This post describes the installation of the Fort Collins Connexion municipal broadband service. I’ll append new information to the bottom of the post whenever something happens on my street. Work has been going on in the northwest corner of my neighborhood since the end of July. It’s only in the last week that activity has started happening on my street. Read on to hear more about the process.
August 27, 2019 – Nextdoor Post
On August 27, Fort Collins Connexion posted to Nextdoor that work would be starting in my neighborhood and seven others around me. Here’s the post:
If you click on the ‘8 neighborhoods’ link in the post, you get this cool little map:
August 29, 2019 – Pricing Announced (?) and Launch Party
On August 28, the Coloradoan published a story saying that pricing would not be announced until sometime after the Launch Party on the evening of August 29:
Residential pricing will be revealed soon after the launch party, Connexion marketing manager Erin Shanley said, although the city previously said that information would be available before the launch.
On August 29 around noon I tried fcconnexion.com. Surprise! The website was up and pricing was right there. I got a quick screen cap then tweeted it to the Coloradoan at 12:17 pm. Here’s the original screen capture:
I’m not sure if the website was supposed to go live then or not but it was. A few minutes later the website was down. It came back a few minutes later and stayed live the rest of the day. Throughout the day, there were several edits to the website. One edit in particular removed information about un-bundled video services.
Anyway, the fcconnexion.com website is live now. You can go there and view pricing and bundles. No way to check for service availability though.
The launch party was that night. Colin and I got a shout out from Mayor Wade Troxell. If you want to watch a video of the launch party, it’s available on YouTube:
September 5, 2019 – Door Flyer Announcing Construction
On September 5, Connexion placed a flyer on my door announcing the start of construction on my street:
September 5, 2019 – Route Marking
Also on September 5, a contractor went around my area marking the street with white spray paint. He was transferring the network design from a map on an iPad onto the street. Here are some of the markings and what they mean.
Two markings are used to mark the fiber route. The first symbol is the route marking. The fiber will run in the right of way behind the sidewalk along these marks. They occur about every 10 feet or so.
The second marking is an end of route mark. The fiber stops at this mark.
An ‘S’ on the sidewalk marks the location of a fiber splice vault. In the splice vault, the main trunk fiber is spliced to lots of fibers that branch off to serve individual homes.
Here’s what a finished splice vault looks like. This is a vault on another street. It’ll be at least a few days until the ones near me are installed.
Flower pots are marked with an F in side a circle. Flower pots are where the fiber in the street is spliced to the drop fiber that runs to the side of the house.
An example of an installed flower pot. It’s about the size of a small dinner plate. This is a flower pot on another street. It’ll be at least a few days until the ones near me are installed.
The next step is utility locates where the locations of existing water, electric, and gas lines will be marked on the pavement. Hopefully this will occur early next week sometime.
September 7, 2019 – A Note About the Competition
I rode my bike to a new neighborhood to see what Comcast was doing. Believe it or not, Comcast is still installing coax instead of fiber. Furthermore, all their taps and equipment are above ground. Here’s a photo of one:
Compare this above ground Comcast eyesore to the all-underground vaults and flower pots being deployed by the city for the Fort Collins fiber network. Which would you rather have in your front yard for the rest of eternity?