Cummington Connect

Bringing High Speed Internet Right to your Home or Work
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FAQ

1. WHAT IS THE TIMELINE FOR SERVICE IN CUMMINGTON?

Once you complete an application, you will be added to a queue and contacted for installation when it becomes available. Construction is scheduled to begin in February or March of 2020. After the network infrastructure is completed, individual homes will be hooked up in the Summer of 2020.

2. WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR SIGNING UP FOR SERVICE?

You must apply for service before December 1, 2020 in order to qualify for the free, town-subsidized installation. Requests after crews leave town may result in substantial delay in installation and will require the homeowner to cover all or a portion of the service drop, and interior installation costs.

Customers who sing up after the deadline will incur charges of a minimum of $375 plus an additional $300 truck/crew rollout fee. Payment for installations after the deadline will be due on the first month’s bill.

3. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO MANAGE MY OLD EMAIL WHEN I START SERVICE WITH WHIP CITY FIBER?

In many cases, you won’t have to do anything. If you have Gmail or another “forever” email you’ll continue to receive your email. If your email is through your previous Internet service provider (ISP) you may be able to keep that too. Verizon, for example, transferred all of their email to AOL or Yahoo, and you can continue to access your verizon.net email account(s) even if you are no longer a Verizon customer.

 Setting up a “Forever Email”

4. HOW CAN I STREAM VIDEO CONTENT TO MY TV WITH WHIP CITY FIBER?

You could save hundreds of dollars a year by transitioning from satellite TV to online streaming video. In the world of cable television, this is called “Cutting the Cord.” Up here in the hilltowns, you can think of it more as “Ditching the Dish.” This flier will help you get started.

 Cutting the Cord: How to Stream Video with Whip City Fiber

5. WHERE CAN I GET ADDITIONAL HELP WITH MY ACCOUNT?

We are committed to providing the best service for your new high-speed Internet service. If you have any questions you can contact us at Customer Service: techsupport@whipcityfiber.com/1-833-WCF-CALL (1-833-923-2255) or Tech Support: techsupport@whipcityfiber.com/1-833-WCF-HELP (1-833-923-4357).

Cummington Installation Costs

1. WHAT IS THE CHARGE FOR INSTALLATION?

For customers who signed up before December 1, 2020, there is no charge for standard installation, which includes a first floor or basement connection at your home. Custom installations will incur additional charges based on labor and materials.
Customers who sign up after the deadline will incur charges of a minimum of $375 plus an additional $300 truck/crew rollout fee. Payment for installations after the deadline will be due on the first month’s bill.

General

1. WHAT IS WHIP CITY FIBER?

Whip City Fiber is the Internet service provider for Cummington. It is owned and operated by Westfield Gas + Electric in Westfield, Massachusetts. Cummington Connect has chosen to work with Whip City Fiber because, as a municipal utility, they are driven to provide best services at reasonable prices for subscribers, rather than earning high profits for investors. Whip City Fiber has been in operation since 2015 and is successfully serving the customers of Westfield, Otis, and Alford and will be the ISP for man of our neighboring hilltowns. Their knowledge and experience with engineering high-speed internet is a substantial benefit for our town. Joining their network gives us access to their customer service and tech support teams. Using Whip City Fiber as our ISP allows Cummington and other regional partners to benefit from greater economies of scale.

2. WHAT IS CUMMINGTON CONNECT?

Cummington Connect is the name of the Municipal Light Plant board, created in 2015 to build and operate a broadband fiber optic network in the one and only Cummington, Massachusetts. This board, originally appointed by the selectboard, is now an elected board consisting of 5 members.

3. WHAT IS A FIBER OPTIC NETWORK AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Whip City Fiber runs on a data network that is constructed of optical fibers instead of the traditional copper wire or coaxial cable. Optical fiber is a hair-thin piece of glass that is specially designed to transmit light impulses. One small fiber can carry multiple signals at once and the signal does not degrade over long distances. Unlike coaxial cable, performance is not affected by interference or shared bandwidth. The fiber-optic network provides high-speed access that runs at the speed of light.

