Click here to view a printable version of the LAHCF New Member Information Guide.
Welcome to Los Altos Hills Community Fiber!
By joining our community-owned network you have taken control of your broadband service. LAHCF’s mission is to offer the fastest residential broadband service in America to all LAH residents with our community-owned and operated network model.
As a LAHCF subscriber, you are a voting member and we encourage you to engage with LAHCF to help grow our network and inform others about our services and model of operation.
We want to introduce you to Next Level Networks (NLN) which is the organization that coordinates the fiber installation for LAHCF and also manages the operation and support of our network.
NLN also provides the billing services for LAHCF and it member. Their contact information is:
- Customer Support: 877-413-2137 or email@example.com
- Next Level’s corporate office: 650-603-0180
Preparing for Your Home Installation
Power. At least one electrical socket is required at the home equipment install site.
Wi-Fi. If you have an existing Wi-Fi network, you can continue to use it; otherwise, we will enable Wi-Fi on your new Plume router. NLN can set up Wi-Fi if provided with a desired network name (a.k.a. SSID) & password. You have the option of replicating an existing Wi-Fi network (i.e. use the same SSID & password of your old system) to avoid making changes to each client device. You can also self-configure Wi-Fi using the Plume HomePass app. We can supply additional pods to spread the Wi-Fi coverage throughout the home ($150 each).
Internet. Your new router has two ethernet ports; one is used to connect your home to the fiber network. If you need more than one port for connecting to your in-home equipment, we will install an 8-port ethernet switch ($25 per switch).
Home Connection Steps
- A 1/2-inch microduct is installed from the fiber backbone across your property.
- Typically, NLN terminates the microduct in a wall box on the exterior of your home where you want the fiber to enter your house.
- NLN or vendor pulls (or pushes) a single fiber-optic cable through the microduct to the wall box, and they leave enough slack to bring the fiber into your home.
- The fiber cable is pulled from the wall box into the home through either a new 3/8-inch hole or an existing entry point.
Home Equipment Details
The following equipment is installed by NLN or one of its vendors:
- 1-Gbps media converter
In port: Single form-factor port (SFP) for the fiber
Out port: RJ45 (Ethernet port)
- Plume SuperPod Router & Wi-Fi access point
- 940 Mpbs (up/down) router/bridge with two 1-Gbps RF45 ports (WAN or LAN autosensing
- AC3000 Gigabit Wi-Fi (400 + 867 + 1734 Mbps)
- Triple-band radios:
2.4GHz and 5GHz 2×2 MIMO
5GHz 4×4 MU-MIMO 802.11b/g/n/ac
- Best-in-class auto-optimizing mesh Wi-Fi
- Triple-band radios:
- Automated speed tests
The Plume and Plume HomePass App
A Plume “SuperPod” can be used as a gateway router, wireless Wi-Fi extender, or wired Wi-Fi extender. Pods perform automated speed tests to ensure that consistent high-quality service is being delivered
Pods have advanced Wi-Fi capabilities including a mesh Wi-Fi system that automatically optimizes performance across all deployed pods. You can add as many pods as needed to extend Wi-Fi coverage to all parts of a house.
The Plume HomePass app (for iPhones and Android systems) provides our subscribers with a number of important features:
- Graphical visualization of all connected devices and their connectivity status
- Initiate speed tests and view logs of previous tests
- Customized Wi-Fi access (e.g. guest accounts, limit access of children’s devices, etc.)
- Option to enable “AI Security” to block malicious websites and block browser ads
- Option to enable Wi-Fi-based motion detection
To get more information about the Plume products, check out the following websites:
- Plume intro: https://vimeo.com/486504573/436edb1fe9
- Plume app overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrAlI-yU66Y
1-Gigabit Versus 10-Gigabit Service
Each home is served by a dedicated fiber-optic cable and connected to a dedicated
10-Gbps switch port. NLN currently provides home equipment that enables 1-Gbps service, but we expect to have 10-Gbps home equipment solutions available at the end of 2023.
10Gbps installation requires an open SFP+ port. NLN will supply a 10GBASE-BX BiDi SFP+ 1330nm-TX/1270nm-RX 10km DOM transceiver for this port (and its SFP twin at the end). The cost will be $100 for the SFPs plus a small installation cost.
Members with an advanced networking skillset who wish to receive 10Gbps service
immediately can do so by providing their own equipment with no additional monthly cost.
NLN has the ability to provide customer support beyond the initial fiber handoff. Typically, this support is free; however, we reserve the right to bill any customer for troubleshooting, service, and repair caused by customer-owned equipment.
We recommend connecting a Plume pod behind your equipment to enable us to provide better customer support and troubleshooting.
Next Level provides up to 10-Gbps internet service but actual network speeds will vary widely due to a number of factors:
- High-end systems such as gaming PCs or PowerMacs outfitted with a 10GBaseT port or PCI-e card can reach speeds in the 8,000 to 9,000 Mbps range when connected to our 10-Gbps service. However, you should be aware that most servers on the internet (even speed test servers!) can only support a fraction of this speed. Further, browser-based speed tests max out around 3 Gbps. You can find further details here: https://bit.ly/2Y62DoF
- Recent model PCs and Macs directly attached via ethernet cable can often reach speeds around 800 to 900 Mbps (up & down) on our gigabit service
- Laptops and older-model PCs often may not be able to reach 800 Mbps even when directly connected via an ethernet cable
- Many USB adapters will limit the maximum network speed considerably (see the chart below)
- The performance of any Wi-Fi-connected device will vary tremendously depending on proximity to the radio, the distance away, and whether walls or other objects are in the signal path. The chart below provides some rough guidelines for different generations of Wi-Fi.
* These values vary based on MIMO implementation (MIMO = Multiple Input Multiple Output = multiple transmitters and receivers operating in parallel)
Setting Up Your New Account
Please follow a couple easy steps to set up your account.
Client Zone Setup
There is a possibility that a Next Level representative has already contacted you to set up your account (via phone or email). However, if not, please follow these instructions.
You will receive an email titled “Welcome to Los Altos Hills
Click on “Create Your Password” from that email to perform the setup process.
After logging into the Client Zone portal (located at https://support.nextlevel.net), you can enter a credit card to set up monthly autopay and check your account balance. (Note: There is a $10/month processing fee if you wish to pay with a physical check.)
Plume HomePass Setup
NLN uses the Plume SuperPod as its standard 1-Gbps router and Wi-Fi access point. There is no additional monthly or annual fee (unlike Plume’s retail offering). If you wish, you may alternately use your own router and/or Wi-Fi system.
To get the full benefit of the Plume system, install the optional HomePass app on your
smartphone to gain access to an array of tools for monitoring and controlling your
home’s internet service.
When your Plume device is configured, you will receive an email from
firstname.lastname@example.org asking you to reset your password for Plume
Download the Plume App for your mobile device (iOS or Android) and
choose “Sign in with Plume Account” using the email and password
CAUTION: When logging into the Plume HomePass app, please DO NOT
select “Set up Plume” as this will create a new Plume account requiring
a fee that is not associated with your internet service from NLN.
To contact LAHCF with questions or concerns, please view the CONTACT page: https://lahcommunityfiber.org.
During the installation process, please direct questions to Wayne Boissicat
Post installation, please contact NLN customer support at
877-413-2137 (available 24x7x365)