Final phase of AC Skyways fiber optic internet deployment starts this spring

Fiber optic internet to be available in all of Waukon by year’s end ... Contractors have been working throughout a good portion of the mild winter on Phase 3 of the fiber optic internet deployment project in the northern portion of Waukon, and are anticipated to begin working on Phase 4 of the project in the southern portion of Waukon in late March/early April. According to Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative officials, it is anticipated that all of Waukon will have fiber optic internet available by the end of this year, with further deployment south of Waukon also planned for this year. Submitted photo.

All of Waukon will have fiber internet by the end of 2024

Due in part to the unseasonable winter weather, the final phase in a planned deployment of fiber optic internet in Waukon is set to begin early this spring, according to representatives from AC Skyways, a division of Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative (ACEC). With the conclusion of the fourth phase of the project, the entire city of Waukon will have fiber internet available.

Beginning in late March or early April, the physical work of boring the main fiber optics lines will begin on the south Waukon project, which will bring over 300 “drops” to that part of the community. At the same time, contractors and AC Skyways technicians will begin the final steps to deploy fiber in Phase 3, those homes in the northern portion of Waukon. By the end of the spring, roughly 800 homes and businesses will be able to connect to fiber internet that was deployed last fall.

“After years of planning and construction, being this close to the finish line is exciting and rewarding,” said Hollee McCormick, ACEC General Manager. “It is so important to have fast, consistent and affordable internet, both for home owners and for business owners. We’ve already heard stories about how beneficial this is to the community. We’re looking forward to completing the final drops and seeing Waukon continue to thrive with this resource.”

AC Skyways has contracted with West Union Trenching and R&S Fiber Optic Services for Phase 4 of the project. West Union Trenching is scheduled to begin trenching and underground boring of the fiber optic cable around the end of March, weather permitting.

Trenching and boring will take place at multiple locations along the route. Residents and motorists are asked to be aware when approaching a work site.

The northern edge of the project starts along 1st Avenue SW between 9th St. SW and 2nd St. SW. It moves south, moving further east to just west of Rossville Road, which was a part of the Phase 2 build. The southern border goes to just south of 6th Avenue SW to the Southridge Senior Village.

The project is expected to take several weeks to complete. Spring weather will factor into the completion timeline.

After the main fiber line is trenched, the next step is the actual “drops,” which are the connections from the main line to homes and businesses. There are approximately 350 drops in this phase.

“I cannot give enough praise to our drop crews or to our Skyways employees. We are really fortunate to have a great group of people who go door-to-door to chat with Waukon residents and business owners about what we are doing. It makes the process so easy for our construction crews. As I’ve said all along, I encourage anyone on the route on the south side of Waukon to take the drop, even if you don’t think you’ll need it. Just because you take the drop doesn’t mean you have to sign up for our fiber service. However, having fiber available on your property is a selling point for your home or business,” said McCormick.

When the drops are completed, crews from R&S will splice and test the main line. This is the most time-consuming part of the project, said McCormick, noting that if all goes well, ACEC will begin hooking up people to the fiber optic network in the fall.

To read the full article, pick up the Wednesday, March 27, 2024 print edition of The Standard or subscribe to our e-edition by clicking here.