

“Make-Ready,” a term used broadly in the construction industry, describes the process and standard of building infrastructure to access and connect to a utility access point—in our case, a fiber broadband internet “pole.”

As you can imagine, given the large network of users of this utility (who doesn’t use the internet these days??), the fiber broadband network must be properly installed. Fiber Make-Ready is the universal standard Medina Fiber follows to ensure the highest quality build possible for your internet connection.

Steps in the Fiber Make-Ready Process

Below is the multistep process to getting to Fiber Make-Ready conditions.

Step 1: Medina Fiber reaches out to the “pole owner” of the fiber—usually another utility—asking permission to connect to the fiber pole. This is a lengthy process involving construction, environmental, financial, labor, and telecommunications regulations.

Step 2: The fiber broadband pole owner runs an engineering and technical assessment on the capacity for that pole to accept more equipment for another connection and whether it can provide sufficient high-speed fiber internet to the Medina Fiber customer base without additional upgrades. Many factors are considered including safety and basic spacing on the pole.

Step 3: Based on the pole owner’s assessment of capacity, space, safety, and other factors, the pole owner sends a “Fiber Make-Ready” cost estimate to Medina Fiber. This cost estimate must be pre-paid before any construction work can begin.

Step 4: Once the pole owner concludes that there are no significant issues and has received pre-payment, every other company and provider then sends utility workers to the pole to make adjustments to their existing wiring and equipment on the pole in order to accommodate Medina Fiber’s new equipment.

Step 5: After space for the new fiber equipment on the pole has been made, the pole owner issues a work permit (which, again, must comply with federal, state, and local laws and regulations) to Medina Fiber.

Step 6: Finally, after all the above steps have been completed, Medina Fiber can install its fiber equipment on the pole.

Fiber Broadband is Worth the Wait! 

We know this seems like a lengthy process. But the steps above help ensure that the internet infrastructure in your community is not overburdened — or unsafe — to bring into your neighborhood.

Medina Fiber’s fiber internet will be more stable, more sustainable, and higher quality because we have taken the time to install it to Fiber Make-Ready conditions.

In sum, installing fiber internet takes some time, and is subject to strict standards of Make-Ready construction. But trust us—it is well worth the wait!

Your internet will be more reliable, more efficient, and much faster because we took the time to install it to the best industry standards.

Please follow Medina Fiber’s social media accounts for more information about our services, and helpful tips on making the most of your high-speed fiber internet!

How to Keep Your Online Meetings Secure

How to Keep Your Online Meetings Secure

Online video conferencing makes working and socializing more convenient and more flexible than ever. And every year, tens of thousands of people convert to telecommuting and working from home. The COVID-19 global pandemic only accelerated and expanded the trend.

There are many choices and ways to connect individuals and groups through online video conferencing from older platforms like Skype to the now widely used Zoom.

And with high-speed, reliable fiber internet from Medina Fiber, you can enjoy clear, consistent video and audio conferencing online with your family, friends, and co-workers, and even feel as if you are in the very same room together!

Yet, security risks exist for online video conferencing users. These risks can range from the unauthorized recording of video and audio conferences by outsiders to “Zoom Bombing,” where uninvited strangers can parachute into a seemingly private video conference and hijack it. Indeed, some incidents were so disturbing that the FBI felt the need to speak out and issued a public warning about the potential threats.

Fortunately, you can take steps to secure your online video conferences better. Read below to learn several ways to utilize this amazing technology safely and confidently.

1. Meeting Passwords and Unique Meeting IDs

Establishing a personal, unique Meeting ID code before each online video conference and a separate, carefully-shared password or PIN number is one of the simplest—and best—measures you can take to secure your meeting. Don’t overlook this most basic of protections!

2. Utilize the “Waiting Room”

Many online video conference apps offer a feature that allows the conference host to admit people to the “meeting room” from a “waiting room.” The waiting room enables the host to see who is trying to enter before they can actually join the conference, adding an extra level of security.

3. Set Notifications

Allow “notifications” every time someone enters—or attempts to enter—the online video conference meeting room. This setting allows the conference room participants to see if any uninvited “guests” enter and try to create any mischief.

4. Lock the Room

After you’ve set your unique meeting ID and password and safely admitted only invited participants into the conference, be sure to “lock the room.” This feature prevents anyone else from entering after you’ve locked the conference—and also encourages your guests to arrive on time for the meeting!

5. Software Updates and Security Patches

The best online video conference software developers regularly test their programs and apps for security compromises and flaws. Occasionally, they will update their software and create security patches. These updates and security fixes are only protective if you and your fellow online video conference participants install them! So be sure to look out for these updates and patches, or even allow automatic updates!

Online video conferencing is a fantastic technology that brings people closer together—and can make working groups more collaborative and productive. Taking the five steps described above will help keep your online video conferences safe and secure.

And for more tips on how to safely navigate the web using the high-speed fiber internet of Medina Fiber, be sure to follow our social pages!