South Central Connect

General Questions (+)

Who is South Central Connect?
We are a subsidiary of South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative that provides fiber-to-the-home services of internet, TV, and phone to the South Central Arkansas area.

Why are you providing these services?
Many of our service territory is without the ability to have broadband internet, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines as 25Mbps download speed and 3Mbps upload speed. In 2016, South Central Arkansas Electric’s board of directors approved a 4-year plan to bring internet, television, and phone fiber services to all the cooperative’s service area.

What services will South Central Connect be offering?
Internet, Television, and Telephone through fiber optic cable ran directly to your home.

What internet speeds will be available?
100Mbps and 1Gbps with no data caps. With the technology we are deploying, there is no difference in upload/download speeds. Download traffic is when you are saving something from the internet to your computer (movies, documents, songs). Upload traffic is when you are saving something from your computer to somewhere on an internet site (pictures to Shutterfly, files to Google drive, etc). The goal for this technology deployment is to provide the amount of bandwidth you need so you can get to whatever on the internet whenever you want to, much like how you use electricity today.

To compare the speeds we will be offering to local Internet service providers in our area: HughesNet offers download speeds up to 5Mbps, WildBlue up to 12Mbps download speed, Verizon download between 5 and 12 Mbps with upload speeds between 2 and 5 Mbps.

Most service providers in our area have a data usage limit with overage charges, we offer unlimited data at the speeds listed above.

What areas will you service?
The areas we are targeting are the physical areas that South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative serves power to today. However, we want to reach beyond that territory where there is demand. If you are interested in obtaining our FTTH services, click here to plug in your address. Submitting your interest on this site will help us determine where we can feasibly build to next.

Do I have to be a South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative member to receive service?
Not necessarily. South Central Connect is a separate company, although a subsidiary of South Central Arkansas Electric Cooperative. It will not be a cooperative where members pay membership fees. It is instead a for-profit LLC business. We will build based on demand. If there is enough demand in an area that is economically feasible for us to build, we will get it on the list.

What equipment will you be installing on my house?
It depends on the services you subscribe to, but at a minimum, you will have a Network Interface Device (NID) installed on the outside of your house, likely close to your power meter. It will connect to an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). This will provide your internet service. Our ONT’s have the capability to create a wireless network or you can provide your own wireless router. The phone service will be served through the ONT as well. If you subscribe to our television packages, you will have a set-top box for each TV. If you want a whole-home DVR, there is an additional charge for that equipment.

When will you be building to my house?
We plan to start construction during the fall of 2017 in the Arkadelphia area, west of I-30. We will then move to the east side of I-30 and move toward the Alpine area to complete the first phase. As we wrap up that phase, we will evaluate our sign up site (coming soon) to see what area has the most interest and move that direction next. Make sure to get your neighbors, friends, and relatives to sign up on our page to let us know you all want our fiber services at your home or place of business.

I’m building a new house. What do I need to do to prepare for South Central Connect?
If you’re building or remodeling a family room or home that will include South Central Connect services or other high-end electronics, now is the time to install the proper wiring to support them. Installing high-capacity, high-grade wiring and cable during the building or remodeling phase – while the walls are accessible – can save you big bucks down the road.

Use Category 5E (Cat-5 Enhanced) or Category 6 twisted-pair wire for television, voice, and data transmissions.

We recommend running all cabling from each spot where a phone, television, computer or router will be located to a central hub preferably in the center of the home. Also consider if you will be putting in internet ready TV’s. You may also want to run an additional wire for the internet on the TV (wired connections are recommended where possible over wireless, especially if you have a lot of devices in your home). Do not run the CAT5 next to the power wire or over any fluorescent lights – keep it at least 6 inches away. It’s not shielded like coax, so interference from those two sources could disrupt your signal.

Signing Up (+)

Who can get South Central Connect?
Click here to see our current planned territories.

Can I call to sign up?
Not at this time. You must fill out either a paper application or an electronic application (coming soon). We prefer electronic as it will be processed the fastest. A 12-month contract is required in order to justify building the fiber services to your home, so we must receive the signed document before installation at your home can begin.

How long will it take for services to be available to all members?
We are estimating four years at this time.

What if I rent my residence?
You’ll need permission from your landlord to have the installation performed.

How will I know if I’m eligible for services?
Click here to see if your address is available for service. When your area does become available, we will be sending messages through Smarthub. If you don’t have a SmartHub account through South Central Arkansas Electric Coop, please sign up now and make sure you get signed up to receive messages. We will also be mailing some notifications to your physical address if we haven’t already received interest from you through our sign-up application (coming soon). If we can’t reach you either of these ways, we will likely be sending someone to your home to let you know when the deadline will be for signing up at the $100 installation fee that will be offered when we initially construct fiber services near your home.

What if I don’t sign up by my application deadline?
The application deadlines are based on the areas where we’re doing construction. We’re offering a discounted installation rate at $100 if you sign up before this deadline. This includes running fiber to your home and connections for up to two TVs. Additional TV locations are $40 each. If you miss the deadline, you will be charged the full amount to extend the fiber services to your home. The amount will be more than $100 and depending on how far away your home is from the main fiber line, it could be a lot more expensive. We will have to visit your residence to tell you exactly how much this will cost.

Are there taxes on these services?
Yes. South Central Connect is required to add any applicable franchise fees or required local taxes for all services; as well as federal, state and E911 fees for the phone service.

Internet (+)

What is fiber and what’s so special about it?
Fiber optic systems use bursts of light sent through thin glass fibers to transmit information, resulting in much faster speeds than traditional copper lines. Most internet providers use fiber in their systems but use copper lines for the final connection to the home, resulting in slower speeds. South Central Connect will bring fiber all the way into your home, giving you access to download and upload speeds up to one gigabit.

