RDOF Explained

What is RDOF?

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) is an FCC initiative designed to inject billions of dollars into the construction and operation of rural broadband networks.

My neighbor is eligible for your internet service, but not me. Why?

Due to the nature of the grant, RDOF funds may only be used to build fiber to addresses approved by the FCC.

Why is my connection fee different from my neighbor’s?

FCC-approved addresses pay a $100 connection fee. Nearby addresses not approved for RDOF funds must pay a higher connection fee to help cover the cost of construction.

I’ve paid my connection fee. When will I have service?

Your installation date depends on construction in your area. After you sign up, you’ll be added to our monthly construction email updates. Click here to view them.

Here’s a breakdown of our general construction process:

  1. Our team conducts walkout work to get the lay of the land and determine how we’ll build our mainline.
  2. We build the mainline by either burying fiber cables, or connecting them to power poles. During this process, we must work with many separate entities to ensure we have the correct permits to proceed with construction.
  3. We splice, or connect, fiber cables along the mainline to form the backbone of our connection.
  4. Service drop construction begins. This process connects your home to our mainline. If we need to place cables underground on your property, we call 8-1-1 to mark underground public utility lines, and ask that you also mark any private facilities such as pet fences or sprinklers.
  5. A fiber crew performs a drop splice to connect mainline fiber cables to your home and activate the line.
  6. An MEC customer service representative gives you a call to schedule your home installation. At this appointment, our fiber installer will set up everything you need to begin using your MEC fiber internet.

In some zones, we’ve run into delays in Step 2 due to special permits. Rest assured, we are working as fast as we can to get everything complete. Please keep an eye on your email for our monthly construction updates.

Key terms of the fiber construction process:

  • Walkout Work: Surveying the area to decide how to lay fiber lines.
  • Mainline Construction: The backbone of our fiber infrastructure. The mainline carries fiber out into our communities.
  • Mainline Splicing: Connecting fiber cables together along this backbone.
  • Drop Construction (or Service Drop): Bringing the fiber from the mainline to your home. We also install a network interface device (NID) on your property near the electric meter.
  • Network Interface Device (NID): A box containing fiber cables. This device completes the connection from the mainline to your home.
  • Drop Splice: Connecting the mainline fiber cables to the service drop and the fiber cables inside the NID. This is the last step before home installation.