Tag Archive for: Loveland Pulse

Pulse Requesting Approval of Interfund Loan

At the Loveland Communication Advisory Board (LCAB) meeting on May 11, 2022, staff presented a progress report on Pulse network construction and made a recommendation to secure a $15M loan to cover the costs to complete network buildout.

The progress report showed that the pace of network construction and the take rate of subscribers are on track to meet Pulse’s operating plan and budget set in 2019. The pace of network construction is meeting or exceeding the originally forecasted timeline of 4-5 years for citywide buildout. While the pace is on track, construction started 12 months later than planned because of a delay of municipal bonds issuance and a mutual parting of ways with the original construction contractor over an inability to meet acceptable contract terms. Take rate – the percent of subscribers in a neighborhood (measured in intervals starting after 90 days of service availability) – is on a healthy trajectory to meet Pulse’s required target of 32% – 42% by the end of the buildout.

Pulse cited how unforeseeable events of the last several years – including the global pandemic, unprecedented new development in Northern Colorado, and inflation not seen in over a generation – have greatly impacted financials.

Examples of these impacts:

  • Because interest rates on investments dropped to nearly zero percent since the beginning of the pandemic, investment revenue from bonds was nearly 40% less than what was conservatively budgeted.
  • Prices and lead times for materials have been getting higher and longer. Overall inflation for material is averaging between 25% and 30% from the beginning of the project, meaning less construction can be completed at the prices the budget was created for.
  • Northern Colorado is in the midst of explosive new development, causing additional network construction at these higher prices. While it is more economical to install fiber conduit for new development as compared to existing, the amount of new development has been beyond what anyone forecast.
  • Ongoing global events and continued uncertainty of the market are causing fluctuations in material pricing, especially for petroleum-based products – such as conduit and polycrete vaults and handholes. 

These factors combined have ultimately resulted in a funding gap between $10.23M and $15M.

After evaluating several financing options to address this funding gap, Pulse has recommended utilizing an Internal Line of Credit Loan from the Power Unrestricted Fund with a not-to-exceed value of $15M. The loan term would be 18 years, paying interest-only in years 1-8, and paying interest and principal starting in year 9. The interest rate will be set at the investment rate for the City, as is customary for interfund loans within Water & Power, and Pulse would only be able to withdraw funding as needed.

The interfund loan will not impact rates for either Loveland Water and Power or Pulse customers. Pulse is an Enterprise Fund – it is funded by rates and fees collected from Pulse subscribers, NOT by residents’ taxes or electric rates.

Loveland City Council established Pulse to bring reliable, fast, and affordable broadband service to everyone in Loveland. Higher-than-expected construction costs and lower-than-expected interest revenue have put an unexpected financial burden on Pulse’s ability to meet City Council’s directive.

Pulse will be making a presentation on May 24, 2022 to Loveland City Council, requesting that they approve an Ordinance Enacting a Supplemental Budget and Appropriation to the 2022 City of Loveland Budget to Establish an Interfund Loan between the Power Utility and the Municipal Fiber Utility. View Loveland City Council’s webpage for meeting details. 

At Loveland Pulse, Your Privacy Matters

When so much of what we do to live, work, and play takes place online, an important question to ask of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is, “Do you value and protect my privacy?” 

Regardless of the intentions of the third party organization requesting your information, Pulse firmly believes that it is up to you who you share your information with. That’s why Pulse does not sell customers’ information to any third party organizations.

When you choose to receive community-owned, 100% fiber-optic internet, voice, and TV services from Loveland Pulse, you can rest assured that Pulse only uses your personal information for: 

  • Billing and collections
  • Account administration
  • Surveys & Marketing
  • Maintenance
  • Fraud prevention
  • Compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Some states have taken to trying to implement laws to require ISPs to protect consumers (Colorado is not yet one of them) – but the process to move that legislation is long and arduous – and being strongly challenged by commercial providers who do not want to give up an important revenue stream: Your online behavioral data.

Pulse has opted out of waiting for state or federal directives about how to handle our customers’ information.   We’ve voluntarily decided to safeguard the digital privacy of our residents to the strongest extent possible – because we believe the privacy of the citizens of Loveland is paramount.

We recently reaffirmed our stance when it comes to keeping customers’ personal information private. Read about it at the Reporter-Herald: “Loveland communications board discusses Pulse privacy policy.”

