Installation team working to get FlashFiber subscribers connected

It’s an exciting time in the history of Joe Wheeler EMC and FlashFiber. Since our high-speed fiber internet service launched in 2020 the network grew quickly and rapid expansion continues.

We know many of our members are eager to get this life-changing service, and we are working as quickly as possible to make that happen. Here’s an inside look at what our FlashFiber installation team is up to.

Fiber Operations Manager Mark Hall came on board in June 2021. His previous position with AT&T included 32 years of experience overseeing fiber installation, maintenance and repair projects. Now, he oversees the members of the FlashFiber installation team, many of whom also have previous experience in the industry.

“I cherry-picked the best of the best and brought them over,” Hall says. “There was a little bit of a learning curve because the system is different, but they are doing great.”

The team consists of 6 installation and repair technicians, one buried wire technician, a scheduler, 2 customer service representatives, an information technology technician, an operations manager and a network engineer.

How Does it Work?

Prospective FlashFiber subscribers place their order through the online system and select an installation day and time that works best for them. The technician calls the subscriber to verify the information and then visits the address to meet the subscriber for a preinstallation consultation.

Installation consists of several steps, including placement of a box known as an Optical Network Terminal, or ONT, to the building’s exterior and linking it to FlashFiber’s fast fiber optic network. Then, fiber optic cable extends into the home, entering through a wall, the basement or attic.

Once the hardware is in place, the technician will set up Wi-Fi service and explain the system to subscribers. Technicians also help connect TVs, computers and other devices to the new blazing-fast FlashFiber internet.

All of the excitement surrounding FlashFiber keeps the technicians busy. “We currently have 600 orders in the queue that are scheduled to be installed by November, and another 40 we are working through,” Hall says. The team averages about 125 installations each week.

The high volume of new subscribers, paired with learning new software, has temporarily slowed installations. The FlashFiber team worked through a transition from one dispatch system to a new one. “The new one is more interactive for subscribers. Previously, we had to enter the subscriber into the workflow manually. With the new system, the subscriber can choose their own time slot,” Hall says. This new system will better serve clients in the long run.

The influx of orders will continue as the network grows. “As soon as cable gets placed, we open up the area for service,” Hall says. Currently, about 90% of the installers’ attention is on the Town Creek area. “We focus on one area at a time and once the full build-out is done, each zone will have its own designated technician.”

While the technicians’ main job is to complete installations, they also do repairs. “If a subscriber needs equipment moved or has service issues, these guys also go out and troubleshoot and work those calls,” Hall says.

Hall wants all FlashFiber subscribers know his team is working as fast as it can to bring them high-quality and dependable internet service. “The team is doing its best to do a quality job on every install. The service we are providing is probably the best on the market,” he says.

If a subscriber ever has an issue with their service, help is just a phone call away. Because FlashFiber is a local company, our subscribers have the peace of mind of knowing that we can be on-site quickly to solve the problem. “We care more about them than a big company does,” Hall says.

The ultimate goal of FlashFiber is to build fast and reliable network that all of Joe Wheeler EMC members can access, and that day will come. Even if service is not currently available, your FlashFiber team is working diligently each day to make that happen.

“We want to do a quality job and we are working as fast as we can. Each technician knows to do quality work,” Hall says.