Don’t let time run out!

WK&T is nearing the completion of its fiber project. Call to schedule your free fiber conversion before it’s too late!

What will YOU do with Internet speeds of 50 Mbps or more?

  • Work from home
  • Discover new music, books, movies & games
  • Learn a new skill
  • Earn a degree online
  • Connect with your doctor
  • Share family photos and video

The search for better broadband should start with existing local providers

NEW NTCA logo 4CRural connections

By Shirley Bloomfield, CEO
NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association

There is no question that broadband Internet service is the key to economic and community development, especially in rural America. However, there are differing opinions in Washington about the best way to continue building our nation’s connected infrastructure.

While I applaud President Obama’s recent attention on increasing every American’s access to robust and affordable broadband, it’s not clear that his focus on creating more government-run networks in marketplaces where private operators already exist is the best path toward bringing more jobs and opportunity to rural America.

If our leaders are looking for an excellent model for what can be accomplished, we believe they should turn to the experts who have decades of experience deploying and maintaining modern telecommunications infrastructure: community-based, independent telcos like yours.

Rural telecommunications providers are delivering advanced technology to their customers.

Rural telecommunications providers are delivering advanced technology to their customers.

Nationwide, there are over 1,000 technology providers like yours that serve over 4 million households in the most sparsely populated pockets of our country, deploying high-speed, high-quality broadband services. For decades, these providers have gone above and beyond to build the infrastructure that allows our country’s most rural markets to access the same technologies found in our largest cities — and they’ve done it all under the extremely difficult financial and physical conditions that come with deploying technologies in rural and remote communities.

Thanks to the hard work and commitment of companies such as your local provider, rural America now has access to affordable broadband in some of the most remote locations. But the sustainability of those networks is at risk, and other areas need broadband as well. Policymakers in search of answers to these communications challenges in rural America should turn first to those who have shown they can get the job done time and again, rather than casting about for the next new thing, creating regulatory uncertainty and putting at risk significant investments already made in existing networks through the prospect of redundant or wasteful overbuilding.

There’s already a great broadband success story out there in rural America, and it is being written by community-based telecom providers like yours. As our national broadband story progresses, we should strive to build upon proven initiatives and leverage existing efforts that are working, rather than pursue new uncharted pathways. As this debate plays out, you can be assured that you have a voice in Washington, as your provider joins with hundreds of others through NTCA as the unified voice of America’s rural broadband companies.

Hello, New Concord!

Good news: Your community is fiber ready!

What will YOU do with Internet speeds of 50 Mbps or more?

  • Work from home
  • Discover new music, books, movies & games
  • Learn a new skill
  • Earn a degree online
  • Connect with your doctor
  • Share family photos and video

Get connected to the possibilities of fiber!

Call to find out about special pricing!

877-954-8748 | wktelecom.coop

Need a boost?

How to get better performance from your Wi-Fi network

74_tplink router internet with objectsWK&T’s fiber network delivers the high speeds and bandwidth you need to enjoy all the Internet has to offer. With a Wi-Fi network, you can extend broadband Internet service throughout your home and across all your devices, including smart TVs, smartphones, computers, tablets, gaming consoles and more.

“If you only have one device connected to the Internet, you’re really just scratching the surface of what broadband Internet can offer,” says Michael Lee, product and sales manager with WK&T. “Not only does a Wi-Fi network let you connect wirelessly to the Internet with your laptop or iPad, but it lets others in your home connect with their devices, too. It opens up a lot of possibilities.”

Weak Signal?

While a Wi-Fi network enhances the capabilities of your Internet connection, it’s important to remember that several factors can affect Wi-Fi signal strength and quality. These include:

  • Distance: Devices closer to the router will have stronger connections.
  • Age: Older devices may use technology that cannot take advantage of today’s faster Internet speeds.
  • Devices: Each device shares part of the total available bandwidth. Several connected devices means less bandwidth for each.
  • Other: Microwaves, cordless phones, fluorescent lights, Bluetooth devices and other electronic devices could interfere with your Wi-Fi signal.

Boosting your Wi-Fi

If your family often connects several devices to your Wi-Fi network at the same time, and your speeds are impacted, contact WK&T to discuss options for upgrading your Internet speeds to match the needs of your home.