Learn more about how Pulse is committed to protecting your privacy: 

Sun Outages

For about a week each spring and fall, the sun passes directly behind satellites transmitting TV signals.  When this happens, solar flares and radiation emitted by the sun can interrupt or distort the satellite signals; this is called a sun outage. PulseTV Subscribers may be affected by sun outages March 4 – 8, 2022.

How will my TV service be impacted?

During this time, you may experience some degree of television interference, such as a pixelated picture, picture freezes, or audio distortions for a brief period of time. The strongest impact will likely be during the afternoon of March 5 – 7, 2022.

Service downtime is not cool, but you gotta admit the science of a sun outage is. We thank you for your patience during this time. Questions? Contact our Technical Support team at 970-962-3503.

Why We Use Temporary Drops for Winter Installation

We know the wait for fiber internet installation can be tough. After all, you are on the verge of having super-fast, reliable fiber internet from Pulse, and all the best streaming entertainment the web has to offer (not to mention crystal clear Voice service!).

Winter adds to the technical challenges of fiber installation. Frozen grounds, shorter days with less sunlight, excessive moisture from melting snow drenching the soil—all of these issues and more can make it exceedingly difficult to bury and install fiber. It’s also a riskier time for our crew of technicians.

While permanent fiber installation may sometimes be delayed during winter and early spring, temporary drops can help deliver the high-speed internet you’ve been waiting for—even if you’ll have to wait for better, safer weather and ground conditions for final installation with buried fiber internet lines.

Here are answers to common questions about temporary drops. We want to explain our process of installing them so you’ll know what to expect.

What is exactly is a temporary drop?

A temporary drop, also referred to as a temp drop, is simply an above-ground fiber internet connection line that provides fiber internet service temporarily to your home or business until weather and ground conditions are feasible and safe enough to bury the fiber line in the ground.

What kinds of conditions necessitate temp drops?

There are two common reasons why Pulse may not be able to bury the fiber and complete installation during the winter and early spring.

1. The ground is frozen.

During winter and early spring, the colder temperatures can make the ground too hard to dig and bury fiber. And just because the temperatures warm up for a few days doesn’t necessarily mean the conditions are improved enough to complete the installation. In general, the ground must be fully thawed at least one foot deep, which can take weeks of 60 degree-plus temperatures, depending on the soil’s physical and chemical composition.

2. The ground is too wet.

The winter and spring can bring heavy precipitation, from heavy snows and snow melts to days of rain. When the soil is over-saturated, it is simply not feasible to install fiber optic lines below ground safely and effectively.  Additionally, burying fiber when the ground is too wet can upset lawns, flowerbeds, trees, and other vegetation—not to mention upset your neighbors and their lawns, too!

What are the steps to installing a temporary drop?

After determining that the conditions do not support burying fiber, a temp drop is authorized. Our technicians will then connect the Multi-Port Service Terminal (MST) (i.e., the “box” near the street where internet service is supplied) to your home or business via a fiber line placed above-ground.

So instead of burying the fiber in the ground, the temp drop keeps the fiber line above the ground and connected to your home or business, temporarily, until the buried installation can occur when the weather and other conditions improve.

The line may run along your lawn and driveway, but don’t worry! Your car cannot damage the line. The fiber line may also cross over your neighbor’s property, but as with other utilities, there is a “right-of-way” that permits this if necessary.

Is the temp drop line safe?

Yes! While we don’t recommend you handle the line, it is not dangerous. Fiber technology consists of tiny glass strings that transmit light. So unlike live electrical wires, there is no risk of electric shock.

However, we suggest that you do your best to avoid the line while tending to yard work or clearing snow. Although the fiber lines are sturdy, snowplows and other equipment and tools can sometimes harm the line, necessitating more technical support—not to mention the inconvenience of losing internet!

When will you replace my temp drop?

When conditions permit, our team will return to your property to remove the temp drop and bury the permanent cables. Temp drops are replaced in the order that customers were installed; the temp drops that were placed first will be the first ones that get removed. You do not need to do anything to remind us of your temp drop; our crew keeps track and will be out to replace the temp drops as soon as they can.

We greatly appreciate your patience as we strive to provide you with fast, reliable fiber Internet, Voice, and TV as efficiently and quickly as possible! As always, feel free to reach out us with any questions or concerns you may have.

