Fiber internet for 500W to 750W near SR 26 in West Lafayette, Indiana

We did it!

Wintek has agreed to provide fiber internet to our area! Installation will start soon after the meeting April 17. We are very excited about this and look forward to all the benefits such as lower cost TV and phone, unlimited streaming movies, higher property values, and instant page updates when we Google search for products and news.

If you are interested, please attend the meeting described below.

We are leaving the rest of this web page intact for your information, but note that, except for the meeting, some of this information is out of date.

If you are outside the area for this phase here, please attend the meeting because Wintek fiber may be available to you in a year or so. The area for phase 2 is shown on this map.

Meeting April 17

We have set up a meeting with the Wintek Chief Operating Officer, Oliver Beers, for Thursday April 17, 6-8 PM at the Klondike Library located on the corner of Klondike and Lindberg. If you have any interest in this project, we urge you to attend. Oliver and his staff will describe the project and answer questions. Those who have decided can fill out the official sign-up forms.

 

======= Below are previous announcements for your information =======

Update and new payment plan

As of 14 Feb 2014 we have 23 households in the above area committed to the payment plan described below ($3,000 up front, $99/month for 25 Mbps). However, we need more before Wintek can make a the business case to proceed with construction, possibly as soon as this summer. The map at the bottom of this page (or click here to view larger in a new window) shows who have committed (Yes), and who have said "No" or have not responded to our fliers. Wintek has expanded the area covered by this project to include CR 500W all the way to Division road (see map).

Because some of our responders have said the up-front money is a problem, Wintek has agreed to accept a contract for $175 per month for 18 months (in addition to the $99/mo payment for service). If we can get 20 more homes in the expanded area to agree to this installment plan or the $3,000 up front payment, Wintek will be ready to present the business case to it’s financial sources and likely move forward. If this is attractive to you or anyone you know in our area, or if you have questions, please send us email to fiber@davidelmore.com. A little effort from you to contact your neighbors could make the difference of this project going forward or not.

In case you have already committed the $3,000 and are thinking of changing to the installment plan, this will not help because Wintek still needs the up-front payments we have already identified in addition to 20 or more installment plans.

Save on Phone and TV service

Once you have fiber internet, you can sign up for reliable and high quality VOIP phone service for monthly fees ranging from free to $10. It may even be possible to keep your old phone number. The free service is Ooma (http://goo.gl/3MaoMd) and a few of the many pay providers are www.itpvoip.com, www.phonepower.com and www.vonage.com.

If you watch a lot of TV including sports, you may want to stay with Satellite TV. If you don't watch sports or if you travel a lot, you should consider IPTV which will have excellent quality and reliability over your fiber internet. Many comedy and variety shows and movies are available for free or from services like Netflix. You can get all cable and local channels from Mulberry Cooperative Telephone (www.mintel.net) and you can suspend service while away or between sports seasons.

Original (somewhat outdated) call for interest

A group of us in your neighborhood are having discussions with a local internet company, Wintek (www.Wintek.com), about investing in optical fiber to deliver high-speed internet to our homes in 2014. We assume most of you are as frustrated as we are with the currently available internet options in our area, mainly cellular data, satellite, and Broadband Networks wireless.

Costs to homeowners who wish to sign up for Wintek service will include a one-time up-front payment to cover a portion of the construction costs and a monthly charge of $99 for internet services up to 25 Mbps (mega-bits per second) and a static IP address. This is considerably faster than current services in our area (see web site mentioned below).  TV over internet will also be available at an additional charge, but most of you who use cable or satellite for TV will likely stay with those services.  Inexpensive telephone over internet will also be possible.

The estimated one-time pre-construction payment depends on the number of homeowners who commit to the initial project.  Payment from a minimum of 30 homeowners is needed for the project to proceed. There are over 100 homes or building lots for sale in the project area.  For 30 homes, or about one third of the total, the cost is estimated not to exceed $3000/house.  If significantly more homeowners commit at the initial stage, the one-time charge may be less.  Wintek can begin construction before mid-2014 if we have enough commitments soon.  For those who sign up after the fiber infrastructure is in place, the one-time payment to cover infrastructure may be greater.  Fees cover installation and maintenance of the fiber to inside your house as well as the “fiber modem box” where you connect a wired Ethernet cable to your router.

Other internet options

Although the advertised monthly rates for Comcast and Metronet are lower than those of Wintek, we have not been able to convince these companies to serve our area. If you want to wait for them (possibly years) please say so in the survey. But note that Comcast and Metronet would likely charge much more up front, and they will install shared fiber or coax.  Wintek will install dedicated fiber to every home so congestion at busy times will never be an issue and you will be all set for future uses that require much higher bandwidth.

