How do I get Trailwave?

Trailwave’s SmartHub portal allows potential subscribers to determine if service is available for their home. The portal is continually updated as construction progresses. If your home is serviceable, a service order will be created for installation. If service is not yet available at your home, your interest will be recorded and may assist with determining future expansions.

The Technology

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 copper lines. Most other internet providers use fiber in their systems but have copper lines in the route to the home or business, resulting in slower speeds. Habersham EMC and Trailwave Fiber believe Fiber-To-The-Home is the best, most sustainable communications choice. With our Fiber-To-The-Home service, we offer “symmetrical” speeds, meaning you will enjoy the same high speeds whether uploading or downloading.

What makes fiber so special?

A fiber-optic network sends and receives data at the speed of light. In addition to superfast transmission speeds, a fiber optic network can carry an extremely high amount of data. Fiber is also more reliable than other networks because it is less susceptible to interference and damage from lightning and other acts of nature.

What does the term “broadband” mean?

Broadband commonly refers to high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than traditional dial-up access. Broadband fiber-optic networks can deliver voice, data, video, and email services over the internet.

What is involved in building a fiber to the home network?

Construction of a fiber network is a complex process involving numerous contractors and is dependent on a number of variables that include the length of the construction distance, terrain and soils, weather, and other external factors. Most lines are a mix of overhead and underground construction. Construction is divided into 6 steps for an overhead distribution project.

Step 1: Make Ready Engineering – 2- to 4-Week Process

The project begins with the design of the fiber build. Once the design is set, field engineers determine if modifications to any poles are required to support the fiber and the steel strand that accompanies it. Poles may need to be moved to make more space, or they may need to be replaced with stronger or taller poles. During the first phase, inspectors will also “ride out” the build, visiting every location throughout the project area and making notations of changes that may need to be made. During make-ready engineering and assessment, we also make sure every member in the territory is included in the build. This phase can take 2 to 4 weeks.

Step 2: Make Ready Construction – 4 to 12-Week Process

The timeline for make-ready construction can vary widely, typically from one-to-three months. During this phase, crews make the changes necessary to accommodate fiber. Line crews change poles, move transformers from one side of the pole to another, move wires on the pole, add new anchors to the poles, and perform other work to allow the fiber to be placed during the fiber construction phase.

Step 3: Fiber Construction – 4 to 8-Week Process

Fiber crews will begin the process of adding fiber-optic cable and steel strands to pole lines throughout the community. This process can vary whether electric lines are above or below ground. If underground, asphalt and concrete driveways will be bored under. A pedestal may be placed next to a transformer or junction box to allow for a service drop. Fiber construction can take four to eight weeks in the designated zone.

Step 4: Main Line Splicing – 3 to 6-Week Process

Once both the strand and fiber are placed and secured, splicing can begin. Splicing can take 3 to 6 weeks for the main lines. In this phase, splicing technicians splice the necessary cables at each end and tap point and mount them in enclosures secured to the distribution poles or in pedestals.

Step 5: Service Drop Construction

Service drop construction may be done simultaneously with some of the previously mentioned steps, or it may not be done until after the mainline fiber is in place. In this phase, the drop crews extend the fiber from the nearest splice point to the structure receiving service and leave coils of fiber in each location.

Step 6: Drop Splicing

Drop splicing is the next to last step of the process. The splicing technician connects the last length of the fiber at the tap point and mounts a network interface device (NID) at the structure with the final splice inside it.

After drop splicing is completed, the network is now ready to be turned over for inhome installation to start receiving service.

Step 7: Installation

One of our subscriber representatives will contact you to schedule your in-home install. During installation, the fiber is connected to a fiber jack inside your home or office, where it’s plugged into the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) we provide. Once the installation is complete and tested, your service is ready to go. Welcome to the world of high-speed internet!

The Benefits

How will I benefit from fiber?

Our sole reason for offering high-speed internet services is to meet the needs of our community. You will no longer have to rely on DSL, fixed wireless, or satellite internet to stay connected online. You will be able to stream high-definition media smoothly and quickly, have the capacity to download and upload data such as files, photos, and videos at super-fast speeds, and have access to the latest technological advancements and applications. Our Fiber-To-The-Home world-class service will be reliable, affordable, and backed by your local trusted internet provider, Trailwave.

You will be able to run multiple devices – such as cell phones, computers, and laptops – simultaneously in your home or business without decreased download and upload speeds. The table below gives you a speed comparison between what you may have now and what is possible with Fiber-To-The-Home.

Downloads* Typical DSL/Wireless/Satellite
Standard Internet Speed
(25 Mbps)
Fiber Internet
Up to 1000 Mbps (1 Gigabit)
Download 100 photos 14.7 minutes 1.8 minutes 2.6 seconds
Download an HD movie 4.8 hours 34.4 minutes 51.5 seconds
Download 50 songs 8.2 minutes 1 minute 1.5 seconds
Download a 50 GB Game 39.8 hours 4.8 hours 7.2 minutes

*Download speeds calculated using the following averages:

  • Digital Photo – 3.15 MB
  • HD Movie – 6 GB
  • Song – 3.5 MB
  • Game – 50 GB
Why are you offering broadband service?

Our communities have long suffered from a lack of broadband equality – access to the same speeds and capabilities as those in more urban areas. Broadband availability across our service area will help close the digital divide between those who have access to advanced technology and those who do not.

A few of the many advantages of broadband access are:

  • Online education opportunities – allowing students to learn from home
  • Healthcare benefits such as telemedicine
  • Work-from-home interoffice connectivity and videoconferencing capabilities that will help professionals stay in their homes while being productive
  • Quality of life improvements through enhanced communications
  • Economic development and growth in rural areas – access to high-speed internet can raise home prices and attract businesses to communities

In addition, by connecting Habersham EMC’s electric substations and offices with fiber, we create a smart grid with more automation capabilities to better serve our members. Smart grid capabilities – the standard for optimum electric infrastructure – allows our devices to communicate with each other and delivers benefits such as improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery, and more.

Demarcation FAQs

What is a Demarc?

Demarc is the abbreviation of “demarcation point”. Another name for a demarc is an MPOE (minimum/main point-of-entry). This is the physical location where the customer’s equipment connects to the service provider’s equipment.

The demarc determines who is responsible for installation, maintenance, and repairs. For any equipment located before the demarc, it is the service provider's responsibility. For any equipment located after the demarc, it is the customer’s responsibility.

Where can I find my Demarc?

The demarc is typically located in a place that is accessible for technicians. While the exact location can vary, here are some common locations for a demarc:

  • On the outside of the building near an electrical meter
  • On the inside near an electrical panel
  • On the inside on a wall that is adjacent to where the fiber line enters the house
What are different types of Demarc devices?

Network Interface Device (NID)

The NID is the most basic demarc. The fiber technicians install the NIDs outdoors, giving technicians 24/7 access. A standard, residential NID is small and weatherproof, and it includes fiber termination, a test jack, and circuit protection.

Optical Network Terminal (ONT)

An ONT is a demarc that directly communicates with an internet service provider with fiber optic cabling. Our installation technicians connect cabling from the NID on the outside of your home to the inside where they will connect the ONT. The ONT is the device that handles the Wi-Fi and hardline connections that connect you to the internet.

The ONT transmits on a 100% fiber optic network at the speed of light. The ONT converts these signals into electrical signals that your devices can understand. Additionally, any signals that you send out (such as uploading a video, sending an email, or making a phone call) are sent the same exact way. Thus, providing fast and synchronous upload and download speeds.