Q&A for NEXT, Powered by NAEC

NEXT

NEXT PILOT OVERVIEW

SUBSCRIBING AND INSTALLATION

BILLING AND PAYMENT OPTIONS

TELEVISION

AFTER THE PILOT


 
NEXT PILOT OVERVIEW
 
What is available through NEXT?
NEXT services will include high speed broadband (fiber) internet, high definition television and phone.
 
Who can sign up for NEXT services?
Only the approximately 1,500 people within the pilot areas may sign up for NEXT services at this time.
 
Where are the pilot areas?
The pilot areas are north and west of Salem (north toward Mammoth Spring; west toward Sturkie) in Fulton County, south of Mountain Home toward the Buford community and near Henderson in Baxter County.
 
How can I find out if I am eligible?
Those eligible for the pilot were mailed a postcard followed by a packet containing a letter explaining the pilot, an application/contract, a brochure outlining the various services’ costs and a brochure with the TV channel lineup. You also may call NAEC at 870-895-3221 to find out if you are in the pilot.
 
When will services be activated?
Services will be activated as soon as the equipment is installed at a subscriber’s home. We anticipate beginning in-home installations around the first of the year. All pilot subscribers should be activated by May 2017.
 
Can I sign up at a later time?
You can sign up at a later time; however, a line extension policy will come into play and could cost substantially more than the $100 home installation fee NEXT is offering at this time. If you are in the pilot area and sign up now, then no additional fee will be charged no matter how far you are from the line. You must sign up before the fiber installers have left your area to get this once-in-a-lifetime deal.
 
Will my electric bill increase because of NEXT?
NEXT is a separate company from NAEC. Co-op members’ electric rates will not increase as a result of the pilot project.
 
Will subscribers receive capital credits like members of NAEC?
NEXT is a for-profit subsidiary formed by NAEC. As such, no capital credits will be given on NEXT services.
 
SUBSCRIBING AND INSTALLATION
 
How can I sign up for services?
You must return a signed application/contract to NAEC and pay the $100 home installation fee. Please visit an NAEC office or call 870-895-3221 for assistance.
 
I am leasing my home/apartment. Can I still get service?
Yes. First, we have to get permission from the property owner to install the equipment in the home or apartment. NEXT is developing a document for the property owner to sign giving permission.
 
Will you buy out my existing contract?
No.­
 
Does someone have to come into my home to install the services?
An in-home installer contracted by NEXT will need to install the equipment inside your home.
 
Do I have to be present during the installation?
You must be present during installation, so the in-home installer can verify package selection with you.
 
If I want another NEXT service later, will I be charged a fee?
This depends on the service. You would not be charged if it could be added remotely from the office. However, if a NEXT representative has to make a trip, then a service fee would need to be recovered.
 
I have a building that is close to my home. Can I get phone and/or TV services to it from the same connection?
If the building is within 300 feet of the optical network terminal, or ONT, device in the home, then a Category 5 cable could be run between buildings. If we know ahead of time, the drop crew could install this conduit and cable at a cost of $1.25/foot and $0.25 for each additional cable. Each service would need a dedicated cable. Please call 870-895-3221 for more information. (Please note that NEXT can install another service if the building is farther away, but an additional monthly bill would apply.)
 
Does weather affect NEXT services?
Weather, such as rain, typically does not affect the services. However, services will be disrupted if the fiber cable is broken at any time. They will be restored once crews repair the fiber cable.
 
Does a power outage disrupt NEXT services?
Yes. Restoration times will depend on the power outage cause.
 
BILLING AND PAYMENT OPTIONS
 
Will prices increase after the first year?
NEXT does not plan to have introductory prices that increase after a certain period of time. Everyone is charged the same. The intent of the pilot project is to verify our participation rates and costs.  We do not intend to have a price increase unless our wholesale cost increase or other unforeseen costs arise.  Any such increases would be for all subscribers.
 
Do I have to sign a contract?
You must sign a 12-month application/contract for at least one NEXT service at a minimum of $39.95 per month. After the 12-month contract, you may cancel without penalty and are not required to sign another contract.
 
How am I billed?
You are billed one month in advance plus prorated charges. You will receive a bill separate from your electric service.
 
How can I make a payment?
You may visit an NAEC office, pay by mail, call 870-895-3221 or enroll in automatic bank draft. NEXT should have the ability to accept online payments soon.
 
Is there a fee for paying late?
A late fee will be assessed.
 
Can I make payment arrangements?
No payment arrangements or extensions may be made for NEXT services.
 
What equipment must be returned if I disconnect service?
The set-top boxes and DVRs must be returned. If not returned, you will be charged $250 for the DVR and $100 per set-top box. The optical network terminal, or ONT, remains in the home. Damage to the ONT will result in a $250 charge.
 
What happens if I cancel my service before the contract is met?
You must pay a cancellation fee of $39.95 per month for the duration of the contract.  This will be billed in one lump sum at the time the service is cancelled. The new residents may take over a contract. See below for details.
 
If the property changes hands, then can the new residents take over my contract? Will they need to sign an application/contract?
The new residents can take over your contract, and they will need to sign a new application/contract. However, they only have to fulfill the remaining term of your contract.
 