If you experience loss of signal in rooms located upstairs or on the opposite side of your home from your router, you may want to consider purchasing a network extender to boost the power of your Wi-Fi network. These small, affordable devices plug into a normal electrical outlet. Once connected to your Wi-Fi network, they extend the reach of your network to more rooms in your home, or even to your patio or deck.

An Option for Extending

TPlinkThere are many options available, but an inexpensive, well-reviewed choice is the TP-LINK TL-WA850RE ($30, Amazon.com). It has one-touch setup with most routers, a signal indicator to let you check performance and an Ethernet port to make wired devices wireless. Similar devices are available at WK&T’s Technology Store as well as most electronics stores.

Bright lights, big city … slow Internet?

WK&T’s fiber service produces faster broadband than what’s available in many larger cities

Billy “Buck” Viniard has faster Internet from WK&T’s fiber service in Cunningham than what he’s able to get at his job in downtown Paducah.

Billy “Buck” Viniard has faster Internet from WK&T’s fiber service in Cunningham than what he’s able to get at his job in downtown Paducah.

WK&T members live where they do for a reason. Though cities offer some advantages like convenient shopping and more restaurant options, rural residents have chosen the open spaces, quality of life and small-town culture of local communities.

But, as many WK&T members have discovered, living in a rural area doesn’t mean you’ll be getting slower, second-rate Internet service like residents in larger cities, such as Paducah, St. Louis or Memphis sometimes experience.

WK&T’s fiber service provides faster broadband speeds than most people can find in large cities — and WK&T’s service is often available for less money.

For instance, would you believe that residents in Cunningham can get faster Internet than workers and students in downtown Paducah?

Billy “Buck” Viniard, a Cunningham resident and WK&T member, says his home Internet speed is faster and cheaper than what is available to him at work in Paducah.

“I’ve been very, very satisfied with my fiber service, and I’ve recommended it to several people who are on something else,” says Viniard.

Viniard’s home fiber regularly supports his family’s home phone and television services, two game consoles, two Internet video streaming services and Wi-Fi for smartphones and computers. “It’s amazing that our fiber service keeps up with all that,” says Viniard. “There’s no delay; it’s wonderful.”

And as many members quickly realize, as a cooperative, WK&T has the community’s best interest in mind. That community commitment has helped build nearly 25 years of loyalty with Viniard. “I’ve had the same telephone number ever since I’ve lived in Cunningham,” says Viniard. “I love the local relationship that I have with WK&T. If I have a problem, they’re going to be there and they’re going to solve it. That’s worth the money right there.”

Throughout WK&T’s service territory, fiber is doing more than just building member loyalty and speeding up Internet downloads. Fiber is transforming the entire community. It’s furnishing teachers with the ability to teach with the Internet in their classroom. It’s providing new Internet-based jobs. And it’s increasing the speed and effectiveness of local emergency services. The possibilities fiber provides are only beginning.

Today, it’s hard to comprehend all the changes fiber will contribute to the community. So until then, perhaps the best support is given by current users, like Viniard. “I had a neighbor call and ask if I like my fiber service,” he says. “I just smiled and said, ‘I love it.’”

To see the difference fiber can make for your home or business, call WK&T at 1-877-954-8748 or visit www.wktelecom.coop.

Congressman Whitfield sees the impact of fiber on local businesses firsthand

CongressmanWhitfield1U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., visited the offices of Ag Connections in Calloway County to see how WK&T’s fiber services are providing new opportunities for local business. Congressman Whitfield met with WK&T CEO Trevor Bonnstetter and other local business leaders as part of his visit.

“It’s incredibly gratifying to see Congressman Whitfield’s recognition of WK&T’s great work here in Calloway County,” says Bonnstetter. “WK&T’s fiber services are changing how local businesses operate, and it’s wonderful to share our story with our representatives in Washington, D.C.”

WK&T’s fiber project is nearing the finish line!

Stacey Brown, left, and Donnie Thacker install fiber in Wingo

Stacey Brown, left, and Donnie Thacker install fiber in Wingo

WK&T is approaching the final steps in building its fiber network throughout the cooperative’s entire service area. Fiber recently became available to members in the New Concord exchange, which was the last major area where crews completed construction.

