Home

Next Level Networks
LAHCF Pilot Dig in Los Altos Hills, CA.

Welcome to Los Altos Hills Community Fiber!

 

 

frame(1)
Scan this QR code with your phone or visit https://lahcommunityfiber.org/newsletter/ to get signed up for more information on LAHCommunity Fiber!

The Los Altos Hills Community Fiber Association is a new, exciting and unique operating model to bring affordable and very high speed internet service directly to our residential homes using a 100% fiber optic network – completely owned and operating by your own neighborhood members that are subscribed to the service.

The Los Altos Hills Community Fiber Association is a mutual benefit corporation under the laws of California.

LAH Community Fiber Association does not generate any “profits” that will go to any board members, members, or creators of this association.

We invite you to read the Operating Model  below for details about this community and resident driven organization!


Speed Tests – Compare LAHCF to your Broadband provider

We were required to use a special speed test to test the speed of our fiber network as most  DSL Speed tests simply do not work at the GB speed rates that is offered by LAHCF.

The image below shows the upload and download speeds and ping and jitter values.

nextlevelspeedtest-1

10 Gig Circuits in test mode – Soon to be release to LAHCF members

LAHCF is set to lead the nation in providing the highest possible Internet speeds.  We have left traditional copper wired vendors of AT&T U-VERSE and even cable Comcast thick wire technology behind.  In a nut shell, any type of copper wired Internet service just can not compete with a fiber (glass) technology when you have any distance involved.

There is a good reason why 99.999 percent of Internet traffic is transported over fiber and not copper wire based lines.  Why should our Internet speed come to a grinding slow speed when it gets to our last residential 1/4 mile?  Our current telcos don’t want to invest in our communities to bring fiber to our homes.

LAHCF is already testing the home hardware modems to provide 10 GB service to the home.  We already have confirmed that our fiber to the home and our fiber optic head end equipment can easily be upgraded to support 10 Gigabit service.  Our current default minimum speed is 1GB Up/Down.  We plan to upgrade that basic service to 10 GB Up/down.    This upgrade to 10 GB from 1 GB service only requires a slightly more expensive modem/router that will be included as part of our regular install.  Our peering connections and costs into the Internet at 10 GB versus 1 GB is not significant.

image001
10 GB test circuit from LAH LAHCF resident home to Internet backhaul in San Jose area. – Yes – that is 9,635 MB/sec. If you are running UVERSE at 20 MB/sec down, this is 481 times faster!

If you want to do a similar test, we had to download the special okidata speed test application directly on to a windows machine that also have a 10 GB Ethernet card.

You can download this app at:

https://www.speedtest.net/apps/windows

Next Level Networks was founded by broadband industry veterans seeking to bring down the cost of fiber to the home internet delivery.  Next Level Networks will build and operate the Gigabit -class symmetrical network.  The LAH community Fiber network will be owned by all of its members and operating under an agreement with Next Level Networks.  This will allow each neighborhood or community to be in control of its own communication future.

housejunctionbox
Each LAHCF member home is equipped with all of the external and internal fiber and electronics to connect to your current home Internet environment providing GB speed.

Operating Model

cropped-communityfiber511.jpg

The Los Altos Hills Community Fiber Association is a new, exciting and community owned and operating model to bring affordable and very high speed internet service directly to our residential homes using a 100% fiber optic network – completely owned and operating by your own neighborhood members that are subscribed to the service.

The Los Altos Hills Community Fiber Association is a mutual benefit corporation under the laws of California.

This type of corporation is used for organizations like HOA (Home Owners Associations or small water/sewer districts) where owners pay for a one time construction fee to create this commonly owned asset (community fiber infrastructure).    Secondly, members have joined the LAHC community fiber association  will pay a monthly fee to cover the  fiber uplink, support, maintenance and funds to sustainably maintain the system into the future.   LAH Community Fiber Association does not generate any “profits” that will go to any board members, members, or creators of this association.   LAHCF is operated by an elected group of volunteer board members who do not received direct or indirect compensation nor do neighborhood organizers (Neighborhood Champions) for particular neighborhood builds.  LAHCF will create reserves like HOA would need to do to continue to maintain the network and operations and provide for equipment replacement.

Where LAHCF differs dramatically from other broadband providers is that as more subscribers join onto the network and the installation and uplink costs are shared among more subscribers, the monthly cost should go down.  We have no external share holders that are looking for the biggest return on their investment.  Instead, LAHCF is owned by the subscribers and their interest is to collecting monthly fees to cover operational costs, maintain the network and keep fees as low as possible.  With our current Comcast broadband provider monopoly in town, fees will not drop unless their is competition for their services.

Like any organization, we still need to purchase professional services to offer Gigabit services to our members.  LAHCF will contract with companies to provide those services.  Currently the vendor that we have selected to provide the installation, and management of the LAH Community Fiber network is Next Level Networks.  LAH Community Fiber has the ability to select another vendor to provide our installation and network services in the future.