Each year the use of the Internet for applications and services is increasing. As high-definition video, telemedicine, distance learning, telecommuting, and other applications continue to evolve, only fiber technology provides the bandwidth to carry the heavy data load we expect to see. We’re excited that Cummington can take advantage of this cutting-edge access, which will support our community into the future.

4. WHAT MAKES WHIP CITY FIBER DIFFERENT FROM OTHER INTERNET PROVIDERS?

Whip City Fiber is a community-owned company with a commitment to provide premium services to our customers. Our gigabit service is the fastest in town and our customer service is always on call. The revenues generated by Whip City Fiber in Cummington will be reinvested locally to help cover the costs of running the network which will benefit the entire community.

5. I HAVE VERIZON NOW. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

If you are a current Verizon Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) customer, please DO NOT cancel your service until your Whip City Fiber service is working. You risk losing your existing internet connection if you cancel your account early. Also, if you are planning on “porting” your existing Verizon telephone number to the new Premier telephone service, you will need to keep your Verizon telephone service active until Verizon completes the porting process. This can take as long as 3 to 4 weeks. If you cancel your Verizon service before the process is complete, you run the risk of losing your telephone number.

Signing up

1. HOW DO I SIGN UP?

It’s easy! Complete an application online or call 1-833-WCF-CALL (1-833-923-2255) and one of our customer service representatives can answer any questions you have and complete your application over the phone. When installation appointments are available, the customer service team will contact you to schedule an appointment.

2. WHAT IF I’M A RENTER? WHAT IF I’M A LANDLORD?

The person who signs up should be the one who is going to be billed for the monthly service (this is usually the renter unless the landlord is going to include the price of Internet in the rent or the unit is currently empty).

On the application you should indicate that you are a renter and include your landlord’s contact information in the appropriate fields. Your landlord will be contacted for the necessary installation permissions. The homeowner (landlord) MUST be present on installation day since both the outside and inside installation involves work on the property and changes to the wiring and drilling through walls or floors. Thus, installation can only be approved by the property owner.

If the property owner can’t be present on installation day, s/he can appoint someone who will be on site on installation day and be authorized to make decisions about the installation and pay for any upgrades. We encourage all renters and homeowners to discuss installation details and ongoing service before sign up.

3. I HAD A PROBLEM ON THE SIGN-UP PAGE LIKE A TECHNICAL ISSUE OR MY ADDRESS WASN’T AVAILABLE. WHO CAN I CONTACT?

If your address didn’t come up in the dropdown box, please type in the full address and submit your application. Whip City Fiber customer service will be in touch with Allan to help sleuth the problem. Once it is sorted out, we’ll get back to you.

If you have other problems submitting the application online, contact Whip City Fiber customer support by phone at 833-WCF-CALL (833-923-2255) or via email at customerservice@wgeld.org.

Working directly with WCF customer service is the fastest way to solve your application problem.

4. I HAVEN’T RECEIVED MY FOLLOW-UP EMAIL. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you signed up more than 7 days ago and still haven’t gotten a follow-up email, please check your junk email folder to make sure it didn’t get filtered out. Still not there? Contact Whip City Fiber at 833-WCF-CALL (833-923-2255) or customerservice@wgeld.org to make sure you signed up and ask them to resend the follow-up email.

Cost

1. HOW MUCH DOES WHIP CITY FIBER COST?

Whip City Fiber is available at $85/month for residential service, which includes use of a free Wi-Fi router.

2. IS THERE A CHARGE FOR INSTALLATION?

There is a charge for standard installation, which includes a first floor or basement connection at your home. Custom installations will incur additional charges based on labor and materials. Installations are available for existing occupied structures such as houses or studios/offices.

3. WILL I BE ASKED TO SIGN A CONTRACT?

There are no contracts for Whip City Fiber residential service because we are providing a great service that we believe you’ll want to keep.

4. HOW DO I PAY MY BILL?

You must pay your bill electronically to our internet service provider – Whip City Fiber. Payment can be made either through electronic fund transfer from your bank account or you may pay by credit card.

We encourage you to use automatic payments from your bank account (EFT). This saves you and the town money and ensures you don’t miss a payment, which could result in service disconnection. You will have the option to pre-pay your account if you so choose.

