FAQ’s

We have listed some of the most common questions we have received. If for any reason you don’t see an answer to your question listed, please contact us at 218-834-8500 or email us at info@lakeconnections.com.

Project

What is fiber-optic (fiber) cable?

Fiber-optic cable (fiber) technology uses pure glass strands to transmit data via light waves. Fiber is ideal for digital communications, such as High-Speed Internet, Digital Video, and VoIP, and is capable of far greater bandwidth than other technologies.

What are the primary benefits of fiber?

There are many benefits to fiber, but faster Internet connections and the ability to download large amounts of data instantly, are the main benefits. Fiber-optic networks also support advanced services, such as high-definition television, 3-D video and holographic imaging.

Who manages the broadband project and services?

The management team at Lake Connections has overseen the network design, construction and operations at the administrative and service headquarters facility. This has ensured the network is being built to the highest technical specifications, is operated like an independent business, and preserves Lake County resources. Additionally, the team at Lake Connections has decades of management experience within the telecommunications industry.

Why is the Lake County government involved with Lake Connections?

Surprisingly, less than one-half of Lake County residents have access to High-Speed Internet. The private telecommunications providers have opted to serve only the more profitable and densely populated communities, thus ignoring the rural areas.

Lake County government applied for and received federal funding to make broadband available to all residents. Knowing the benefits of broadband to communities and individuals, the government has taken the initiative to fill the gaps left by the private telecom providers.

What has been the economic impact of the project, to date?

The Lake County broadband project has served as a catalyst for business and economic development through:

Direct employment – The locally operated and staffed service headquarters will employ up to 20 technology-savvy individuals.

Construction employment – The construction crews for both the headquarters facility and the 2,000 miles of fiber being constructed created close to 30 full time jobs in 2013. Dozens more construction and professional service jobs in many trades were made possible by this project over the last 18 months.

Infrastructure investment – The fiber infrastructure supports further business development and investment that ultimately provides the foundation for high-tech careers and industry to expand and locate in Lake County.

According to national statistics, fiber-to-the-home technology increases market values of homes by an average of $6,000. Additionally, fiber-optic technology will be a requirement for many businesses in the coming years, positioning Lake County as a prime location for new and existing businesses looking to relocate to an area with an advanced telecommunications network.

What is the timeline for the remainder of the project?

Phase One:

Two Harbors and Silver Bay
Service is live. Please call Lake Connections with specific route, or address information, 218-834-8500.

Phase Two:

Duluth Township, Knife River, Silver Creek Township and Beaver Bay Township
Most routes are live with service. Please call Lake Connections for specific route, or address information.

Phase Three:

Ely, Aurora, Babbitt, Hoyt Lakes, Basset Township, Colvin Township, Crystal Bay Township, Embarrass Township, Fall Lake Township, Morse Township, Stony River Township, Waasa Township, White Township, and several unorganized townships
Crews are busy finishing the remaining miles in this phase. Please call for specific route, or address information.

How will ongoing operations be funded?

Lake Connections follows a self-sustaining business model similar to any other business. As the network continues to be completed, customers have the opportunity to purchase advanced services at competitive market-driven rates. Beyond customer-generated revenues, Lake Connections will also derive additional revenues by providing connectivity (or additional bandwidth) to cellular towers, regional medical facilities, and potentially other area telecommunication providers.

Why can’t wireless technologies fulfill the need for rural High-Speed Internet?

Various wireless technologies, such as WiFi, WiMAX and 3G/4G cellular, are important technologies for consumers and do complement fiber-optic technologies. However, these technologies are not a replacement to a fiber connection. Various wireless technologies do not have the reliability, and in most cases the bandwidth, to support next-generation High-Speed Internet applications.

What else should I know about fiber-optic technology?

  • Customers with fiber-to-the-home rate the speed of their Internet service at 15% higher than other broadband technologies.
  • 89% of fiber-to-the-home customers are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the technology. Compared to 63% of DSL and Cable Modem customers.
  • Fiber-optic technology requires less electricity compared to other wire-line technologies. Some fiber-optic providers estimate a 20% reduction in electricity to run the network.

Service

When can I get fiber to my home or business?

Many routes are live and ready for service. Please call the Lake Connections office and speak to a customer service representative for specific route, or address information 218-834-8500.

Is there a fee to get fiber to my home or business?

If the fiber is brought to the home or business during the construction phase, customers will only pay for their monthly services, not for the cost of the fiber connection.

Can I get fiber at my cabin?

Yes, if it’s located in our service area, we can bring the fiber to your cabin.

What services are available?

Homes and businesses can purchase High-Speed Internet, Digital video (similar to cable and satellite) and Voice (phone) services. The High-Speed Internet service is the fastest in the area, with speeds up to 100 Mbps.

