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Beginning August 1, 2018, MetroNet, Inc. will begin the process of installing a fiber optic network that will bring their high-speed internet, television, and phone service to DeKalb.
In April 2018, the City Council approved a non-exclusive cable television franchise agreement with MetroNet. This agreement allows MetroNet to construct their 100% fiber optic network in DeKalb and offer services to DeKalb residents and businesses. While the current franchise agreement with Comcast Cable remains in place, the introduction of an additional service provider benefits residents by creating competition in the marketplace. This may result in better pricing and services for consumers.
This week, MetroNet began notifying residents living in areas where the initial phases of installation will take place. Construction will occur both above and below ground in the existing utility easements. MetroNet is required to obtain the necessary City permits prior to beginning work. While residents have a choice of whether or not they wish to connect their home to MetroNet services, the same is not true of fiber lines installed in easements. MetroNet is granted access to utility easements just the same as any other utility provider. In many instances, this will require MetroNet contractors to access residential yards. Contractors should be identifiable through vehicle markings and personal identification badges that display the MetroNet logo.
MetroNet has worked with the City to develop a comprehensive communications plan to notify residents of fiber installation. MetroNet will send residents a letter by mail approximately 30 days before work is scheduled to begin. The letter will be followed by a mailed postcard several weeks later and a yard marker at each property the week before construction. MetroNet maintains a dedicated construction website that can be found at www.metronetinc.com/construction. That website provides information about the construction process, current and future work areas, and a form to submit questions or concerns.
Because it will take approximately two years to complete construction throughout DeKalb, the City will continue to communicate updates to residents as needed. Information will be shared through the local media, Channel 14, the City’s website, Channel 14 and social media channels. MetroNet’s construction website indicates that initial deployment will occur in three areas: the area bounded by Bethany Road (S), First Street (E) and Rich Road (N); the area bounded by Malta Road (S), Annie Glidden Road (E) and the railroad tracks (N); and the area roughly bounded by the Kishwaukee River (S), First Street (E), Dresser Road (N) and Normal Road (W).
Residents with questions or concerns are directed to first contact MetroNet through their construction website or toll-free phone number at 877-386-3876. If questions persist or an issue remains unresolved, residents are asked to call the Public Works Department, who will oversee permitting and construction of this project, at 815-748-2030.