BROADBAND INTERNET

What broadband package do I need?
The basic (100 Mbps) broadband internet package should meet the needs of most residential and business subscribers.
 
Do the different broadband plans refer to data?
No. The stated up to 10 Mbps (mega bits per second) of the Entry Level plan, up to 100 Mbps of the Basic plan and up to 1 Gbps (giga bits per second or 1000 Mbps) of the Advanced plan refer to speed. The plans have unlimited data usage.
 
Does NEXT throttle speed/bandwidth?
No. NEXT includes unlimited data (no data caps) and no throttling.
 
What are the upload speeds?
They are symmetrical speeds, which are the same as the download speeds.
 
How far will the Wi-Fi signal reach?
Terrain, building materials and more affect Wi-Fi reach. The in-home installer will be able to test reach.
 
If I use a CenturyLink (or other internet providers’) email address, can I continue to use it once I switch to NEXT?
Although the email address may work for a period of time, we recommend you not use your existing providers’ email once you have cancelled their service. Free email providers, such as Gmail, are available.
 
TELEVISION
 
Do I have to have a set-top box receiver for each TV? What does that cost?
Yes. A receiver must be on each TV. One receiver is included in any base package. Any additional TVs within the home will require an extra receiver. One whole-home DVR will work with up to six set-top boxes. Extra receivers may be rented for a monthly fee. See www.naeci.com/next for details.
 
From where are the local channels based?
Due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements, the local channels offered within the pilot area will be based out of Springfield, Missouri.
 
How do I purchase pay-per-view? Is broadband required?
Pay-per-view may be purchased using the remote through the television interface. You may purchase pay-per-view without signing up for internet service.
 
Is there a cap on pay-per-view purchases?
Pay-per-view purchases are capped at $75 per month. The cap may be lifted for purchases greater than $75 by calling 870-895-3221.
 
I currently have satellite. If I purchase your TV service, will I continue to use my satellite?
No. We will provide TV service through the fiber and will not utilize satellite.
 
I just ran new coax to all of my TVs. Can I still use that wiring for my TVs?
Unfortunately, the high definition TV that we offer will require a different cable to the set-top box to ensure the quality service we want to provide. We offer a wireless set-top box that could eliminate the need for some of the wiring.  It would require our managed wireless service.
 
If I plan on taking the TV service in the future (due to an existing contract with another provider), can I have the installer run wiring when my internet is installed? Would this avoid a second installation fee?
The set-top box is not simple to install. A return trip still may be needed in the future depending on the installation.
 
What does the $100 home installation fee cover?
The installation fee covers the installation of up to two hard-wired set-top boxes, one phone drop and one Ethernet drop for internet connection. Any set-top box installation above two will require a payment of $40 per set-top box if it must be wired. If you choose a wireless set-top box, there is not an additional installation fee. However, you will be required to take our managed Wi-Fi service.  Please note: TV plan prices include one set-top box; subscribers will have to purchase additional ones.
 
Can I buy just the Weather Channel with the local plus package?
NEXT is inquiring about this through our TV provider.
 

PHONE

Can I keep my existing phone number?
Yes.
 
Can you port over a cell phone number to a NEXT phone?
NEXT has been told a cell phone number may be ported if it is a local number.
 

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

How do I get technical support?
Technical support may be reached at any time by calling 870-895-3221.
 
Who will provide technical support?
Technical support through the pilot will be handled in-house or with a U.S.-based contract company based on the support required. The long-term goal is to handle all technical support in-house by NEXT.
 
What does the home wire maintenance fee cover?
The home wire maintenance fee is a $3.95 per month cost per service. It covers any issue that might arise with your home wiring past NEXT’s device. We will repair the wiring if any issues arise. Please note this does not include running new wiring; it only covers maintenance of existing.
 
If I want wireless service, do I have to rent your router, or can I use my existing one?
NEXT will provide an optical network terminal, or ONT, which will reside in the home. However, a wireless router may be purchased from an outside source for any wireless applications, but it must be compatible with NEXT equipment. We highly recommend that you let us do all the work in getting your wireless network set up by including the router in our equipment. This prevents you from having to figure out what model to buy or how to set it up. We’ll configure our equipment and set up the security to keep intruders out for just $4.95 a month. This also allows for easier and better technical support if the need arises.
 
What subscriber-owned routers will work?
802.11n or 802.11ac are the most likely to be compatible with NEXT services. Other wireless routers may or may not work depending on the model. The router currently in use with your old provider might not provide the best end product. We feel our managed wireless service will give you the best experience and is worth the small monthly fee.  ­
 
AFTER THE PILOT
 
When are people not in the pilot going to have access to NEXT services?
If the response rate to the pilot makes or exceeds our established goals, we will propose a long-term plan to the NAEC Board of Directors to roll out NEXT services to the co-op’s entire service territory.
 
Which areas will get services next if the pilot is successful?
The areas have not been determined yet.
 
If the pilot is not as successful, will you terminate service to subscribers?
We will continue to serve the pilot area subscribers.