Payment by cash or check is not an option due to the costs involved. We hope you are already accustomed to automatic bill paying for other household expenses.

5. HOW WILL I BE BILLED?

Whip City Fiber will issue electronic invoices to the email address you provide. You must provide an email address to sign up for service. There is no option for paper bills. This is to ensure costs of operating our network are as low as possible (plus it saves trees!).

Bills are due upon receipt. There is a 10-day grace period, after which time your account will be deemed in default, service will be suspended, and a reconnection fee will be charged.

6. WHEN DO I HAVE TO PAY?

When your installation is scheduled, Whip City Fiber will let you know what your costs will be. This will happen 2 to 3 weeks before your installation.

You will not be billed for the monthly service or additional charges until everything is installed and working at your home. All payments will be made online. You will receive an email with login information to the Whip City Fiber billing portal. This is where you can make changes to your preferred billing method at any time.

We encourage you to use automatic payments from your bank account (EFT). This saves you and the town money and ensures you don’t miss a payment, which could result in service disconnection.

7. WHAT IS THE CHARGE FOR SERVICE CALLS?

If you are having problems with your Whip City Fiber service, please call the Whip City Tech Team at 1-833-WCF-HELP (1-833-923-4357). They will provide free phone support. More complex issues which require a visit and may result in additional charges. We always support Whip City Fiber equipment at no charge.

8. ARE THERE MONTHLY CHARGES FOR EQUIPMENT OR FOR ADDITIONAL COMPUTERS?

Customers receive the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) [like a DSL modem] and Wi-Fi router at no charge with each account. Authorized account users that are living in the same residence and their guests will be able to connect multiple devices to the service.

9. CAN I SHARE WHIP CITY FIBER BY BROADCASTING WI-FI TO MY NEIGHBORS?

We certainly hope you’ll encourage your neighbors to sign up for their own service because sharing Wi-Fi outside of your household is a violation of the acceptable terms of use.

10. HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR THE FEDERAL LIFELINE SUBSIDY?

Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet for eligible low-income subscribers. Qualified customers will receive up to $9.25 applied directly towards their bill. You can use Lifeline for either phone or internet, but not both. FCC rules prohibit more than one Lifeline service per household.

You can sign up here.

To use this portal, you will need to be an active WCF customer. Otherwise, you can submit an application and choose to have the credit applied to your WCF service once you have been approved.

You can apply here if you are not a WCF customer yet.

Installation

1. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE INSTALLATION PROCESS?

STEP 1 – SIGN UP

• Click the sign-up link on the Cummington Connect home page or go to https://www.whipcityfiber.com/cummington/fiberapp.

• Enter the first part of your home address. Choose your home address from the dropdown list, and press Enter or click the magnifying glass to the right of your address.

• You’ll be asked for your contact information and a few questions such as which service/s you want. To streamline this process we’re primarily offering online sign ups. If you don’t know how to use a computer or get online, we’re here to help! See Sign Up Help section below.

STEP 2 – INSTALLATION

• Installations will be scheduled once the fiber-optic network is completed in your section of the town.

• The installer will contact you for next steps and schedule an installation appointment at your convenience. • Installations typically take 2-3 hours. An adult who can make decisions about the installation must be present for the installation. (A missed appointment costs the town $200-250, which you will be responsible for paying).

• The fiber-optic cable will be brought from the curb to your home and will enter your home through a small box mounted on your home near where your existing utilities are located. The technician will then set up the interior electronics.

• As soon as the technician is finished, you will have broadband in your home!

UNDERGROUND

• If your home needs an underground connection, you’ll have two home visits. The installer will first contact you to make an appointment for an installation consultation. They will visit your home and determine whether you have an existing conduit that can be easily used or whether to install a new conduit. If you need a new conduit, they will stake out the proposed dig route. You will need to sign off on the plan. After a DigSafe permit is done, the installers will make a second appointment with you and return to put the conduit in the ground install the service inside your home. An adult who can make decisions about the installation must be present for both of these appointments. Any missed appointment cost the town $200-250, which you will be responsible for paying).

