During the month of April, GRM Networks kicked off fiber-to-the-premise construction in three rural exchanges. Contractors working on behalf of GRM Networks began fiber construction in the rural exchanges of Bethany and Princeton, while GRM Networks’ own construction department began work in the rural Spickard exchange.
“Our employees and board of directors have worked hard to reach this point,” said Ron Hinds, CEO of GRM Networks. “Fiber construction in these exchanges brings us closer to fulfilling our pledge to bring fiber access to all GRM Networks’ customers.”
In addition to this construction, contractors working for GRM Networks will soon begin construction in the Iowa exchanges of Grand River and Blockton. The cooperative recently received contract approval from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service to begin fiber-to-the-premise construction in these Iowa exchanges. RUS is an operating unit of the USDA’s Rural Development Agency and is charged with administering the $41.6 million ReConnect grant/loan GRM Networks was awarded to help fund the construction.
Three construction crews will be heading up the fiber builds. MasTec of Shevlin, Minn., is burying the fiber for the rural Bethany customers while H&D Underground of Sleepy Eye, Minn., is working in the rural Princeton exchange and will also bury the fiber for customers in Grand River, Iowa. North Missouri Construction from Chillicothe, Mo., will bury the fiber for Blockton customers.
Customers in these exchanges may have seen employees with Vantage Point Solutions, an engineering contractor also working on the behalf of GRM Networks, preparing these locations for the fiber-to-the-premise upgrades.
GRM Networks appreciates the patience and understanding of its customers. Building a brand new network takes time. It involves many steps such as obtaining federal, state, and local permits and engineering the construction plan.
Following that, and weather permitting, construction begins with utilities located and fiber laid in the ground. Once the fiber is placed, it is spliced or connected together and tested. Fiber is then connected to the exchange’s central office and it is tested again. Once everything is finalized, the customer is contacted to schedule a time for GRM Networks to install the new equipment in their home so customers can begin enjoying the benefits offered by the advanced high-speed fiber network.
GRM Networks employs the best construction crews and does everything possible to ensure a smooth build. GRM Networks anticipates construction to take place in these exchanges over the next several months. Throughout the construction process, GRM Networks strives to return all disturbed areas to their original condition. It is unlawful to remove the utility markers required for construction. The inconvenience of construction is temporary, but the benefits of fast Internet service will last for decades.