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Fiber overlays in Roseville to improve internet speeds for residents

With new technology, Rob Koester, the senior vice president of consumer products for Consolidated Communications said fiber is 1-gigabyte upload and download speeds.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Fiber broadband internet improvements are in the works for many areas in Roseville.

Fiber is a technology that delivers data through thin, glass strands using light pulses as opposed to the traditional cable internet that transmits information by sending electricity through copper wires.

"It allows things to literally move at the speed of light," said Rob Koester, the senior vice president of consumer products for Consolidated Communications. 

Consolidated has a five-year plan to grow 1.6 million new fiber locations over the next five years, so here's where the process is at in Roseville. 

About 74,000 end-user locations have been placed so far. By the end of the year, Koster said there should be just under 100,000 locations.

"We've actually had fiber technology in the Roseville area for a very long time, but it was older technology do about 150 or 200 megabits per second (Mbps)," Koester said.

With new technology, Koester said fiber is one gigabyte symmetrical — meaning it's capable of 1,000 Mbps download and upload speed.

Right now, Consolidated is building new fiber construction in areas that are near existing fiber locations as well as new locations mainly in new subdivisions.

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Koester said in new subdivisions fiber is easy to install because the utilities like gas, power and fiber can all be placed in one place.

"You typically natural gas and power go in and then we go in on top of natural gas and power," Koester said. "So it's a really easy install because all the utilities work together to put facilities in one spot."

But, for existing subdivisions, it requires more planning. 

Koester said there are two main ways fiber can be installed in existing homes, placing the fiber on utility poles or placing it underground. Adding fiber to a utility pole is not too difficult; however, when facilities are buried underground, it is more expensive.

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Koester also said laying fiber underground is more windproof, but requires coordination with homeowners associations and community leaders, especially if it disrupts lawns and gardens.

"Especially in areas where there may have been bandwidth restrictions or challenges before where you maybe had to say, 'Hey, stop streaming that specific program! I'm trying to do a Zoom call at the same time' — that all goes away with the speeds that fiber provides," Koester said.

According to a spokesperson for Consolidated, Nicole Elton, Consolidated's fiber expansion is self-funded and isn't using additional user fees or impacting taxpayers. 

Koester said the company is planning out 2022 right now, but Consolidated will continue to extend fiber in their coverage areas.

Anyone with questions about where fiber is being built in their area can look at the website map.

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