Next Level Networks is assisting to properly create the mutual benefit corporation and configure,  install and manage the Gigabit level network for LAH Community Fiber.

 

Builds

LAHCF is systemically adding new neighborhoods to their community owned and operated fiber optic Internet network.   The ultimate goal of LAH Community fiber is to offer Community Owned and Operated Fiber to EVERY residence and property in Los Altos Hills.

We are getting there through a series of neighborhood builds that provide for success, duplication and gaining experience and trust from the community.

The diagram below shows some of the initial build projects in progress.  Different color blocks show various build projects in progress.

overallbuildmap

To cover the entire town with LAH Community Fiber, multiple branches and specialized equipment will be housed at various locations in LAH. If you are interested in launching one of the key nodes in your neighborhood, please contact LAHCF and let’s talk!

Subscriber Use FAQs

Placeholder Image

This FAQ page is devoted to those questions concerning the subscriber questions about how one will transition from a whole of Comcast and AT&T “bundles” and phone services, cable and content providers to a new model of everything streaming over the Internet!

Question:

What services, content will LAH Community Fiber offer?

Answer:

LAHCF will be offering high speed, (GB or faster) pure internet service.    We will not be packaging with our service (at least initially) phone, movies (netflix) sports, cable content, etc.  We will provide you with information on how to obtain all of those services OVER our Internet services in an affordable and comprehensive way.    The questions and answers below will give more details for each type of service and typical replacements using LAHCF as the delivery method for that service


Question:

Will I be able to replace my current AT&T phone line with LAHCF and what will it cost and the cost savings?  Can I keep my same phone number?

Answer:

If you are still subscribing to an AT&T Copper based POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) or even a UVERSE bundled phone, you are being overcharged by 10 times by AT&T what you can get from options we can assist in running over the LAHCF connection.

Voice over IP (VOIP) telephone service has existed for over a decade, and not everyone has gotten the memo.   Assuming you have some sort of internet service at your house, you can switch to a VOIP solution today even without fiber and reduce your phone charge from $80/$50 to $10/$5 depending upon features.

Basically, AT&T is charging phone rates that pretend that the internet and basically free world wide  calling doesn’t exist!

This might be a service you may want to switch over immediately even before LAHCF provides internet for you assuming you have an wired internet connection.  This conversion to VOIP options listed below can be done with AT&T UVERSE/DSL or Comcast.  It is better to pick a VOIP telephone provider independent of the internet provider to select the best price and options.  When you connect to LAHCF, you simply plug in the phone device to the LAHCF connected internet and it will still work without a change.

The VOIP IP solution we recommend is a residential phone system from Ooma:

Image result for ooma phone

https://www.ooma.com/

We invite you to visit their site and learn more about their pricing, and features.   Basic monthly service can be as low as $5/month.  AT&T and Comcast won’t offer that!  You must subscribe to this service separately from LAHCF.

YES, you can keep  your current AT&T /Comcast phone numbers (called porting numbers) to this Ooma phone for a one time fee of $39.  All  carriers are required to allow porting of your old number to a VOIP system.


 

Question:

I currently subscribe to AT&T or Comcast  Content and service bundles – Phone, internet and content plus other streaming services – What will be the new options with LAHCF for content delivery.

Answer:

As you may have already noticed, content delivery is moving toward streaming services available OVER the internet.  Both live streaming (watching a sporting event live) and streaming of content on demand like movies are available in internet delivered options.

The vendors, choices, prices, and packages continue to change daily but they all rely upon a quality, high speed internet connection.  With LAHCF as your affordable, high speed internet connection, you will be able to choose from a competitive field of content delivery provider rather than being force to select just AT&T or Comcasts content options and purchase them directly, just as you do for Netflix today.  The more competition in the content delivery space, the better product pricing and services for you.


Question:

Will LAHCF replace or improve my cell service?

Answer:

LAHCF does not provide any cell services so you will still need to purchase your best cell option as you do now.  LAHCF will offer high speed reliable internet service at your home so if you are better informed on how to wi-fi calling with your phone and better outfit your home with wi-fi services, your home LAHCF service may provide.

All smart phones have options to enable wi-fi calling (data and TXT too)  and users should be using this option when at home for a better experience.  Check your smart phone for instructions on how to enable this feature.

Image result for wi-fi calling


Question:

Can I watch the Disney channel (for example) without cable/comcast/AT&T?

Answer:

You can watch the Disney Channel live without cable with one of these streaming services: PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and Disney Now.

LAHCF provides the conduit by which you can stream all of these content options, and you must purchase them separately.  This is helpful since you are not locked into bundles and  temporary pricing schemes forced by Comcast.  Your choices are large and will grow into the future. 

For more information on streaming content providers, please review our information in our reference pages.