Pioneer now linking to rural customers

Company upping its game while enhancing experience, speeds

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Pioneer’s Chris Alig works a vibratory plow that plows in the conduit. (Photo provided)

By Carol Mowdy Bond
Contributing Writer

A multi-service telecommunications cooperative, Pioneer is upping its game for affordable, fiber-optic high-speed internet for both residential, business and rural customers, while enhancing the user’s experience with symmetrical download and upload speeds. The changes provide rural customers with broadband speeds and services once available only to urban areas.

Pioneer serves the areas of Calumet, Okarche, Piedmont, and Geary in Canadian County.
Cindy Gore, Pioneer public relations specialist, said “the first A-CAM construction project began February 2018 in Kingfisher and cost approximately $3 million. Pioneer is future-proofing the needs of our customers by overbuilding the existing copper facilities with high-speed fiber-optics. Pioneer’s long-term plan will be to replace all existing copper facilities throughout their exchanges with fiber-optic technology.”

The Kingfisher-based cooperative’s GoPioneer Fiber Project “allows customers to have full access to things like broadband speeds up to 1 Gig, multiple iVideo streams, high-definition, Cloud DVR, live-streaming, security cameras, and home automation,” Gore said.

Making the customer service experience even better, Pioneer has local offices, experienced local technicians on site, and a trained call center.

Fiber-optic communication offers big advantages over existing copper wire, and as a result has revolutionized the telecommunications industry. Fiber-optic cables have very few distance limitations with a lower loss level resulting in a better communication experience.

Besides giving customers better telecommunications options, fiber- optics have an economic development impact. Businesses and homeowners are more likely to relocate into areas where fiber-optics are available.

For those wanting fiber, it’s a smart idea to register their interest in doing so by visiting GoPioneer.com and click on “Get Fiber.” Find the color-coded interactive map that displays the areas currently available, in construction and pre-construction. This allows Pioneer to keep you informed when fiber construction will start in your neighborhood, and other important information.

“Pioneer installed high-speed internet equipment on three towers, located in the rural areas of Piedmont and Cashion, that provide fixed wireless high-speed internet technology,” Gore said. “The fixed wireless high-speed internet technology is a line-of-sight service that is limited by distance and terrain.”

Gore said, “We can provide services in Okarche and Calumet because they are in our service footprint, meaning they are within the boundaries of our cooperative exchanges. But for towns outside of our footprint, we can provide a high-speed fixed-wireless internet service. Cooperatives operate in exchanges that have boundaries, whereas we serve customers traditionally. However, we can provide services outside our boundaries using a fixed wireless technology. This is how we’re able to provide high-speed internet to the Piedmont area.”

Two phases of construction are coming soon to Okarche. Gore said, “The fiber project for Okarche hasn’t even broken ground yet. Once it does, it could be a one-to-two-year project, depending on the weather, etc. But when the project is complete, fiber will provide a higher quality of service, faster internet with symmetrical speeds and greater bandwidth to manage multiple Wi-Fi devices. It will allow people to work from home, etc., with a more reliable service. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to visit GoPioneer.com and register through the ‘Get Fiber’ link at the very top. By doing this, it doesn’t commit customers to anything other than to show they are interested in getting fiber. Once construction begins, it is critical that residents sign the Service Location Agreement (SLA) when Pioneer contractors come to their premises with the agreement to sign. By signing the agreement, this gives Pioneer permission to take the fiber-to-the-home. By not signing the agreement, it could mean a future delay, if or when the customer decides to access the fiber because it’s much easier to build fiber to the home at time of fiber construction, rather than later.”

In 2017, Pioneer began its first phase of a 12-year, $280 million project to upgrade rural internet services. It was the first phase of a 12-year project funded by the federal Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) that allows Pioneer to take fiber-optics to unserved and underserved locations throughout Pioneers 30 county landline service area in Northwest, Central and Southwest Oklahoma. The A-CAM program provides funding for those locations where current facilities are not capable of providing 10 Mbps downstream speed and 1 Mbps upstream speed to the internet.

Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, Inc. will celebrate 67 years in business with “All About You” special promotions offered during the week of Monday, August 24 thru Friday, August 28, in all Pioneer Telephone and Pioneer Cellular retail locations during normal retail hours. Attendees will enjoy refreshments, receive a registration gift (while supplies last) and have an opportunity to win a $100 credit on a Pioneer account.

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PIONEER CELLULAR SERVICE

Cellular Network Partnership dba Pioneer Cellular is a Partnership Group comprised of Pioneer, your local broadband provider – KanOkla Telephone Association, South Central Communications of Kansas, and Hinton Cellular Company in Hinton, Oklahoma. Launching cellular service in 1988, the group serves customers in 45 counties in Oklahoma and 8 counties in southern Kansas and provides nationwide coverage through roaming alliances with national carriers. Pioneer Cellular provides advanced mobile data services and applications such as Video, Picture, Text Messaging and High-Speed Web Browsing.  For more information about Pioneer Cellular, dial 800.641.2732 or visit GoPioneer.com.

Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, Inc., and its affiliate companies, “Pioneer,” is one of the largest telecom Cooperative’s in the United States and is nationally recognized as an industry leader in rural telecommunications.

Pioneer provides service to thousands of accounts in communities encompassing 45 counties in western and southern Oklahoma, as well as eight counties in southern Kansas. The products and services include local telephone service, Ethernet Transport Service (ETS), high-speed internet, digital television, iVideo streaming television, cellular, long distance, wireless broadband, security systems, business solutions, fiber broadband, VoIP and Yellow Pages advertisement.

To connect with Pioneer call (888) 782-2667 or go onto the web at GoPioneer.com.