  • Metronet is busy building out infrastructure in Lafayette but has indicated no interest in moving out here at this time. They use PON fiber which shares many end users on the same strand of fiber.
  • Comcast (formerly Insight) has internet out as far as the Westwood subdivision, and offers plans from 3 MBPS to 100 MBPS, for prices between $20 and $100/mo. But Comcast has made no effort to move beyond Westwood, possibly we suspect because their infrastructure there is ‘maxed out’ in this direction. Communication with Comcast locally is difficult for us because they are not based in Lafayette.
  • Satellite services like WildBlue/EXEDE are expensive for the limited speeds they provide and subject to weather outages; the ‘latency’ makes VPN to the office extremely slow, and limits on total Gigabytes used can easily run your costs up well over $100/month.
  • Cellular Data (ATT, Verizon) can achieve 10 or more Mbps if you are close enough to a tower but is very expensive if you use lots of data such as streaming music or movies.
  • Broadband Networks (formerly Omnicity), using a wireless transmitter on the grain leg in Montmorenci, can only get you 3-4 Mbps at best if you can see the tower. It is also subject to weather outages and has been very spotty on service according to the experiences of at least some of us who have used or are using it.

Wintek service

A dedicated fiber to your home means that your internet speed will not depend on internet usage by others. At a somewhat higher cost per month you can change your service to 100 Mbps. You will have fast page load times even when everyone else on the block is streaming movies.

The Wintek network is connected directly to the Purdue network and to area schools so when you work at home it will seem like you are still in your office. By using VPN (virtual private network) and your static IP address you can access your work files from home and your home files from work.

Added value to your home

Many buyers or renters these days would not consider a home that does not have fast internet. There is a good chance that you will get back the initial cost of internet service when you sell your house.

Response to your questions

We received several good questions with the survey responses. As we obtain answers we will post them below and we will ask Wintek to check accuracy of answers. We are presently working on any unanswered questions.

Who will be the actual ISP? Wintek

Is Wintek currently servicing other residential neighborhoods? Yes, for example 400 W and Purdue's Greek system.

What is their reliability? Direct from Wintek: Wintek provides services to nearly all of the "anchor" institutions in Tippecanoe County.  If we had to put a percentage on uptime, it would probably be 99.99%.  The type of customers that we provide service to today are with us because of reliability and local support (Public Safety, Hospitals, etc).

Can we manage our account online? Direct from Wintek: Not currently, there isn't much to manage. Nearly all of our customers on N400W have setup ACH payments or credit card payments with us for their service (we will do the same for this project).

You mentioned that they MAY be able to provide phone and ‘cable’ services – is this currently available and where are they providing this service? Wintek will not themselves provide these services. They are available over the internet from other providers. We will get more details.

References?

Why does it cost so much? Wintek claims that the installation cost is well over $3000 per house. If it were much less than that we figure the other providers would be more interested in serving our area. If anyone has a less expensive plan, please speak up.

Is there any thought to some sort of business entity made up of the home owners that are participating to manage any liability, if any, and manage fairness for people moving in and out of the properties? Wintek will assume all liability for the installation and maintenance of the fiber lines. The up front cost up to $3000 per house would be charged only once. When you sell your house the internet access and equipment at the end of the fiber line will go with the house.

What would be monthly GB allowance included with monthly fee ($99)? There is no data limit for residential service. If you opt for business service there would be a limit.

Will they allow a suspension for 6 months (when we will not be using the service) without charging the monthly cost? Yes, for 2 months or longer.

Survey

Whether you are interested or not, please send an email to fiber@davidelmore.com or deliver or mail to 2201N 600W with the following information:

  1. Are you interested in this project (circle one)?  YES  NO   If yes, please fill out the remainder of this form.  If no, please let us know so we won’t keep contacting you.
  2. Are you willing to commit up to $3000 to get this project underway (payment will not be required for several months)?  YES   NO
  3. Provide your name, home address, email, and phone number.
  4. Will you be a spokesperson and neighborhood advocate?  YES   NO  If yes, please start now. Please report responses to us. A "no" means we do not have to contact them again. A "yes" means a better chance for internet for all of us.
  5. Ask questions and make comments.  We may not have all the answers at this stage, but we need to know what’s on your mind.
  6. All replies will be kept confidential, except that the names and addresses of homeowners expressing interest will be provided to Wintek and possibly other providers so they can estimate costs and construction details.  Can we use your name?  YES   NO

Please respond as soon as possible.

Neighborhood map and survey results

The names and addresses for this Google map came from Tippecanoe County public GIS records. If there are errors you might want to contact the county. The blue stars indicate those who have committed to the project.