TELEPHONE

• If you order Premier telephone service, the basic installation includes connecting one telephone to the Telo device. If you want to connect all of your home’s phone wiring and jacks to the service, you’ll have to pay for an additional home visit or do the work yourself. The cost for this additional wiring will likely be $150-200.

But WHEN will I actually have broadband in my home? You’ll have broadband as soon as installation at your home is complete. We expect home installations to be scheduled in late winter 2020 and completed beginning in the spring of 2020. Which homes and which areas of town get installed first will be based on the overall construction schedule, weather, pace, and numbers of customers that have signed up. We are coordinating carefully with Whip City Fiber and their “drop” contractors to maximize efficiency and control costs.

2. WHAT DOES THE FREE INSTALLATION COVER?

The free installation service covers your full standard installation to bring the fiber-optic cable from the street to your home using the path designed by Cummington Connect and install all necessary electronics (including a WiFi router). If you chose an alternate path, you will be charged the difference in labor and materials. It includes all parts, labor and materials regardless of your driveway length and regardless of whether your utilities are aerial or underground. It’s everything you need to get broadband in your home. Free installation was only available to Cummington homeowners who signed up for broadband before December 1, 2020.

3. WHAT WILL ACTUALLY GET INSTALLED IN/ON MY HOME?

Outside your home, near where your current utilities enter the home, a small gray plastic clamshell box will be attached. This is called the NID (Network Interface Device) and it is where the fiber-optic cable will enter your home. It is about the same size as the box on your home now for your phone service. One cable will run from the NID to the inside of your home (a hole may need to be drilled for this by the installer).

Inside your home, you will have an ONT (Optical Network Device) placed (usually) in the basement and a wireless router placed in a central spot so the wireless signals can reach throughout your home. The ONT is about the size of deck of cards (just over 3”x4”) and the router is about the size of a small cereal box. The router is the piece of electronics that will broadcast the broadband signal throughout your home so you can wirelessly connect all your devices (computers, laptops, iPads, phones, TVs, etc.) to the Internet. You can plug devices into the router directly if you choose not to use use WiFi.

If you order Premier telephone service, you will also have a Telo device placed near the router. This is a small box that plugs into the router and provides a jack for telephone service. The basic installation includes installing the Telo device and connecting one telephone directly into it. If you want to connect all of your home’s phone wiring, and jacks, to the service, you’ll have to pay for an additional home visit or do the work yourself. Your home needs to be disconnected from another provider’s connection. If you use a base phone with expandable handsets (handsets plug into an electrical outlet only, not a phone jack) there is no need for any rewiring.

4. CAN I DO THE INTERIOR INSTALLATION MYSELF?

You are welcome to do certain parts of your in-home installation, such as providing more complex interior wiring, yourself or find and pay your own technicians/electrician to do so. The Whip City Fiber technician will still have to install and provision the fiber-optic network portion of the installation up to the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) and router.

5. I WANT TO GET THE FIBER CONNECTED TO MY HOME, BUT I DON’T WANT TO SIGN UP FOR SERVICE. WHAT WILL THAT COST?

Having the fiber brought to your home without signing up for Internet service is called a “cold drop”. You still must sign up on the Whip City Fiber website so we know to include your cold drop in our network construction. If you sign up for a cold drop after December 1, 2020, you will have to pay for the rest of the installation costs. Why sign up for a cold drop? This will save you substantial money. If you ask for a drop after the deadline, the entire cost of the fiber drop from the pole to your home, plus all labor and equipment, and a mobilization charge (a crew/truck will have to come out just for you), will be charged. This will be a minimum of~$800.

Speed

1. HOW FAST IS WHIP CITY FIBER?

We are offering 1 gigabit service, which is up to 1,000 Mbps upload and download speed. Actual speeds may vary due to a number of factors including the age and speed of your equipment and which software and websites you are using. You will always get the best speeds when your computer or other device is using a hardwired connection.

2. WHAT DOES GIGABIT SPEED LET ME DO?

Many customers take advantage of resources that require higher speeds and bandwidth, including streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Sling, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime Video), video calls, and ultra-high-definition (UHD) television. Whip City Fiber provides the speed for customers to use these services and other Internet resources without glitches or buffering.

