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PANGAEA Internet FAQ
- I have a business on your fiber path. What does it cost me to hook up? Will I have to buy additional equipment to use your network?
- If I am not located on or near your fiber will PANGAEA help me get better Internet bandwidth?
- Is fiber optics just another passing technology, soon to be supplanted by the next “big thing?”
- I can use DSL or a cable modem, PANGAEA is more expensive. Why would I use it? How does PANGAEA compare to currently available options in Polk and Rutherford Counties?
- Is this service just for big businesses with complex telecommunications needs? Isn’t this service too expensive for a small business?
- Why doesn’t PANGAEA provide residential service?
- How can this help draw business and growth to Polk and Rutherford Counties?
- Why was Polk County selected for the initial funding?
- Will my costs start out low and increase in the near future?
- Can I use a Macintosh on the PANGAEA network?
- Who owns PANGAEA?
- What does PANGAEA mean?
- Does this service compete with incumbent providers, such as Windstream, Charter, Northland and SkyRunner?
- Who are PANGAEA’s partners?
- How much did the network cost and how was it funded?
- How big is PANGAEA’s network?
- Where is the network and are there plans to extend it?
- How do I get involved with PANGAEA?
- What is the speed/throughput on the PANGAEA network?
- How does PANGAEA connect to the Internet backbone?
- Is the PANGAEA network survivable?
- Will the schools benefit?
- Can the system be used for telephone traffic?
I have a business on your fiber path. What does it cost me to hook up? Will I have to buy additional equipment to use your network?
The total customer cost is determined by the equipment costs, the distance to our network backbone, the need for street boring, and the cost of splicing. These costs will vary from customer to customer. Contact Us to get a price quote.
If I am not located on or near your fiber will PANGAEA help me get better Internet bandwidth?
PANGAEA is actively expanding our network. Please review the Network Tab and learn about our current route and planned expansions via the Contact Us link.
Is fiber optics just another passing technology, soon to be supplanted by the next “big thing?”
The equipment attached to fiber optics will change over time, but the capacity of fiber optics is effectively unlimited. Analysts have referred to fiber optics as “future-proof.”
I can use DSL or a cable modem, PANGAEA is more expensive. Why would I use it? How does PANGAEA compare to currently available options in Polk and Rutherford Counties?
There are four significant advantages of PANGAEA fiber over “shared” services as DSL and cable. First, PANGAEA is a symmetric service, meaning the upload speeds can be as fast as download speeds. This is important for file sharing between locations, running hosted applications, and VoIP (Voice over IP, the Internet phone-calling technology). Second, PANGAEA subscribers are only two hops away from a Tier 1 Internet provider, meaning that data travels a shorter path to major Internet sites, improving performance. Third, the capacity of fiber optics can never be outgrown, so an investment now in a PANGAEA connection will serve well into the future, whereas copper-based technologies (cable, DSL) reach a bandwidth and distance limit. Finally, DSL and cable broadband are shared services, subject to congestion when other subscribers’ usage increases. PANGAEA offers guaranteed bandwidth to its subscribers.
Is this service just for big businesses with complex telecommunications needs? Isn’t this service too expensive for a small business?
The need for bandwidth has increased consistently and dramatically and more and more small businesses depend on high-capacity telecommunications for success. PANGAEA is for those customers whose needs have moved beyond the bandwidth they can get from cable and DSL.
Why doesn’t PANGAEA provide residential service?
Cable TV and telephone companies have existing lines going into virtually every home. They also have the established company infrastructure – like customer service call centers, installation and repair crews, ordering and billing systems – to support the residential market. As a non profit, our focus is on those businesses and government/community entities that have needs that aren’t being met by the current providers.
How can this help draw business and growth to Polk and Rutherford Counties?