What plans and prices do you have for Internet?
For residential customers, we will have 2 plans. 100Mbps at $49.95 and 1Gbps at $79.95. These speeds are symmetrical, meaning the same for both download and upload speeds. And, the best part is, there are NO data caps so you can use as much data as you want. Corporate customers will be priced based on their needs.

Will I need special equipment to receive your internet service?
You are not required to provide any equipment for internet service, and there is no fee for the equipment. Managed wireless, which uses the Optical Network Terminal for a wireless router, is $4.95 per month.

What is Managed Wireless Router Services?
For $4.95 per month, we will set up, maintain, and manage your wireless network, including troubleshooting, updates, and security. All ports are opened on the ONT for your use and no additional wireless router is required. The ONT is utilized to access Wi-Fi and is fully compatible with 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps. South Central Connect has the ability to remotely monitor and modify settings when contacted by customers for troubleshooting. If the ONT's Wi-Fi range is not enough, South Central Connect can offer 804 mesh satellite(s) as a solution.

Can I use my own equipment?
You must use the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) as the modem, but you are welcome to use your own wireless router if you prefer.

If I choose to use my own wireless router, how do I pick the right one?
We recommend you select the managed wireless feature. This puts the responsibility of choosing the right hardware and setting up your network on South Central Connect. It saves you from having one more device to store, manage, and ultimately replace.

Nice try, but I still want to use my own wireless router. How do I pick the best one for me?
Routers vary in price and features. You will need to research online to find the best one that fits your budget and expectations. We do recommend that you select a wireless router that is defined as 802.11ac and supports speeds up to 1 Gbps. 1 Gbps is also referred to as 'gigabit.' Even if you only select the basic service, this will ensure your router is compatible if you upgrade in the future. If you manage your own router, South Central Connect will not have the ability to remotely monitor or modify your network settings. You will bear the responsibility of updating firmware, accessing your router for security purposes, and maintaining your wireless network.

What happens if the equipment is damaged?
Physical damage will be charged to the customer. Malfunctioning equipment will be replaced by South Central Connect at no charge.

Do I need to return the ONT if I cancel service?
Yes. We will send someone to your house to pick up the ONT if you cancel service. Do not try to disconnect the ONT yourself.

How do I know how fast of an internet speed I need?
The speed largely depends on how you’re using the Internet and how many Internet users and devices in your home. To stream movies off services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, you need 25 Mbps per user. To watch YouTube, Google says you need at least 2.5 Mbps. Hulu says you need 3.0 Mbps. If you have 4 devices in your home trying to access any of these, 100 Mbps should give you what you need. If you want a super-fast connection, go with the 1Gbps.

Will you sell my browsing information?
No. We will never sell your information to third parties. South Central Connect’s policy is to look out for the best interest of our subscribers.

Television (+)

How much will this cost?
We offer several packages starting at $29.95 per month. The Ultra Plus package includes all premium and sports channels plus 50 music channels and more for $131.95. A la carte packages are also available. You’ll receive a discount if you bundle TV with other South Central Connect services. Franchise taxes vary by locality.

What channels will be available with the television service?
We will have the basic channels like what you would receive today with a TV package, plus have premium packages for movie or sports channels.

Can I use my existing television receivers (i.e Dish, DirectV, etc) if I sign up for South Central Connect TV service?
No. Our TV service will have specific set-top boxes that have to be used with our TV programming.

Are channels all HD or is that extra?
Any channel available in HD will be delivered to you that way included in your package. There are no additional charges.

What local channels will you have?
Stay tuned.  More information is coming soon.

What channels will be available with the television service?
We have more than 100 channels available, including local, sports and premium channels. See the full lineup at www.southcentralconnect.net/tv.

Do I have to buy a package, or can I buy channels a la carte?
A la carte packages are available. See the all the options at www.southcentralconnect.net/tv.

What equipment do I need, and how much does it cost?
You’ll need a set-top box for each TV. A set-top box costs $5.95 per month.  Our Managed Wireless Router service is $4.95, and required if you will have any set-top boxes connected to your network wirelessly.  If you opt for whole-home DVR, which can stream DVR content to any of your TVs you’ll need one DVR unit for $12.95 per month. The DVR also doubles as a set-top box. Learn more about the DVR on the manufacturer's website.

What happens if the equipment is damaged?
Physical damage will be charged to the subscriber. South Central Connect will replace malfunctioning equipment.

Can I use TiVo or other third-party DVRs?
No, the TV service is only compatible with the devices we provide.

Do I have to have South Central Connect to have this TV service?
Yes, you must use at least the 100Mbps Internet plan for TV service.

What is IPTV?
IPTV delivers TV using the same technology that powers the internet instead of conventional cable or satellite formats. Using our all-fiber network, we can deliver more than 100 channels in crisp HD to all the TVs in your home.

Telephone (+)

How much does South Central Connect telephone service cost?
Unlimited nationwide calling will cost $29.95/month. International calls can be added for an additional fee. Discounts will be provided if you also have South Central Connect internet and/or TV service.

What’s included in this phone service?
Phone service includes three-way calling, call waiting, caller block, call forwarding, caller id, call return, do not disturb, and remote access voicemail.

Can I still use my same number?
In most areas yes, you will be able to keep your same telephone number.

Do I need a long-distance carrier with South Central Connect’s telephone service?
No! You’ll have unlimited nationwide calling available.

Do I have to have South Central Connect Internet plan to have this telephone service?
Yes.