“We chose the Fargo metro area as the first area for Midco Gig because of the state-of-the-art technology we’ve been installing in the metro area during our Fargo build-out that started in 2014 and will continue through 2016,” says Pat McAdaragh, President and CEO of Midcontinent.
An exact gigabit launch date for Fargo has yet to be determined. The company must first deploy DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems, which enable gigabit Internet speeds without a direct fiber connection for the first time. DOCSIS 3.1 modems are expected to become available in the marketplace in early 2016.
“We’ve been collaborating with our partner Cisco on the new modems and will have a modem in our Midcontinent lab this fall so we can perform testing on our network,” says Jon Pederson, VP of Technology at Midcontinent. “Our team is excited about making Midco Gig come to life for our customers.”
In July 2015, Cisco and Midco announced Midcontinent’s steps to prepare its network for this new technology. Gigabit Internet speeds from Midco will be five times faster than the company’s current fastest of 200 Mbps. Midco has long delivered gig speeds and higher (up to four terabits per second) through direct fiber connections to larger businesses. Midco Gig will make gigabit speeds available to a wider range of customers through the DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
To deliver increased Internet speeds, Midco is also transitioning cable TV signals to all digital format. West Fargo and Moorhead will make the full cable TV transition on November 11. A transition is not needed for customers in the city of Fargo.
When Midcontinent announced the gigabit project in late 2014, it stated that Fargo, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Bismarck and Grand Forks would be among the first areas to receive gigabit Internet. Timelines for those communities will be announced at a later date.