Crews have been inspecting many of our power lines and substations, and their presence has prompted questions from member-consumers. Most have wondered whether this means Kankakee Valley REMC will start offering broadband internet service. The simple answer is "not right now."
The crews are planning for a major project we'll begin this coming spring. We've hired an engineering company to design what's known as a fiber loop connecting our office and substations. The loop will allow us to improve reliability by moving information faster and more efficiently. We'll be able to quickly spot and fix potential problems and identify outage locations. Once the engineering firm has finished the design, we'll hire a construction crew to build the fiber loop. We expect the fiber loop to be finished sometime in 2021.
Some member-consumers have asked us about offering broadband internet service. We're aware of their interest but offering something as complex as broadband isn't as simple as hooking up a wire and throwing a switch. You've seen how quickly technology is changing, and we want to make sure we're making the right choices for our membership. We're constantly looking at what's available, studying what's being developed, and learning from our colleagues at other co-ops nationwide. Creating a reliable fiber loop between our facilities is an important step in preparing for the adoption of tomorrow's technologies.
Less than a century ago, Kankakee Valley REMC crews stretched power lines across our service area, bringing electricity and forever changing lives in our communities and the surrounding countryside. Our new fiber loop may play a role in the next transformation, bringing broadband service, but it's too early to say for certain. Though we don't have a firm timeframe in place, be assured that we're studying the issue and that we'll keep you informed through the Indiana Connection.