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BPL Modem Photo Contest Continues & Latest From IBEC – New Photos Monday!

[ 0 ] December 26, 2008 |
Photo By Courtney Thompson of Beech Grove : The ultimate gag gift for the office party.

Photo By Courtney Thompson of Beech Grove : The ultimate gag gift for the office party.

Nelson County, Virginia
The Nelson County Life BPL Modem Photo Contest continues until December 31st, 2008. Then we’ll pick the best entry of the ones sent in! The winner gets a $25.00 gift certificate to Ambrosia Bakery & Deli in Nellysford to buy something yummy to eat! Sandwiches, deserts, coffee or whatever! It’s all good! It’s sort of a way for us to all have a little harmless fun while we wait. Keep sending your photo entries to blpmodem@nelsoncountylife.com

You can see all of the current entries under our Weather Links section above or clicking here.

As we have been telling you for months, the planned roll out of BPL in additional areas of Nelson County served by the Martins Store Substation have been derailed for one reason or another. IBEC, the Alabama company installing the BPL network on CVEC’s power lines in the county only recently began regularly updating customers on the progress of the delays.

On Christmas Eve, they sent out the latest update customers, many who already prepaid for their BPL modems back in the summer of 2008:

From: “IBEC Customer Service”
Date: December 24, 2008 11:43:20 AM EST
To: “info”
Subject: IBEC BPL Deployment Update – December 24, 2008

BPL Installation Update- – December 24, 2008

As you know, Verizon has agreed to connect the T-1 data lines to the head end of the BPL system at the Martins Store substation. Verizon has also agreed to connect two other injection points further out on the electric circuits, one in the north Rockfish Valley to serve enrolled subscribers in that area of the BPL system and one injection point east of Route 29 to serve enrolled subscribers along and east of the Route 29 corridor.

While the two remote injection points have an active service order (on track for installation) with no additional work required), Verizon required IBEC to perform testing at the Martins Store Substation site and submit those test results to Verizon for their review, prior to releasing the T-1 lines. Note: The lines are in place, are active and awaiting Verizon’s authorization to put them into service.

IBEC retained the services of a contract engineer to test the soil resistivity and other measurements. This data is being used by Verizon determine if their equipment might be at risk from the electric grounding system. This engineer traveled from North Carolina on December 18, conducted testing and submitted the results to IBEC, who in turn, provided the results to Verizon on the same day.

Verizon asked for clarification on Friday, December 19 regarding the data. IBEC provided updated information on Tuesday, December 23 to the Inductive Coordination & Electrical Protection Engineer for Verizon. The Verizon Engineer will use the test data to determine an ideal location around the substation to install an isolation device between the BPL system and the Verizon telecommunications system. We have requested that they act quickly to complete this final step and IBEC will keep you informed of this process through to completion.

Once Verizon has released the lines, IBEC will bring up the backbone system along the main power lines and begin contacting enrolled subscribers. At that time, an IBEC technician will call you, instruct you to connect your BPL modem and he or she will ensure that you are able to surf the Internet and that your connection is optimized.

A Note on Pre-paid Modems: IBEC understands that you pre-paid for your modem and that the delay in installation has caused concern for some. Please know that we regret the delay and had no indication of a potential delay when we ordered T-1 service in June of this year. In addition, IBEC has not experienced delays in T-1 installations to the substations at other BPL projects.

As to the reason for the modem pre-payment: IBEC is making a multi-million dollar investment in the BPL infrastructure to deliver broadband to rural areas, and it is doing so without requiring subscribers to make a two year commitment, authorize a credit check or pay an installation fee during the initial period. IBEC chose to offer a month-to-month broadband service and requested a modem pre-payment as a minimum level of commitment for new BPL subscribers. While the modem prepayment is refundable, we hope that you will bear with us as we work through the obstacles that we have encountered. IBEC will continue to work diligently toward the completion of this BPL project and thanks you for your patience and support. Please look for an update next week and call us at 888-423-2275 if we can be of service in the interim.

Thank you for your patience,

IBEC Customer Service

The one bit of interesting information parsed from this latest notice was this statement: “Note: The lines are in place, are active and awaiting Verizon’s authorization to put them into service.”

If that’s the case, that means the lines are in place, have the internet backbone hooked to them, and if Verizon and IBEC can get their engineering snafus resolved we should have BPL.

The notice went on to explain the justification for having customers prepay for the modems saying a multi-million dollar investment had been made in the county and they were not requiring customers to sign a two year contract, credit check and the like. IBEC is building the network with millions of dollars in low interest government loans provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

IBEC was slow to respond to customer requests for information about the status of BPL in Nelson, but have lately done well about keeping customers in the loop. It appears things are headed in the right direction.

And when it is activated, we will be as generous to IBEC in covering the victories of BPL has we have been in covering the delays.

Meanwhile, Verizon Inc’s PR person, Mr. Harry Mitchell, for Virginia is no where to be found and has not updated NCL on their side of what’s happening since October 23rd, 2008.

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