We have reached the halfway point of 2018! With that being said, I would like to address some of Sandhill’s most frequently asked questions.
- When will fiber be available in my area?
Everyone knows fiber optics is the path forward for the future of all telecommunications. From small cooperatives like Sandhill to big corporations like AT&T, we are actively installing fiber to our customers as quickly and cost effectively as possible. As you can imagine, when everyone wants the same thing at the same time, prices for those supplies go up. We currently spend about $5 per foot to install fiber optic cable. With the equipment required both at our offices and your homes to support this fiber, you can see where the costs add up very quickly. Just last week, AT&T announced they had completed their fiber to the home project in South Bend, Indiana. This city has over two times as many residents as Chesterfield County’s, but is packed into an area nearly 20 times smaller. This provides AT&T an advantage to install less fiber and connect more homes which produces more revenue to help fund the fiber project.
|South Bend, IN||Chesterfield County, SC|
|Population per square mile||2,440.3||58.5|
|Land area in square miles||41.46||799.08|
This chart provides some perspective as to the challenges we have to overcome in a rural area versus an urban area. Sandhill’s goal is for all Members to have the best services as quick and cost effective as we are able provide them. Our fiber project is currently ahead of schedule.
- Why are television prices continuing to rise?
The most recent edition of the Sandhill Connextion contains some educational articles on television programming and how it’s currently changing. Just this past week, another larger cooperative in the state had to remove some channels due to increased pricing from the networks. Some of the major networks have recently increased our costs to over 100 percent of what we were paying previously. This will not be sustainable in the long run and more companies like ours will be forced to either pass those costs along to our customers or drop the channels altogether. From the start, Sandhill approached television as a beneficial service for our Membership and we still believe that is the casetoday. The majority of your monthly bill goes directly towards programming costs. With such benefits as watchTVeverywhere, whole home DVR and having a stable system that allows you to continue watching television during bad weather conditions. We will continue to work to provide a quality product as a reasonable rate for our Members and explore new technologies for the future.
- When will landline requirements go away?
For many people in our area, a landline is the only means of access to the outside world. With spotty cell phone coverage in many areas, the landline provides security in the event an emergency occurs within the home or in the event of a power outage. Also, with current state and federal regulations on cooperatives such as ours, a landline is required to allow us to provide other services such as broadband at a reasonable rate. I’m confident that regulatory change is coming over the next few years that will provide benefits to both customers and companies such as ours. As things change, we at Sandhill will keep you informed.
As always, please feel free to contact us with any concerns or questions you may have. Thank you for choosing Sandhill as your local service provider.
Lee Chambers CEO / General Manager