The co-op's microwave project is complete, and it is now testing data capacity and moving members to the new packages.
Nushagak Cooperative is increasing internet packages this month for customers with completion of the microwave project.
Telecom Operations Manager Trung Vo says speeds will not change, for now. But data capacity will triple for all internet packages at no extra cost.
“Like if you’re at the six by two 100 gig plan, speeds will still be six by two but it’s going to go to 300, eliminating overage charges," Vo says. "So when people hit their data cap, it will slow down and/or stop.”
If someone uses all of their data in one month, they can call Nushagak and purchase an additional 30 gigs for $10, called a “bit bucket.” Eventually that process will become automated.
CEO Bob Himschoot says the microwave project is now in the testing phase as the cooperative moves members over to the new packages.
“We’re applying those changes and watching the effects on the network in a controlled way so that we can make sure we don’t end up in a situation where we’ve over- increased network usage," Himschoot says. "Right now, we think we have quite a bit of capacity.”
The cooperative will also be able to manage internet usage and availability in-house with the upgrade’s completion. In the past, Himschoot says the cooperative’s wholesale agreement with GCI required that company to handle those tasks.
“We’ll have better control over that," he says. "To be able to answer questions better and address any issues. But it also means that we’re now responsible for those functions. That’s part of the testing and the incremental increases in packages.”
The cooperative will transition all members to the new packages by the end of the month. Himschoot expects the new plans to go into effect before the next billing cycle. Internet speeds will also increase by August 2021.
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