3. DO YOU OFFER WI-FI?

A Wi-Fi router is included with residential service to provide wireless access to tablets, phones, gaming systems, and other devices in your home. You should expect speeds over a wireless connection to be approximately half that of the wired speed.

4. ARE WE GUARANTEED TO RECEIVE GIGABIT SPEED?

We are building a system that supports gigabit bandwidth. We expect you will receive up to 1,000 Mbps for both upload and download. A wired speed test should be around 960 Mbps and a wireless test approximately 440 Mbps. Your actual speed will be affected by the age and speed of your devices, the software you are using, the server of the site you are visiting, and the overall volume of internet traffic at any given moment. As usage increases, we can add more capacity without having to run new cables.

When you are connected to the Cummington network you will be able to check your speed with the speed test located in the very top menu on the homepage. The Whip City Tech Team is available at 1-833-WCF-HELP (1-833-923-4357) if you have any concerns about the speeds you are getting.

Technical

1. WHO SHOULD I CALL FOR SERVICE OR SUPPORT?

The Whip City Tech Team at 1-833-WCF-HELP (1-833-923-4357) is our front line when you need a little extra help. They are available for free phone support 24 hours a day. If we cannot fix a problem remotely, we will dispatch a technician, although some visits may incur an additional charge. We always support Whip City Fiber equipment at no charge. The Whip City Tech Team can provide phone support on issues including setting up devices, transferring email, and streaming video.

2. WHERE WILL THE ROUTER AND ONT GO INSIDE MY HOME?

The installers are trained to work with you to find the best placement for the inside the home electronics. Things like whether you have a basement, the size of your home, wall thickness, electrical outlet locations, and aesthetics for the location can be considered when you are working with your installer to decide where to locate the electronics.

3. WHERE WILL FIBER BE INSTALLED?

Generally, we install fiber, the Optical Network Terminal (ONT), in a basement or first floor location. For best performance, the router is placed in a central location on the first floor. Custom installation may be available for an additional charge.

4. WHAT IS THE MAKE AND MODEL OF THE EQUIPMENT YOU’LL PROVIDE?

You will get an Alcatel-Lucent G-010G-A Optical Network Terminal (ONT) and a SMART/RG 802.11ac Gigabit WiFi Router. If you subscribe to the Premier telephone service, you will also have an Ooma Telo. The ONT, Router, and Telo remain the property of Cummington Connect or Whip City Fiber.

5. CAN I USE MY OWN ROUTER?

Although you can install your own router, we strongly recommend that you consider the router provided by Whip City Fiber. Using your own router will not reduce the installation cost and will make it harder for Whip City Fiber to remotely troubleshoot any problems you may have. If they need to send out a technician to solve a problem that turns out to be due to your router, you will be charged for the service call.

6. I DON’T WANT A WIRELESS SYSTEM (WI-FI) IN MY HOME. CAN I HARDWIRE THE EQUIPMENT INSTEAD?

Yes. The ONT (optical Network Terminal) (modem) will be hardwired to the fiber-optic cable coming into your home and to the router. The router is the piece of electronics that can transmit a wireless signal. You can plug your devices directly into the router and turn off WiFi with a button on the side of the router. You can also put in a completely hardwired system if you wish following installation.

7. CAN YOU HELP SET UP A CONNECTION TO MY TV AND OTHER DEVICES?

Most customers plan to use Whip City Fiber to set up streaming video on their television. Many devices (Roku, Apple TV, Amazon FireStick) will allow you to watch TV and movies over the Internet. We encourage you to do some research and complete the initial set up before your installation. Our installers can help when they are at your appointment if you get stuck. You can also call the Whip City Tech Team at 1-833-WCF-HELP (1-833-923-4357) for additional support with setting up your devices.

8. WHAT ABOUT MY ALARM SYSTEM?

Although the Premier Phone Service is not appropriate for your alarm system, you have multiple options: keep your Verizon landline just for your alarm system, upgrade to a cellular-based alarm system (if you are in an area with reliable cell service), or upgrade to an Internet-based alarm system. Both cellular-based alarms and Internet-based alarms enable your alarm monitoring company to monitor the state of your alarm in real-time, instead of relying on your alarm making a phone call once or twice a day. Some offer smart-phone apps for you to check on your home yourself. We recommend that you contact your alarm monitoring company and ask them about the best options for your situation.

