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The Fiber-to-the-Home Project

What is Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative building?

Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative is building a fiber to the home (FTTH) network – the gold standard of communications transmission – over its existing electric distribution infrastructure that will take fiber directly into homes or businesses that subscribe to the service. Fiber-optic transmission is the fastest, most robust technology on the market today, with exceptional speeds, reliability and capabilities. Services are available through our fiber entity, Four States Fiber.

Where are broadband services available?

Fiber broadband will be available to all Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative members and other subscribers who may live in adjacent communities along the way. For a map of our current Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative service territory and where Four States Fiber services are available click here.

Where will construction start?

Construction has already begun around our service territory and service is currently available in many areas For a map of our current SWREA service territory and where Four States Fiber services are available click here.

How are you deciding the path of the build?

The fiber-optic network follows the path of SWREA’s electric footprint, with a goal of ensuring the most efficient and logical design and construction process. This efficiency will allow us to offer world-class service at an affordable price for members. As we determine the construction path and schedule, factors considered include:

  • Poles and infrastructure “health”: How much work may need to be completed to accommodate the fiber
  • Where funding is available
  • Broadband options within specific communities
  • Overhead or underground electric path
  • The terrain where construction must happen
How long will construction take to complete?

Our build is expected to take 5-6 years to complete, however construction of a fiber network is a complex process involving numerous contractors and dependent on a number of variables that include length of the circuit, terrain and soils, weather, and other external factors.

Why is SWREA offering broadband services?

SWREA is taking this opportunity to help meet the critical need for high-speed internet for its members throughout rural areas in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma.

How will the broadband project work?

Four States Fiber serves as the internet service provider (ISP), serving SWREA members with broadband services and supporting them on the network. Internet customers will receive communications and billing from Four States Fiber, and when customers call customer service, they will be speaking with representatives who understand internet service.

Will my electric bill increase to pay for the fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network?

No. This will not increase your electric costs.

Will I pay my internet bill along with my electric bill?

No. You will continue to receive your electric bill as normal, while your fiber broadband bill (internet and/or phone) will be sent from and paid to Four States Fiber.

What is the process of building a fiber-to-the-home network?

Building a fiber network is generally a multi-year intensive project encompassing numerous steps and efforts. For each project, the network will be built in zones or phases, with the number of phases dependent on the size of the service area. Each phase typically takes approximately 12 to 18 months from construction start to customer installation. SWREA will keep members updated as the project progresses in their area.

How will I know when I can expect service?

The Four States Fiber Map on our website shows up-to-date maps of open zones along with projected upcoming service areas. You can find that map here.

The Technology — Internet Service

What is a fiber-optic network?

Fiber-optic systems are made up of tiny strands of glass that carry data using light waves, resulting in much faster internet speeds and better reliability than traditional copper lines. Most internet providers use fiber in their systems but use copper lines for the final connections to the home, resulting in slower speeds. We believe FTTH is the best, most sustainable communications choice. With our FTTH service, we offer “symmetrical” speeds, meaning you’ll enjoy the same high speeds whether uploading or downloading.

Why is the Four States Fiber network different from other internet services?

The Four States Fiber network is a 100% fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. Other providers may tout fiber, but in many cases, that fiber stops at the street and continues with copper lines for the final connections to the home, resulting in slower speeds. Fiber to the home brings a new level of reliability and speed. A fiber-optic network sends and receives data at the speed of light. In addition to super-fast transmission speeds, a fiber optic network can carry an extremely high amount of data. Fiber is also more reliable than other networks, because it’s less susceptible to interference and damage from lightning and other acts of nature.

What internet and telephone packages will be available for my home?

Four States Fiber offers the Smart Essentials service 100 megabits per second (Mbps) upload and download speeds (symmetrical service) for $49.95 per month, the Smart Plus service 250 Mbps upload and download speeds for $64.95 per month and the Ultimate Smart Home service 1,000 Mbps upload and download speeds for $79.95 per month. You can find a full list of our packages and check your availability here.

What is Managed Wi-Fi and Ultimate Wi-Fi?

Managed Wi-Fi Service and Ultimate Wi-Fi is available (for an additional cost per month) and enhances your overall user experience. It helps manage profiles and devices, along with parental controls and time limits. To find out more about Managed Wi-Fi and Ultimate Wi-Fi, click here.

What internet and phone packages are available for my business?

Four States Fiber offers internet and phone packages for businesses across our territory. Internet packages start at $99.95 per month and phone packages start from $34.95 per month. To learn more about our business offerings, click here.

Are there data caps with this service?

No. With fiber internet from Four States Fiber, you will have no data caps or throttling.

Do I have to sign a contract for Four States Fiber?

No. With Four States Fiber internet services, you will not have to sign any contracts.

Is there an installation fee for Four States Fiber?

No. There are no installation fees for Four States Fiber internet services.

How can I sign up for service?

You can check your availability and sign up by clicking here. From there, you can enter your information and sign up. When we are nearing the installation time for your community, we will reach out with sign-up access and to schedule your installation.

Are there discounted prices or assistance available?

Four States Fiber is a participant in the Affordable Connectivity Program. This program offers discounted pricing for internet to eligible residents, where service is available. More information about these programs can be found here.

The Next Steps – Getting Service

What is the installation process?

Once you sign up for service, fiber installation is simple. Four States Fiber will pull fiber from SWREA’s main lines and follow power lines to attach the fiber to your home or business. The fiber will run in the same manner power lines run to your home or business. If your electric service comes from overhead lines, so will your broadband service. If your electric service comes from underground lines, so will your broadband service. Next, Four States Fiber will attach the fiber line to a box near your electric meter where the inside wiring connects with the outside wiring. Finally, the fiber is connected to a fiber jack inside your home or office, where it’s plugged into the modem we provide.

Construction crews pulling and hanging the fiber and taking it to your home or business’ outside wiring are preparing the network to go live once construction in the area is complete. A Four States Fiber employee will contact you to schedule an appointment for an in-home installer to finalize your connection and test the services from your equipment. Once that install is complete and tested, your service should be ready to go.

What equipment will I need to purchase?

For the best user experience, Four States Fiber recommends you take its Managed Wi-Fi or Ultimate Wi-Fi service. Four States Fiber provides, a carrier-grade Wi-Fi router; this router can watch for potential issues and will auto-heal the network to make your devices run as smoothly as possible. This service also includes our SmartNet Wi-Fi app to give users better controls over the home network. It allows users to see connectivity, change SSID & passwords, set up guest networks, run speed test, set up user profiles to associate connected devices, schedule online/offline times, add parental controls and much more.

Your existing computers and Wi-Fi devices should connect to the Four States provided devices without the need for additional hardware purchases.

Phone Services

Do I have to sign up for phone service to get high-speed internet?

No, you can sign up for the services individually.

How does the phone service work?

Four States Fiber’s phone service uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Calls you make are processed over the public telephone switched network, which results in a higher quality call than traditional VoIP calls.

How much does phone service cost?

Residential phone packages start at $19.95 per month and business phone packages start at $34.95. For more information on residential phone service, click here. For business phone service information, click here.

Can I keep my phone number?

In most cases, customers changing providers will be able to keep their phone numbers.