Fiber FAQ

Understanding Fiber

What is fiber and why is it better than what I currently have?

Fiber-optic cables contain optical fiber, which are hair-thin strands of glass specially designed to trap and transmit light pulses. Unlike copper that we are currently using, optical fiber can carry data for great distances without signal loss or interference. Optical fiber can also transmit signals in both directions simultaneously — upload and download at extremely high speeds.

How will a fiber connection benefit me?

A fiber connection will provide you with access to virtually unlimited bandwidth capacity and internet speed, enabling you to enjoy a better experience with data-intensive applications such as streaming, online gaming, cloud storage, online education, and more. Fiber also increases service reliability and stability. South Slope buries fiber optic cables to ensure they will endure harsh environmental factors such as sunlight, storms, snow, and high winds. Our fiber is strong, weatherproof, and UV resistant.

In addition, having a fiber connection may increase the value of a home by several thousand dollars and increase the amount renters are willing to pay.

What services will I be able to choose with fiber?

South Slope offers internet, telephone, and TV over fiber optics.

How fast can internet speeds be for my home or business on a fiber connection?

A fiber connection can provide virtually unlimited internet speeds. We have fiber offerings of speeds up to 1 Gigabit. To put that in context, an internet speed of 1 Gigabit is equal to 1,000 Mbps. So if you currently have an internet plan with 20 Mbps speed — about average for a U.S. household — 1 Gigabit would be 50 times faster. 

Where is South Slope building fiber networks?

South Slope is in a multi-year project to convert homes from aging copper lines to fiber optic lines. We are building our network in Tiffin, Solon and Fairfax. This technology is the most advanced available and is part of our ongoing commitment to provide you the best way to stay connected.

Sign Up, Fees and Timeline

How and when do I sign up?

Sign up for Solon, Tiffin and Fairfax is available now!

Looking to get fiber to your home? Start the online sign up here.

Looking to get fiber to your business? Complete the interest form here.

Is there a sign-up deadline?

There isn’t a deadline but it’s best to sign up for fiber while we’re building in your community.

Looking to get fiber to your home? Start the online sign up here.

Looking to get fiber to your business? Complete the interest form here.

What is the cost to sign up?

Online sign up is free.

Are there additional fees?

If you are a current South Slope customer within our fiber build areas, fiber will be brought to you at no charge. If you aren’t a current customer, you may be assessed a fee depending on where you live, which is due at the time we are ready to install service to your home.

For example, if you live within Solon city limits and aren’t a current South Slope customer, you will be charged a $300 fee to help cover a portion of the cost to bring service to your home. You will be given the option to make a one-time payment approximately two weeks prior to service installation to your home or pay $25 per month spread out over the first 12 months of service. (If you live in Solon rural and aren’t a current customer, you will be charged a $1000 fee.)

Following are additional fees and contract information:

Phone Service: There is no contract and there is a $25 activation fee.

Internet Service: You can have a 12-month contract with a $25 activation fee/no installation fee or you can have no contract with a $25 activation fee and $100 internet installation fee.

TV Service: A 12-month contract is required and there is a $25 activation fee, which covers the number of set top boxes included in the package. Each additional set top box is installed at $40/half hour, plus materials.

What is the process for getting fiber?

For homes, See if your address is a part of our fiber area by going here. If you address is eligible, you will be directed to an online form to sign up and let us know what services you are interested in.

For businesses, complete our online business interest form. We will follow-up with you regarding fiber services available at your location. 

If I rent, am I able to get fiber?

If you rent a house or an apartment, we will need to contact your property owner. First, give us your address here, and if your address is within our fiber build area, you will be prompted to provide your property owner’s contact information in the online sign up form. 

When will fiber be available in Solon, Tiffin and Fairfax?

Due to the possibility of weather delays, we cannot provide exact dates, but following is the general timeline:

  • Fiber line construction: 
    • Solon: July 2020
    • Tiffin: September 2019
    • Fairfax Prairie View Estates: Oct-Nov 2019
  • Fiber splicing:
    • Solon: Sept – Nov 2020
    • Tiffin: Oct-Dec 2019
    • Fairfax Prairie View Estates: Dec. 2019-Jan. 2020
  • Fiber service installation (will take several months):  
    • Solon: Beginning December 2020
    • Tiffin: Beginning February 2020
    • Fairfax Prairie View Estates: Beginning March 2020

Installation

Will the installation of fiber disturb my yard or property?

We do our best to leave your property in good condition, but some disruptions may occur. All of our cables will be buried through plowing, which will put a temporary line in the yard and we will do our best to restore the property back to its original condition. Before digging, we locate every utility, and mark their location, to assist digging crews. Once we start locating, you may notice different colored marks on your grass, sidewalk, or street to make the fiber installation process run smoothly.

Do I need a modem with fiber internet service?

No, your fiber connection does not require a modem but we recommend a router with a firewall for security. The router provides a wireless connection (Wi-Fi) to your devices.

Will there be new equipment installed at my house?

Yes. The old Network Interface Device (NID) you currently have will be replaced by a slightly larger Optical Network Terminal (ONT). The ONT converts the fiber signal to voice, CATV and internet. This unit will also require the mounting of a back-up power supply if you take phone service. The ONT requires electricity. Since fiber cannot carry an electric power charge like copper used to, a battery backup is required to power your phone service in the event of a general power outage. This battery is designed to last for 8 or more hours, depending on phone usage. You may extend your backup power by purchasing a 24-hour battery backup option.  Please contact one of our Customer Service Representatives if you would like to learn more about our 24 hour battery backup options.

What should I expect during the upgrade?

We begin by placing the main line fiber optic cables to each neighborhood followed by placing fiber or conduit to your home. We will be installing an ONT near the time that you will be converted to fiber optic services. When everything is in place, we will need to schedule an appointment with you for installation.

What happens when my service is "switched over" to the fiber network?

Our goal is to switch our customers over with minimal inconvenience. After the main line construction is finished and you’ve completed the sign-up process, our technicians will complete the connection of your home. At this time, the technicians will not disconnect or remove your current service feed or any inside wiring. Once all of this is complete, a South Slope Representative will contact you to confirm your service selections and coordinate a date for your conversion. Typically, on the day of installation, a residential customer will be without service for five to ten minutes while the actual cut-over takes place.

Do I have to switch to fiber, or can I keep the service I currently have?

All South Slope customers within Solon and Tiffin city limits and Fairfax Prairie View Estates will eventually move to the new fiber network. Due to the high costs of maintaining two networks, we will be shutting down our copper network in the future. You will receive faster internet options, crystal clear phone connections, and digital video services all on our secure fiber optic network.

Construction

Will there be disruptions during construction?

As construction is happening, work may become disruptive. We understand that noise and constant construction are less than optimal, but South Slope will attempt to minimize any disruption that construction causes to residents and the community.

What is a fiber drop?

A fiber drop connects a single fiber cable to fiber cables from South Slope’s network, and then to the optical network terminal (ONT) on the side of your home.

What is splicing?

Splicing is the process of joining two fiber optic cables together. Splicing consist of four basic steps: 

    1. Stripping the fiber – Removal of the protective polymer coating around optical fiber. The splicing process starts by preparing both ends, and making sure that all of the protective coating is removed or stripped from the ends of every fiber. 
    2. Cleaning the fiber – We clean the fibers to ensure we get a good fusion between the pieces of glass. 
    3. Splicing the fiber – We use a fusion splicing machine to align the two fiber ends. The glass ends are fused together using heat. This produces a continuous connection between the fibers. 
    4. Testing the fiber to make sure everything is connected correctly.

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