MUSCATINE, Iowa–Fiber to the Home (FTTH) outside construction will resume the week of May 18. FTTH installations and construction halted March 19 due to COVID-19. Muscatine Power and Water and AEG had a ramp-up of staffing after the eight-week delay, and now estimate completion of construction by the end of this year’s construction season.
“The MP&W and AEG teams were very busy over the winter verifying field conditions and planning remaining work,” said Erika Cox, Director of Technology and Customer Experience. “Although COVID-19 threw a wrench into our plans, we feel we are in a very good position to get things started again.”
Streamlining remaining construction work, focusing on smaller pockets of neighborhoods to work on at a time, and completing start and finish work in those smaller areas in shorter time frames, causing less disruption for customers and fewer locating requirements, represent joint goals of MP&W and AEG. “In other words, get in and get out,” Cox said.
Because of its limited interaction with customers and other workers, outside construction complies with CDC guidelines, unlike the more complete customer in-home installations. “We’re anxious, like many of our customers, to resume in-home installations,” Cox said, “but since they can require up to several hours inside the home, a date for resuming customer installations has not been determined.” With 64% of customers on the fiber system now, MP&W hopes to complete remaining installations (including Fruitland) in the first quarter of 2021. MP&W currently limits in-home work to providing essential services.