Recently, WK&T finished construction on the Fairdealing exchange, and soon all members will have access to the blazing-fast speeds of fiber. The new service allows members to receive broadband Internet, high-definition television and crystal-clear telephone service through a fiber line that’s thinner than thickness of a human hair. WK&T designed the network with the ability to provide service to each and every resident, business and organization in its service area with an individual fiber line for each member.

For more information, or to set up fiber service, call 1-877-954-8748 and schedule an appointment today!

What to expect when you’re upgraded to WK&T’s fiber service

As WK&T’s fiber project progresses, more and more homes and businesses are able to enjoy the benefits of broadband each day. But like anything that’s worth waiting for, a lot of work has gone into building the new network. There have been years of planning, engineering and construction to make the network a reality. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the entire process:

  • Fiber allows the devices in your home to function smoothly, and run at speeds that are often faster than members can find in large cities.

    Fiber allows the devices in your home to function smoothly, and run at speeds that are often faster than members can find in large cities.

    New fiber lines were buried throughout WK&T’s service area. As part of laying the foundation, “hand holes” in the ground and warning posts were installed. At WK&T’s facilities, the cooperative installed new rack mounts, new terminals to send and receive signals and hundreds of fiber patch cords to carry the fiber signals to members.

  • While this work was being completed, a WK&T representative contacted each member about installing a “drop” to their home or business. The “drop” will allow you to receive the benefits of fiber. Now it’s time to activate the service.
  • A WK&T employee will contact you to set up a time when you will be available for the installation crew to come to your home or business.
  • The fiber connection will be activated and an optical network terminal (ONT) box will be installed on the interior or exterior of your home or business. A crew member will splice together the fiber to the ONT box and test it.
  • To keep your fiber connection going for several hours in the event of a power outage, a crew member will install a battery backup unit inside the home. A standard 120 volt/AC outlet will need to be provided by the homeowner.The battery backup is also capable of notifying WK&T if a problem arises with the ONT’s electronics or if the backup battery fails.
  • In order to fully upgrade your service, installers may have to upgrade some of the wiring between the ONT and your computers, router and televisions. Any re-wiring comes at no cost to you.
  • Crews will install either a wired or secure wireless router, unless you supply your own. Crews will also connect your devices and install a set-top box for each of the televisions.
  • When all of installation is complete, the crew will instruct you on how to use the new equipment, including instructions on the set-top box, DVR, television remote and any other Internet-enabled devices.

Once the installation and set-up is complete and you’re comfortable with the new system, you’re ready to stream, download, share, surf, watch and talk on the finest fiber service available.

Thank you for your patience and for being a WK&T member!

 

All major fiber construction is complete!

Ricky Dale Walker, left, and Donnie Thacker recently upgraded a Wingo apartment building to fiber.

Ricky Dale Walker, left, and Donnie Thacker recently upgraded a Wingo apartment building to fiber.

WK&T recently finished construction on 2,190 miles of its new fiber service throughout the entire WK&T service area. Construction was most recently completed in the Cypress, Tennessee, area, as well as the Fairdealing and New Concord exchanges. With the completion of construction, this means that all WK&T members will soon have access to the fastest Internet speeds available — often faster than customers can find in large urban areas.

Also, while main line construction on the fiber project wrapped up, WK&T made the decision to extend fiber service to all members. The cooperative will continue to convert members to fiber in preparation for the project completion date of June 30, 2015. Although the copper system may not be fully removed by the end of the fiber project, WK&T will continue to remove the copper, allowing the cooperative to eliminate the expense of maintaining two systems.

Fiber project nearing completion

WK&T workers prepare to install large spools of fiber in the New Concord area.

WK&T workers prepare to install large spools of fiber in the New Concord area.

WK&T is entering the final stages of offering its world-class fiber network to all its members. Fiber construction in New Concord will soon be completed. New Concord is the largest exchange of the entire project. Prior to New Concord, WK&T recently completed construction in the Cypress and Fairdealing areas.

During the design stage of the fiber project, WK&T made it a point to plan for the future. When the project is complete, every resident and business will have the ability to use WK&T’s fiber service. Even with projected population growth, WK&T has the ability to supply fiber service to all.

“In the future, no matter what technological changes occur at our end or at the customer’s end, the fiber will be able to handle it,” says Sam Stitcher, WK&T’s engineering department supervisor. “And unlike some competitors, our members do not share the fiber line with their neighbors, each member has their own unique fiber.”