Alpine bringing fiber optic to McGregor

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Alpine Communications is bringing fiber optic internet service to the city of McGregor. Construction will begin this spring, noted Alpine’s chief operating officer, Chris Hopp, who shared details at the city council’s Dec. 21 meeting.

Fiber optic service means the typical copper wires used for carrying internet and cable service to homes and businesses will be replaced by fiber optic cables. According to Alpine’s website, these cables are made up of hundreds or thousands of fiber optics, which are long thin strands of pure glass about the diameter of a human hair.

“There will be no need for a modem anymore,” Hopp said, explaining that, instead, the fiber optic wiring will run through customers’ yards to a gray box that will be located outside each customer’s home. A technician will bring an ethernet cable to where the DSL modem is currently located.

Hopp said there are several benefits to fiber optics, including a more reliable internet connection, faster speeds and increased bandwidth. 

“It will be virtually unlimited. [Customers] will only be limited by their imaginations,” he said. “It will allow everyone to do what they want from home or work, and participate in the world economy.”

According to Hopp, the switch to fiber optic service adds value to the local economy, increases home values and helps attract new residents and business owners.

With the change to fiber, Hopp said Alpine will now be able to offer video services (television), in addition to telephone and internet service.

Fiber optic construction will begin in the spring and last around three months, Hopp explained. They hope to disrupt residents and visitors as little as possible.

McGregor, due to construction and financing issues, is one of the last communities in the county to receive fiber optic, Hopp remarked. However, he doesn’t foresee any major problems.

“The objective is for it to be available in every inch of McGregor,” he stated. “It will be good. It’s exciting.”

The change will occur at no cost to current customers. People who receive service through other providers will not be forced to switch, he said. If people are interested in switching, however, this time would be a good opportunity to do it, Hopp noted, while the construction crew is in town.

Hopp said Alpine will begin visiting with customers in the next few months to go over the transition.

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