9. SHOULD I HAVE A BATTERY BACKUP (UPS)?

Neither Cummington Connect nor Whip City Fiber provide UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems. That said, you should understand that if the power is out, your internet (and phone service) will be out of service as well. If you use a generator, you may want to plan to have the ONT and router both on a powered circuit. You can also purchase a UPS at local big box stores or online.

10. WHAT IF I HAVE DATA JACKS I WANT CONNECTED OR I WANT ADDITIONAL WIRING DONE BEYOND A BASIC INSTALLATION?

Connecting your special data jack wiring to the router will be an additional installation charge or you can do this work yourself. Any additional work requested will be billed at the rate charged to us by the contractor, currently about $50/hour plus materials if done at the time of the basic installation.

11. CAN I GET A STATIC IP ADDRESS?

Yes. Cummington will offer static IP addresses to subscribers. Static IP addresses have an additional monthly charge of $16.25 for one, $25 for two, or $37.50 for five.

12. HOW RELIABLE IS WHIP CITY FIBER?

This fiber optic network is designed with reliability in mind. By design, the path that provides your service contains only a limited number of components that might break. That said, as with any outdoor facility, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Fiber optic cabling is similar to any wire that is run on a utility pole and therefore subject to some risk. If there is a problem, Cummington has dedicated teams to work on repairs. Our goal is 99.99% uptime.

13. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO GET THE FIBER OPTIC CONNECTION GET TO MY HOUSE?

Cummington Connect is constructing a fiber optic network to provide Internet and telephone service, with service provided in partnership Whip City Fiber to all residences and businesses in Cummington. We have secured the necessary financial resources to construct the network AND to cover the costs to connect existing, occupied households to the network, including connecting to the exterior of the home and installing wiring and equipment inside the home. As stated above, you must have applied for a connection by December 1, 2020 in order to qualify for a full subsidy from Cummington Connect.

Step 1. Connecting from the distribution network to the exterior of a residence

Signing up for Internet service is NOT required for this portion of the work to be done, however customers signing up for service will be prioritized for completion first. Cummington Connect urges all homeowners to take advantage of this option to make their home broadband-ready, even if they don’t anticipate taking service soon. Homeowners are responsible for incremental costs incurred if they request a path other than that designed by Cummington Connect.

Step 2. Installation of interior wiring and equipment

This installation includes an optical network terminal (ONT) in the basement, up to 50’ jumper from the exterior network interface device (NID) to the ONT, up to 50’ interior wiring from the ONT to a wall jack on the first floor, and a WiFi router plugged into the wall jack. The customer must ensure that there are AC outlets near the ONT and the router. Customers pay for additional costs for more complicated interior installation work (e.g., running cable for a router on the second floor). Customers requesting Premier telephone service will pay additional phone-related system installation costs if more than one telephone jack is to be connected to the Telo device (estimated to be approximately $150-$200 per premise).

Construction

1. IS GETTING THE SERVICE GOING TO DAMAGE MY LAWN?

If your electric service is already overhead your fiber will be too. If your service is underground, a DigSafe will be scheduled. When that has cleared, we will use a minimally invasive process to bring the wire from the street to the house. Our crews are professionals and will restore your lawn as is necessary. We want happy customers and we stand behind our restoration work.

2. DO I NEED TO BE HOME FOR YOU TO COME OUT AND INSTALL SERVICE?

Yes, we will need to have access to the inside of your home to install fiber. We will offer various times for appointments to accommodate the time that works best for you.

3. WILL HOLES NEED TO BE DRILLED IN THE WALLS FOR THE EQUIPMENT?

Most likely. These holes are typically ½” or less. We will work with you to minimize the need for drilling and coordinate an agreed-upon route prior to beginning our work.

