You asked: Top five Ting Internet questions answered
Andrew Moore-Crispin • November 11, 2021
If you know us at all, you know that if you reach out with a Ting Internet question, we’ll get you an answer.
That said, we can’t always answer as clearly as we might like. For example, “When will Ting Internet be on my street?” is a seemingly simple question that may not be so simple to answer.
We asked the Ting Internet customer service team for the top questions they receive on the phone, in chat, via email and on social media. This is that.
1. When are you coming here?
By far, the most asked question is when. When are you coming to my city or town, when are you coming to my neighborhood and, of course, when are you coming to my place?
We don’t talk about planned cities or towns before we’ve made an official announcement for a variety of reasons. For one—and it’s a big one—as part of a publicly-traded company, we have to follow certain guidelines around how we announce “material news.”
For another, while we’re always happy to see other internet service providers finally step up their game when competition comes to town, we’re not looking to give them advanced notice.
Once a town is announced, we’ll already have a high-level build plan in place. Shortly after we make the official announcement, we’ll share our early build plan that includes neighborhood “phases” and a broad timeline.
Building a fiber network, like any big undertaking, is subject to real-world forces. It’s like a weather forecast; a meteorologist can tell us with a high degree of certainty how the day will shape up and whether we should pack an umbrella. Tomorrow, they can give us a solid prediction of what to expect. The third day of the three-day forecast is subject to change. Looking a week out, we’re getting an educated estimation (better than an educated guess), but there are too many variables to call it 100%. Anything beyond 10 days, it’s foggy. The outlook, not the weather. Although maybe both?
With the same reasoning, we know for sure where we’re building today and tomorrow and next week. We have a timeline that takes us through the next couple of months. Beyond that, we have a plan but we don’t have all the variables yet. We won’t get into the specific variables, but a short list would include weather, permits, utility locates, roadwork and so on.
Microtrenching is the best and most reliable solution to get more fiber in the ground faster, but that’s a topic for another blog post.
Where to get updates
Because this is the number one question, we regularly update on progress for each Ting Internet town and share the latest construction news including maps and timelines.
When we’re nearing your neighborhood, you’ll know. We send out preconstruction letters, updates to everyone who preordered, email communications and we post on social media. Heck, we even knock on doors and we’ve been known to throw the occasional party.
What you can do
- Check your local town construction update blog post
- Follow your town on social media
- Check your inbox/mailbox for updates
- Sit tight!
2. Why are you working in front of my house? When will things be back to normal?
The number one question we get is from people eager for fast fiber internet. The number two question is from people who haven’t heard about Ting Internet coming to town or who are perhaps a little change-averse.
To answer the question literally, it’s so your town has the kind of internet access it needs for the future.
To address the spirit of the question, though, we’re taking care and things will be back to normal very soon.
We do everything we can to minimize disruptions when building the fiber network. We take great pains to leave everything just as we found it and great pride in doing just that. We don’t disturb private property unless we’ve been invited to bring fiber to the premises, and when we’ve been invited to bring fiber to the premises, again, we take great care to leave everything just as we found it.
What can you do
3. Why is it priced that way?
First, we’ll just mention that what you see is what you get; the price you see when signing up for Ting Internet is the price you’ll see on your monthly bill. No add-on fees or fine print.
We believe that fiber internet is the way forward. Fiber networks cost money to build.
Copper networks are propped up by the old cable TV model. There are better choices, but until people at large are ready to unbundle TV and upgrade to streaming TV, internet-only access will look more expensive.
You won’t find an unbundled internet option with anything approaching the speed and reliability of fiber for anything approaching the price of Ting Internet.
We expect the cost of fiber will equalize relative to old copper networks. We’ve said before that we expect the cost of access for fiber to go down, not up.
People shouldn’t have to think about their access to the internet. It should just work. It should be fast and reliable. Video calls should be flawless. Video streams shouldn’t drop out or buffer. We shouldn’t have to think about whether we’re streaming HD or 4K. Online gaming should be fun as opposed to frustrating.
Raw speed is only part of that equation. Ping and jitter require a little more explanation but basically speak to the reliability part of fast, reliable fiber internet.
Copper has reached its upper limits while fiber is just getting started. Copper providers are trying to keep their over-provisioned networks from falling over. True fiber offers fast, reliable access today and room to grow tomorrow.
What you can do:
- Compare Ting fiber internet pricing with copper options
- Understand the difference between fiber and copper access
4. Is my $9 preorder refundable?
We’ve covered why we ask for a $9 preorder. The short version is so we know you’re serious.
The next question on the mental checklist is, “Can I get my $9 back?” The answer is yes, of course.
Your $9 preorder is immediately and automatically applied to your first month’s bill when you sign up. If we ever decided not to pursue plans in a town we’d announced—however unlikely that scenario—we’d refund every preorder. If you’ve simply changed your mind and want your $9 back, just reach out and we’ll make it happen.
What you can do:
- Follow build updates for your area
- Give us time, or failing that…
- Tell us if you want a refund
5. How long will it take from preorder to install? (“I preordered X days ago…”)
This Ting Internet question is a little more difficult to answer. Please see question one: When are you coming here?
There is no hard and fast answer. The time we announce a town to the time we light the first customer averages about eight months at the time of writing. Consider it your starting point. From there, it’s just the small matter of, you know, building out an entire fiber network and bringing it to your door.
That number will come down over time. Microtrenching is one key way we can speed up network construction across the board but some municipalities, seeing some long-ago microtrenching missteps, are opposed to it.
What you can do:
- Understand microtrenching
- Follow your local construction updates
- Let your local leadership know if you, like us, think microtrenching is the way forward
Bonus question: How come the people across the street have Ting Internet and I’m still waiting?!
Have you ever experienced a power outage and looked across the street to see your neighbor’s porch light on and TV flickering in the window? It’s frustrating. They’re over there enjoying a night in and you’re hunting for candles and flashlights. You’re both connected to the same electrical grid but you’re on different circuits. It’s the same basic idea with internet infrastructure.
If your neighbor is on Ting Internet and you’re still waiting, give it a little time. Maybe we’re working up the North or East side and will soon turn to connect the South or West side. Sometimes we’ll be going a few blocks up before we come back down. Let your across-the-street neighbor enjoy the novelty of fast, reliable fiber internet. It’ll be your turn soon enough. Or not soon enough, depending on your perspective.
Questions 6 to ∞
We’re always here to answer your questions. Reach out any time; the Ting Internet team is happy to chat.
If your question is, “Where do I get the fastest, most reliable internet access around?” that’s easy: check your address to see if Ting Internet is available in your neighborhood.