Loveland Pulse Launches PulseTV Everywhere

LOVELAND, Colo. – January 11, 2022 – Pulse, the City of Loveland’s community-owned, 100% fiber-optic Internet, Voice, and Television services provider has launched a free expansion to its streaming-television service packages. PulseTV Everywhere allows PulseTV subscribers to take some of their favorite shows on the road, so they can enjoy television content when they are away from their home network.

PulseTV Everywhere turns subscribers’ mobile devices into mobile TVs. PulseTV Everywhere gives viewers the option to watch some of their favorite content whenever they want, wherever they are, with any type of internet connectivity – wireless or cellular. 

The service is a free upgrade to all PulseTV packages. 

“Pulse is proud to offer this free new feature to PulseTV subscribers. PulseTV Everywhere allows our users to enjoy quality television content whenever they want, wherever they want. At home, or on the road – anywhere they’ve got connectivity, PulseTV subscribers can access a range of great content from many of their favorite networks,” explains Lindsey Johansen, communication and marketing manager for Pulse.

Watch live streaming as well as select previously aired episodes PulseTV Everywhere from over 60 participating networks, such as Discovery, ESPN, SYFY, and Colorado-sports fan favorite, Altitude Sports.

More information about PulseTV, and PulseTVE, can be found at www.LovelandPulse.com/PulseTVEverywhere

Existing PulseTV subscribers can visit www.LovelandPulse.com/WatchPulseTVE to start enjoying PulseTV Everywhere right now. 

Check to see if your address is fiber-ready and sign up for Pulse Internet, Voice, and PulseTV service at: www.LovelandPulse.com/CanISignUpNow. Current Pulse customers can add PulseTV by calling Customer Service at 970-541-4990. 

About Pulse

Pulse is a trusted local utility connecting the Loveland community by offering affordable, reliable, and fast Internet, Voice, and Television service through a 100% fiber-optic network. The community-owned utility was established in 2018 and built on a promise of local service, transparency in rates and speeds, and responsiveness second to none. Pulse will be available to all residents and businesses within the City of Loveland approximately four years after construction began in November 2019. For more information, please visit LovelandPulse.com.

Loveland Pulse Launches PulseTV

LOVELAND, Colo. – Oct. 13, 2021 – Pulse, the City of Loveland’s community-owned 100% fiber-optic internet and voice provider, today announced the launch of PulseTV. Designed with Loveland in mind, the app-based streaming television service offers local, nationally broadcast and on-demand TV shows and movies to residents and businesses.

Providing over 200 high-definition channels, PulseTV plans start at just $34.95 per month and includes 100 hours of cloud DVR, three simultaneous streams of programming, and a free app for download. Pulse subscribers also have the ability to add-on premium content such as HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime.

 “PulseTV provides our community the freedom of choice in accessing their favorite news, sports, and entertainment.” said Brieana Reed-Harmel municipal fiber manager for Pulse. “Now you can easily access the best content over the best network – Loveland’s only 100% fiber-optic network.”

Creating the ultimate in-home sports viewing experience, Pulse is also pleased to announce that Altitude and Altitude 2 is available for those who subscribe to PulseTV’s Favorites package. Loveland sports fans will have full access to all Altitude Sports programming, including live Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids, and Colorado Mammoth games, all original network programs, plus high school and college football, basketball, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, and much more.

More information about PulseTV can be found at www.LovelandPulse.com/TV.

Check to see if your address is serviceable and sign up for Pulse internet, voice, and PulseTV service at: www.LovelandPulse.com/CanISignUpNow. Current Pulse customers can add PulseTV by calling Customer Service at 970-962-2111.

About Pulse

Pulse is a trusted local utility connecting the Loveland community by offering affordable, reliable, and fast internet, voice, and television service through a 100% fiber-optic network. The community-owned utility was established in 2018 and built on a promise of local service, transparency in rates and speeds, and responsiveness second to none. Pulse will be available to all residents and businesses within the City of Loveland approximately four years after construction began in November 2019. For more information, please visit LovelandPulse.com.

Thompson School District Named 2021 Community Broadband & Digital Equity Award Winner for the Expansion of Pulse Municipal Broadband Network

LOVELAND, Colo. – Sept. 14, 2021 – The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) named Thompson School District (TSD) as a recipient of NATOA’s 2021 Community Broadband and Digital Equity Awards. Recognizing innovative programs in government, business and local communities nationwide, NATOA awarded TSD the COVID-19 Response Digital Equity Project of the Year – Distance Learning, for Thompson School District’s expansion of Pulse’s municipal fiber-to-the-premise network to the Big Thompson Canyon and the Lago Vista Mobile Home Park.

