Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will Access Fiber Internet be available in my neighborhood?
A: Our goal is to cover the entire footprint of the city by 2023, and we are accepting orders city-wide. We currently have fiber live on the east side of town, and just recently Skyline. Please see the map on the main page to check if we are able to service your neighborhood.
Q: If I place an order now, can I change my mind?
A: Placing an order now allows us to see where service is in high demand, and which plan is most popular. This helps us to plan and forecast more accurately as we grow our network. When we enter a neighborhood with several awaiting orders we will first contact the customers to confirm the order and the service requested. There is no penalty for changing your mind before an installation date is agreed upon and scheduled.
Q: How do I get billed?
A: Residents that currently receive a utility bill will see Fiber Internet as a new line item on their existing account bill. Customers that don't currently have a utility billing account with the city of Anacortes will have one created. Bills are paid through the utility billing system.
Q: Will my bill go up after a promotional introductory period?
A: No. Prices were established and approved by Anacortes City Council. Rates do not fluctuate and would only change with direct action from City Council through their usual public proceedings.
Q: How much will I be charged in taxes on my bill?
A: NO Taxes or Sur Charges will be charged. Since Internet alone is an information service, it is not taxed, therefore we do not have to charge any taxes on your service.
Q: Is there a fee to have Fiber Internet connected at my home or business?
A: There is a one-time Installation fee of $100 after the installation is complete, which will appear on your first bill.
Q: What does the installation process look like?
A: In general, installation looks a bit like a traditional cable or DSL Internet installation. If you are in a location where the fiber is connected to telephone poles we would drop a line to your building, this is called a aerial drop. Penetrate a wall to get the fiber inside, and terminate the fiber in the home. If you are in an area where utilities are underground, we bore or trench to the home and then follow the same steps as an aerial installation. The fiber does not use or disturb other lines (phone, coax) in your home.
Q: Will my router work with the Fiber Internet service?
A: Yes, however routers that are more than a couple years old may not meet the newer WiFi standard which would limit your WiFi Internet performance. You will also want to make sure that your router is not a router-modem combination device. If desired, we can provide a router that we manage for an additional monthly cost of $10.
Q: What about modems?
A: With Fiber Internet, an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) is roughly equivalent to a cable modem. This device transfers your Internet signal from the optical domain to the electrical. At installation, we will place an ONT inside the home or business. If you have a City Managed WiFi plan, the ONT will also provide an integrated WiFi router. If you do not have a City Managed WiFi plan, we will place a basic ONT in the site which can be connected to your router via an ethernet cable. There is no fee for the ONT device.
Q: Why would I want a Managed WiFi plan?
A: With a Managed WiFi plan, we will provide a high-end router at installation that our department can maintain and troubleshoot. If you provide your own router and have a connection issue that is determined to be outside of our network and hardware, we will not be able to troubleshoot a router or other equipment we have not issued. We also have an after hours call center incase a problem arises. This call center would be best used after hours, weekends and or holidays.
Q: If I want to provide my own router, how much should I expect to pay for a decent one?
A: Routers range widely in price and specifications, but you can expect to spend anywhere between $50-$300.
Q: I have a large home and my WiFi is weak in some areas, how can I improve that situation?
A: A whole-home or mesh system may be more appropriate for blanketing your home with WiFi. These systems have multiple transmitting units, often called "satellites", "nodes", or "extenders" that provide additional coverage. We cannot recommend any particular system, but want you to be aware of some common ones: Netgear Orbi, TP-Link Deco, Asus ZenWiFi AX, Nest WiFi, Eero Pro 6, and Linksys Atlas.
Q: I just purchased a new router. Will the city come out and set it up for me?
A: No. Access is responsible for supplying the internet service to the home, and does not work on personal equipment supplied by the customer including routers, computers, switches, printers, phones, etc. If you are diagnosing an issue, you can always call to see if there is something wrong with the service to your home. However if you're having issues with personal devices, we recommend calling an IT support professional.
Q: If I start on one service plan, may I move to another plan without penalty?
A: Yes, customers may change plans to accommodate their usage. Billing will be prorated.
Q: How long do I have to keep the service?
A: Residential customers will be on a month to month contract that they may cancel at any time without penalty. Business customers must pay for service for an initial 12 month period before their contract becomes month to month.
Q: Do you cap or limit my data usage?
A: There are no data caps on our service.
Q: When can I cancel my former service?
A: We recommend that you keep your existing service provider until Fiber Internet service has successfully been installed, in order to prevent any gaps in service.
Q: If I rent or lease a property do I need to get permission from my landlord to get Fiber Internet service?
A: Yes, we will contact the property owner on your behalf in order to get permission to install fiber.
Q: If I live in a condo that gets a bulk-rate contract to provide service to all the units and is paid by the condo association, will Anacortes Fiber do the same?
A: We can provide a bulk contract so that all of the bills are paid by the condo association, however we do not offer a discount. We are confident in our competitiveness, since our service is already a great price for the speed and we feel that bulk-rate discounts would not be fair to other residents.
Q: My email is through my current Internet provider. Will Anacortes Fiber provide my new email?
A: Anacortes Fiber Internet does not offer email accounts, but there are numerous options (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Zoho, etc.) that offer free email services. Some providers will allow you to keep your email with them even if you don't use them as your internet service provider.
Q: Won’t 5G make Fiber Optic Internet obsolete?
A: 5G may be great for mobile data, however it will rely on fiber optic infrastructure to the 5G towers and will be used in conjunction with fiber rather than replace it.
Q: Is everyone in Anacortes required to get Internet from the city?
A: No. Access will be available to businesses and residents in Anacortes, but service is not mandated.
Q: Is there a discount for low-income residents?
A: Low-income and indigent residents are able to apply for a 20% discount on their Access Anacortes Fiber Internet plans. If you currently have Access Fiber as your service provider and qualify for reduced rates, please reference the City's Utility Discount Program: https://www.cityofanacortes.org/187/Utility-Discount-Program
Q: There is a storm/power outage, and my internet is flickering in and out. What should I do?
A: The fiber internet, like other service providers, requires power in your home to transmit data via the ONT and router. Power outages can temporarily disrupt service, and does not reflect an issue with the network's functionality. If you are experiencing problems after a power-impacting event like a storm, please power cycle the equipment. Sometimes the devices need to be reset to function properly. If you are experiencing problems after power cycling, please contact our customer support number. Sometimes devices such as your router can be damaged during a storm from power surges. It is worth checking in to see if the internet to your home is experiencing problems or if your equipment may be damaged.
Q: Can I get a phone service through Access Fiber?
A: We do not provide phone service however the link below takes you to a document that may be helpful.
Have More Questions?
Phone: (360) 588-8361
Visit: Anacortes City Hall - 904 6th St. Anacortes, WA 98221