Dear Tombigbee Members:
This is our 4th update to you on the status of your fiber project. I hope you see the ongoing progress of more and more areas opening for service. The customers receiving service give us very positive feedback, and we are eager to serve all of you as soon as possible.
Last November, we served 100 customers over a 300 mile fiber network. Since then, we have increased those served to 6,000 receiving service and the network to 1,450 miles of fiber. More remarkable, however, is the fact that those miles now pass 19,000 homes and businesses making fiber service available to them.
We have 2,500 miles of fiber yet to build in order to reach the remaining 20,000 customers patiently waiting on our service. We work each day to do so with 200 people working seven days a week to bring your fiber to you! This project will continue for another year and a half of construction in order to reach all Tombigbee members. Only when those members are reached, will we then build to certain grant areas outside of Tombigbee.
As you know, earlier this year, we reduced our project from 4 phases to 3 to build to all of Tombigbee’s electric membership. The steps to build a fiber network in order are: 1) network design; 2) make ready engineering; 3) make ready construction; 4) fiber construction and 5) installation and service. Network design for each phase is essentially complete, subject to revision during construction. Below is the status of each phase:
Phase 1 is complete and open for service at this time. The only exception is an area consisting of less than 20 houses that requires special materials as well as a bore under the Natchez Trace. The materials have finally been manufactured and are set to ship to us in the coming days. We hope to finalize the permitting and conclude that work in the next month and offer service to those families. Otherwise, if you live in the phase 1, service is available to you!
Phase 2 construction started on time and is well underway. Over 50% of the make ready construction is now complete in this phase. We have also opened several phase 2 areas making service available to 1,973 customers. We expect two more areas in the coming weeks which will make service available to approximately 4,000 more. Additionally, we will be setting the final fiber huts for phase 2 in the next 30 days. As a result of these efforts, we expect phase 2 to be fully complete by June of 2022.
Meanwhile in Phase 3, the make ready engineering is about 50% complete. If you see a Tech Serve representative in your area, they are evaluating poles, taking photographs, making measurements, evaluating equipment all in preparation for our make ready constructions crews to follow as soon as possible as they finish in phase 2. The fiber huts for phase 3 should be set in the next 60 days. Overall fiber construction should commence in June of 2022.
We appreciate your patience and look forward to serving you. You can find out more specific information for your address on TombigbeeFiber.com.
Tombigbee Fiber, LLC
Scott R. Hendrix, CEO