How much do services cost?

Prices vary depending on the services you chose to have, and bundle pricing may be available. For the latest pricing information, visit our pricing page.

How fast will my Internet be?

There are different High-Speed Internet speeds available. Visit our pricing page and to test your current Internet speed, click here.


Support

How do I connect my wireless devices to the Internet?

Your network will feature a Wi-Fi gateway. The gateway is a piece of equipment that simplifies and manages your wireless network connection inside your home or business. All of the devices will link centrally to the gateway, which in turn shares the Internet connection and other resources.

How do I request a technician to visit my home or business?

If you think you need a technician to visit, please call our offices at 218-834-8500, and speak to a customer service representative.

How fast is my current Internet speed?

Check your current Internet speed by clicking here.

How do I program my remote control?

Every remote control comes with a quick user guide, more detailed information can be found on our support page.

Are there manuals available for my hardware?

For a list of available manuals, visit our support page. If you still need assistance, please call our office at 218-834-8500.


Digital TV

Do I need a digital television to get digital TV channels?

No. Your service includes a Digital TV box (set top box) that allows any television to receive the digital signal.

Does every television in my home or business need a separate set top box?

Yes, every television that you would like to receive Digital TV requires a separate set top box for the Digital TV connection.

What’s the difference between Digital TV and satellite service?

Weather plays an important role in the signal quality you receive from satellite service. Rain, snow and heavy winds can interrupt the programming you are watching. Digital TV is not affected in this way. Satellite services require you to buy equipment from them. Digital TV companies own the equipment you are using so if the equipment is outdated or needs to be replaced, you do not have to buy all new equipment.


High-Speed Internet

Is High-Speed Internet access compatible with both PC and Mac?

Yes. Lake Connections High-Speed Internet will work with both a PC or Mac platform.

Can I get High-Speed Internet without Digital TV or phone?

Stand-alone High-Speed Internet service is available. However, you can save money by bundling services together. By bundling, you will get more great services for your home at big savings! Save $5 per service when you bundle at least 2 services. For more information, visit our Bundles page.

Is it possible to watch TV and surf the Internet at the same time?

The network was built with convenience in mind, all Lake Connections services can share the same line and not interfere with each other.

Can I take calls while using the High-Speed Internet connection?

Yes, the High-Speed Internet service doesn’t require a telephone line, and will not interfere with phone calls.

What High-Speed Internet speed is right for me?

Activity Minimum Download Speed (Mbps)
Web Browsing
Job searching, navigating websites 0.5
Interactive pages and short educational videos 1.0
Streaming Radio < 0.5
Email 0.5
Watching Video
Standard Streaming Videos 0.7
Streaming feature movies 1.5
HD-quality streaming movie or University lecture 4
Video Conferencing
Basic Video Conferencing 1
HD Video conference and tele-learning 4
Gaming
Game console connecting to the internet 1
Two-way online gaming in HD 4

Household Broadband Guide

Light Use Moderate Use High Use
Basic functions only: email, web surfing, and streaming video. Basic functions plus one high-demand application: streaming HD, video conferencing, OR online gaming. Basic functions plus more than one high- demand application running at the same time.
1 user on 1 device

(Laptop, tablet, or game console)

Basic Basic Medium
2 users or devices at a time Basic Basic Medium/Advanced
3 users or devices at a time Basic Basic/Medium Advanced
4 users or devices at a time Basic/Medium Medium Advanced

Basic Service = 1 to 2 Mbps
Medium Service = 6 to 16 Mbps
Advanced Service = More than 15 Mbps

Source: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/household-broadband-guide
Links: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/broadband-speed-guide
http://www.fcc.gov/measuring-broadband-america


Voice

What Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology developed to send calls over a fiber-optic network.

How does VoIP work?

Phone service from your Internet provider is a new technology that allows you to make calls over the data network of your Internet service. With this technology, you are able to keep your current phone number and phone. You will also be able to get calling features like voice mail, call waiting and more. Check out our Voice page for more information.

What is the difference between VoIP and traditional phone service?

VoIP is designed to save the user money over traditional phone service, without sacrificing any aspects of the traditional service. Users are able to keep their current telephone number and phone. Users can also take advantage of favorite calling features like caller ID, call waiting and voice mail. You can save money by bundling the Lake Connections Voice service with Digital TV and High-Speed Internet. You’ll have three great services, on one convenient monthly bill.

If I subscribe to VoIP, will I still get services like Call Waiting and Caller ID?

Yes, users still have access to their favorite calling features. Popular features include: Voice Mail, Call Waiting, Caller ID, Call Waiting with Caller ID, and Three-Way Calling. For more information on available feature, visit our Voice page.