PANGAEA aims to offer “urban parity” in its service – that is, to help Polk and Rutherford Counties offer big-city telecommunications with small-town cost of living and quality of life. More small, entrepreneurial, information-based business will find our location attractive if they can match the quality and affordability of bandwidth they will leave behind in congested cities. PANGAEA is working with the Polk and Rutherford County governments, Economic Development Commissions, Advantage West, Golden Leaf and others to promote the attractiveness of our community together with the advanced telecommunications capabilities of PANGAEA.
Will my costs start out low and increase in the near future?
Quite the contrary. We anticipate that as PANGAEA grows and adds customers to the network, our nonprofit status will allow us to share the benefits of our success with our partners customers and our community through rate reductions, expansion of the network, or other community initiatives.
What does PANGAEA mean?
Pangaea [pan-jee-uh] means “the whole earth,” and is the name used to refer to the planet’s single landmass prior to continental drift. The name PANGAEA represents our belief in the power of the Internet to move the world closer together and bridge the digital divide. PANGAEA is also an acronym for Polk Advanced Network for the Growth of our Academic and Entrepreneurial Advantage.
Does this service compete with incumbent providers, such as Windstream, Charter, Northland and SkyRunner?
No. PANGAEA’s focus is on business customers and government/community entities that have bandwidth requirements that exceed basic broadband offerings.
Who are PANGAEA’s partners?
We view every PANGAEA customer, vendor, and funding source as an important business partner. Some of our partners include Golden Leaf Foundation; AdvantageWest; Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation; ERC Broadband; Northland Cable; DukeNetCommunications; Polk and Rutherford County Schools, Governments, and Economic Development Commissions, Foothills Connect Business & Technology Center, and Isothermal Community College. Please see our Company Partners drop down page for additional information and links.
Where is the network and are there plans to extend it?
The network is located in two North Carolina counties: Polk and Rutherford. The backbone runs from downtown Tryon NC to Columbus NC to Mill Spring NC along Highway 108. In addition, it runs from Lake Lure NC to Sandy Plains NC and then continues on to downtown Rutherfordton NC. From our Rutherfordton NC hub, we spider web out across the county to provide service to all 22 Rutherford County School locations. Please click on the Network Tab for a network map.
How do I get involved with PANGAEA?
As a nonprofit company, PANGAEA welcomes the input and participation of everyone wanting to help PANGAEA realize our mission. Please contact us to see how to get involved and make a difference in our communities – improving education, health care, and economic prosperity.
What is the speed/throughput on the PANGAEA network?
The backbone of PANGAEA operates at a capacity of OC-12 (622 Mbps), upgradeable to OC-48 (2.4 Gbps). The equipment from which PANGAEA was built allows us to provide subscriber connections up to OC-3 (155 Mbps).
How does PANGAEA connect to the Internet backbone?
We have a direct fiber optic connection to our internet bandwidth provider in Charlotte, NC. Our back up connection is a high-capacity wireless link to Spartanburg, SC, and then via fiber optics to an Internet mega hub in Atlanta, GA.
Is the PANGAEA network survivable?
Yes, on two levels. Our primary fiber connection to the internet backbone has a survivable, diverse routed connection available in the unlikely case of an outage. That connection is also backed up by a wireless connection from Tryon, NC, to Spartanburg, SC.
Will the schools benefit?
Absolutely. PANGAEA offers Internet service and fiber connections to Polk County and Rutherford County Public Schools as well as Isothermal Community College. There is essentially unlimited network capacity among schools connected to PANGAEA’s fiber. Distance learning, videoconferencing, and participation in NC-Wise, the new statewide administrative application for public schools, are all more effective with PANGAEA service. For example, with PANGAEA service and online learning, students at Polk County High School can actually earn a college associates degree while still attending high school.
Can the system be used for telephone traffic?
Fiber optic connections can be used for traditional and Internet phone calling (called VoIP – Voice Over IP). PANGAEA is not a phone company and will not offer traditional telephone service. However the higher-grade connections offered by PANGAEA will enable subscribers to use third party provided VoIP service to completely eliminate their long-distance charges with no compromise to sound quality.