Project Update for Friday, September 1, 2023
Work continues on the Volt Broadband network currently under construction across the NELPCO territory despite the hot weather and some unforeseen permitting delays, as well as a vehicle accident that impacted some sensitive equipment.
As of now, there are well over 1,700 residential and commercial customers connected to the fiber optic network in several parishes, including Richland, Franklin, and Morehouse Parishes.
In late-July along Highway 584 in Richland Parish, a vehicle struck a power pole knocking an internet cabinet off the pole and causing extensive damage. These cabinets, which are scattered throughout the NELPCO/Volt Broadband footprint, separate the light so it can serve literally thousands of homes, and contain the same electronics as the “huts” at the distribution stations.
This accident set our operation back some in the Archibald 3 area, but the impacted line finally went live during the last week in August.
Another unforeseen issue was a delay in the permitting process across five Kansas City Southern railroad crossings located in Richland Parish. Securing these permits and working around the train schedules impacted construction in those areas, which does impact the progress of the overall project.
Fortunately, these issues have now been resolved, and installations are now being scheduled and completed.
In addition, construction continues at a fast pace in the Oak Grove area, and plans call for the internet “drain” to be fully connected by the end of September. This drain allows the light to be re-routed in case of a problem between Oak Grove and Baskin, and serves as insurance for an uninterrupted signal that our Volt Broadband customers can count on once they are connected.
This connection will allow us to have the first feeder live in the Oak Grove area sometime in late-October which, in turn, will allow for installations to begin.
Also, “make ready” construction has started in the Fort Necessity, Wisner and South Franklin area, so customers there should begin seeing crews with “JCL Blackout” marking their trucks. Make ready construction is always the first step in the process, and quickly gives way to actually getting the messenger wire and fiber cable on the poles.
Volt Broadband continues to maintain a 40% “take rate” (the percentage of NELPCO members opting in for the service), which is an excellent rate for a project such as this. And, the fact that we have been connecting homes and businesses across the NELPCO footprint for a year without any service cancellations speaks highly of the Volt Broadband product.
Our fiber optic service is obviously of the highest quality, and we are proud to bring it to our NELPCO members.
This month also marks the one year anniversary of our first Volt Broadband connection, which actually took place on September 7 of last year. We continue to be pleased with the progress being made, and will continue our efforts to bring this service to our members as quickly as possible.
As always, we appreciate your patience as we continue our efforts to stay on schedule in order to provide this service to all NELPCO members, and we urge you to pre-register for this service so you won’t be delayed when it becomes available at your location.
You can find a complete interactive map on our website at VoltBroadband.com/construction-schedule-map to view the projected in-service dates for your area.
If you have any questions, please contact us via our website at VoltBroadband.com, or call our office at (318) 728-1022. Also, make sure to follow us on social media for more updates.
Volt Broadband’s home office is located at 150 Christian Drive in Rayville and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, so please drop by if you need assistance or want more information. And if you haven’t pre-registered yet, do so today at VoltBroadband.com/signup.