Equipment

1. WHAT EQUIPMENT WILL BE PROVIDED?

Whip City Fiber provides all the equipment you will need for service. You will receive an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) device, which is a fiber optic modem, and a router that will provide connection and WiFi for your home and devices. Both the ONT and router are provided at no charge and are supported and managed by Whip City Fiber.

2. CAN I USE MY OWN WI-FI ROUTER?

Yes, but please be aware that there are benefits to having the Whip City Fiber router, which can be diagnosed and supported remotely. Using your own router will not decrease your monthly bill.

Services

1. WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND LATER ABOUT WHICH SERVICES I WANT AFTER I’VE ALREADY SIGNED UP?

You can contact Whip City Fiber at 833-WCF-CALL (833-923-2255) any time after you have signed up to change the services you would like.

If you decide to add Premier telephone service and you are planning on “porting” your existing Verizon telephone number to the new service, it is critical to keep your Verizon telephone service active until Verizon completes the porting process. This can take as long as 3 to 5 days. If you cancel your Verizon service before the process is complete, you will lose your telephone number for good.

2. DOES WHIP CITY FIBER OFFER TELEVISION PROGRAMMING?

Whip City Fiber provides internet service. We do not provide television programing, but we offer amazing access to all streaming service providers. Many customers will subscribe to one or more streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Sling, etc.) for watching TV, movies, and sports over the internet.

Visit the Streaming page for additional information.

3. HOW CAN I GET MY LOCAL TELEVISION CHANNELS?

Many local channels are available through a streaming service provider. Refer to each service’s website to review availability.

You may also be able to get local channels over the air with an HD digital antenna for free. Signal strength will vary depending on your home location. You can check your potential signal strength and channels at www.antennaweb.org by inputting your address information. Antennas range in price from $10 to $150, depending upon what channels you hope to get and how far away the stations are. You can purchase them at department stores or online.

4. DO YOU OFFER TRADITIONAL PHONE SERVICE?

Whip City Fiber offers Premier Phone Service for $14.99/month. This service provides phone calls over the internet and is not the same as a traditional landline. It is not appropriate for use with medical devices or alarm systems. Premier Phone Service includes free long-distance calling in the US, Canada, and Mexico, 911 service, call blocking, voicemail, and more.

5. DO I HAVE TO CHANGE MY EMAIL ADDRESS?

In many cases, you won’t have to do anything. If you have Gmail or another “forever” email you’ll continue to receive your email. If your email is through your previous ISP you may be able to keep that too. Verizon, for example, transferred all of their email to AOL or Yahoo, and you can continue to access your verizon.net email account(s) even if you are no longer a Verizon customer.

For additional information:

Overview of Verizon’s move to AOL mail

Setting up a “Forever Email”

Security

1. DOES WHIP CITY FIBER OFFER ANTI-VIRUS COVERAGE?

These days so many parts of our lives are linked to the digital world that it’s especially important to connect to the internet safely. We suggest you install an antivirus software on your computers, laptops, and tablets. One reputable option available for free download is available at www.avast.com

Questions? Email us at techsupport@whipcityfiber.com or give us a call at 1-833-WCF-HELP (1-833-923-4357).

Outage

1. REPORTING AN OUTAGE

Our goal is excellent and reliable service but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas. Any time your service is not working, for quickest response, we ask that you contact the Whip City Tech Team at 413-485-1204, 833-WCF-HELP (833-923-4357). Our phones are staffed 24 hours a day so we work on correcting your issue right away. You can also reach us by email at techsupport@whipcityfiber.com which is monitored until 8 PM each day. Outages and other technical issues will be addressed most quickly when sent to the Tech Team and not Customer Service which does not have 24 hour coverage.

2. HOW WILL THE OUTAGE BE RESOLVED?

If there is a simultaneous power outage in your area, our technicians have to wait until that is resolved before we can address any internet outage. Rest assured that our teams are keeping tabs on the activity in the area and will respond as soon as it is safe. If it is only an internet issue, then our teams will address this in the office and in the field. We will do our best to provide updates to customers as we learn more information. When service has been restored, we know that some customer’s service won’t come back up on it’s own. If you believe that an outage has been resolved but you are still having problems, we ask that you contact the Whip City Tech Team at 413-485-1204, 833-WCF-HELP (833-923-4357). Our phones are staffed 24 hours a day so we work on correcting your issue right away. You can also reach us by email at techsupport@whipcityfiber.com which is monitored until 8 PM each day.

