Angry about MetroNet installation in your neighborhood? Here’s what you should know

Miami Valley News
MetroNet truck

MetroNet truck parked while crews install fiber optic cables in Huber Heights. (WDTN photo/Lauren Mixon)

HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) – A new internet service provider is coming to Huber Heights and surrounding areas to offer an alternative to existing internet services. The name of the company is called MetroNet, and they have already begun installation in the city. 

Bryant McAfee, regional of Ohio for MetroNet said, “We joined the Ohio market beginning in October of 2019 and Huber Heights is our latest market, or city, for expansion. So, over the last six or seven months, many of the residents and businesses of Huber have seen our MetroNet vehicles and construction teams out and about to install our fiber-optic network.”

Construction of the fiber-optic network began in early 2021 is expected to continue early into 2022, with a goal to provide speedy and more reliable internet access to its users. But in order to use the new service, the proper cables must first be installed. For some community members, the location of that work has caused some confusion.

Interim city manager for Huber Heights, Scott Falkowski, explained, “Along our main streets, [MetroNet] can connect to the poles and have the overhead lines connected, but once they get back into the neighborhoods and to the plats, we require all underground services. So there’s two different places that they can go. Currently, a lot of the streets have the easements along the front — between the sidewalk and the curb. So that is one place that they can go. But also, there’s places where it’s in the rear of the yards.”

According to some Facebook posts, that’s where some confusion and frustration comes in, with some residents feeling unaware or inconvenienced by the work. However, the city has indicated that work is allowed. An FAQ on the City of Huber Heights’ website explains in part,

“MetroNet crews have legal access to these areas to install their fiber cables, in addition to equipment
such as boxes buried at ground level, typically placing them in a central location utilized by multiple
utility providers. If your easement is within a fenced area of your property, MetroNet will need access to
this area as well.”

McAfee added that MetroNet has received permission from the city and is doing its best to notify community members ahead of the work in their neighborhoods.

“Typically before we enter into a neighborhood, your residents will see signs [saying] ‘MetroNet is coming.’ There’ll be construction signs [sayin] ‘We’re coming soon’ or ‘We’ll be working in the area soon.’ We make sure we place those signs every time the crews go down the street.”

But in addition to some pushback the company has received, McAfee said the company has received plenty of positive feedback regarding installation, as it will provide faster service and competitive pricing against other internet providers. However, he said all feedback, regardless of the undertone, is being taken seriously.

“If there’s ever an issue that the customer would like to bring to our attention quickly, again, on our website, there is an area for placing a request — or a ticket, so to speak, to mention exactly what’s happened. Our technical team and the operations team is extremely responsive. They’ll get back within 24 hours to anything that has been brought to their  attention.”

Those tickets are meant to report any related issues, including property damage, power, water, and other utility outages, and everything in between.

Falkowski added, when it comes to finding remedies to those situations, “The first step for a resident that does have a concern is to reach out directly to MetroNet to have whatever problems solved. If they cannot come to an easy resolution then, yes, definitely contact the city and we can get involved as well.”

To learn more about the work MetroNet is doing in Huber Heights, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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