3. WHAT IF MY SERVICE DOESN’T COME BACK UP?

Sometimes, once the main service issue is resolved, customer equipment may not reset itself properly. In this case, you can try to power cycle your equipment. If you have phone service, start by unplugging the power cord of the Telo from the wall. Do not disconnect the ethernet cables. Then you should unplug the power from the ONT (the white box with Nokia on the front, generally installed in the basement), wait 30 seconds and plug it back in. Move on to the router (the black box with SmartRG on it, generally on the first floor) and do the same. Once the router has come back up, wait two minutes and plug the Telo back into the power outlet. If your service continues to have issues, we invite you to contact the Whip City Tech Team at 413-485-1204, 833-WCF-HELP (833-923-4357). Our phones are staffed 24 hours a day so we work on correcting your issue right away. You can also reach us by email at techsupport@whipcityfiber.com which is monitored until 8 PM each day.

4. WHAT IF I SEE DOWNED FIBER AT MY HOME?

First, we always want you to assume that a downed “wire” is dangerous. What you think is a fiber drop could be a hazardous electrical line so please stay away. For quickest response, please report your downed drop to the Whip City Tech Team at 413-485-1204, 833-WCF-HELP (833-923-4357). Our phones are staffed 24 hours a day so we work on correcting your issue right away. You can also reach us by email at techsupport@whipcityfiber.com which is monitored until 8 PM each day.

5. WILL MY VOIP PHONE WORK IF THE INTERNET IS OUT?

Your phone from Whip City Fiber runs over the internet. If internet access is interrupted, your Voice-Over-IP-Phone (Ooma) will not work. If only the power is out and you can provide generator power or an uninterrupted power source (UPS) to the ONT, router, and Telo device then your phone will continue to work. We know that there is limited cell service in many hilltowns so we encourage you to plan for this limitation of your VOIP phone service.

6. CAN YOU OFFER A CREDIT FOR THE TIME MY SERVICE HAS BEEN INTERRUPTED?

Ideally, when there is an interruption of service it is brief. We are not able to offer a credit or refund for when your service is out because your network belongs to you and the taxpayers in your town. Offering a credit to customers would impair the town’s ability to fund the debt on the project.

7. HOW CAN AN UNINTERRUPTED POWER SUPPLY (UPS) HELP DURING AN OUTAGE?

If you plan ahead, an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) can be a temporary solution to keep your service working during a power outage. Customers can purchase a UPS battery online or at retail stores where other computer/office supplies are sold. When looking for the right UPS for you, it’s important to note that both the ONT and router will need to be powered by a UPS to continue service.

You can learn more about UPS batteries here.

Suspend or Cancel Service

1. I’M NOT A YEAR-ROUND RESIDENT IN CUMMINGTON. IS THERE A SEASONAL SERVICE PLAN?

Customers are allowed to “suspend” their internet service, which means they can request (via customer service) that their internet service be shut off, while maintaining an active account.

Customers may not suspend phone service. If they have phone service they can take the phone adapter with them to use elsewhere in the US. If you move your phone device to a different address, it is CRITICAL that you log into the Ooma portal or contact Ooma customer support to update your location for 911 services.

Customers may reinstate service within 120 days with no fee. A $99 fee applies if the service has been suspended for more than 120 consecutive days.

2. HOW DO I CANCEL MY SERVICE

You can cancel your service (but we hope you won’t!) with a simple phone call to 833-WCF-CALL (833-923-2255). For most customers, we recommend keeping the equipment at your home. If you choose to return the equipment, you can mail it back to us. Please fill out the Equipment Return form and include it in your shipment.

Customer Service
1-413-485-1251
833-WCF-CALL (833-923-2255)
customerservice@wgeld.org
Technical Support
1-413-485-1204
833-WCF-HELP (833-923-4357)
techsupport@whipcityfiber.com
Notifications
Outage Notification Preferences
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