“The COVID crisis has demonstrated how critical local governments are to providing access to our most vulnerable communities, whether it be building infrastructure in underserved neighborhoods, distributing devices to support distance learning, or training isolated seniors,” noted NATOA president Brian Roberts. “The innovative and essential projects we are recognizing show how communities are stepping in to advance digital equity and fill broadband connectivity gaps.”

Earlier this year, Thompson School District applied for and was awarded $737,000 from the Connecting Colorado Students Grant program to expand reliable internet service to families in two areas within the Loveland community where connectivity is significantly limited or not available. With this grant, TSD and Pulse, the City’s community-owned communications utility, is building out infrastructure to students in parts of the Big Thompson Canyon and the Lago Vista Mobile Home Park. This award from NATOA recognizes the district’s efforts to provide equitable hardware, remote instruction and broadband access throughout the last school year.

In addition, TSD as part of the grant will sponsor a Pulse account for eligible students in these areas and pay for one year of internet service. Service for students is expected to be available starting in late 2021 for Lago Vista and mid-year 2022 for the Big Thompson Canyon.

These two locations are among TSD’s most underserved areas as they pose geographic challenges that limit access to cabled internet service and strong enough cell phone service necessary to make hotspots a viable option.

“Many districts throughout the country worked tirelessly to provide student devices, remote instructional software and broadband connectivity to their students.” said Dr. Matt Kuhn, TSD chief technology officer. “We are so honored to be recognized for our efforts to do so for the TSD community. Loveland Pulse is a great partner to help close the digital divide, especially in those parts of our community that are least able to access broadband infrastructure.”

“We are happy to have Thompson School District recognized, as they have been an exceptional leader in the community, serving as a champion of needs in broadband and technology.” said Lindsey Johansen, Pulse communications and marketing manager. “We are very fortunate to have them as partner in developing actionable and long-term solutions here locally.”

A full list of 2021 award winners can be found at www.natoa.org/broadband-and-digital-equity. Recipients will be recognized at NATOA’s 2021 Annual Conference, to be held in virtually September 21 – 23.

About Pulse

Pulse is a trusted local utility connecting the Loveland community by offering affordable, reliable, and fast internet and voice service through a 100% fiber-optic network. The community-owned utility was established in 2018 and built on a promise of local service, transparency in rates and speeds, and responsiveness second to none. Pulse will be available to all residents and businesses within the City of Loveland approximately four years after construction began in November 2019. For more information, please visit LovelandPulse.com.

 

About Thompson School District

Thompson School District is the 17th largest school district in Colorado, encompassing 362 square miles and serving over 15,000 students. The district’s territory includes Loveland and Berthoud, plus sections of Fort Collins, Windsor, Johnstown, and unincorporated land in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties. TSD serves students in Pre-K through 12th grade with thirteen school-based preschool programs, a dedicated preschool building, one K-8 school, eighteen elementary schools, five middle schools, five high schools, and two charter schools. Teachers and administrators collaborate with families and community partners to ensure that students are college, career, and community ready.  For more information, please visit thompsonschools.org.

About NATOA

NATOA’s Mission is to support and serve the communications interests and needs of local governments. We are a professional association made up of individuals and organizations responsible for – or advising those responsible for – communications policies and services in local governments throughout the country. For more information, please visit natoa.org.

Loveland Pulse hits boring milestone: 1,000,000 feet!

Loveland Pulse, the City’s community-owned, 100% fiber-optic internet network, is in year two of what is estimated to be a four-year construction process to pass each and every address in the city. The project is on schedule, on budget, and milestones are being achieved regularly.

On June 28, 2021 (just 10 days after the first anniversary of residential service launch) the network construction team achieved a huge accomplishment: one million feet of boring in the city! 

 

For an idea of that distance, it would be similar to boring a straight line between Loveland and the Great Sand Dunes National Park, which is southwest of Pueblo. 

Pulse’s locally owned-and-operated partner, Colorado Boring – who you’ll recognize out in the field in their big, beautiful yellow trucks —  is employing a low-impact directional boring technique (as opposed to open trenching) to install conduit in utility easements and public-rights-of-way.  That conduit will then house the fiber-optics that will allow pulses of light travelling over threads of glass to bring gigabit internet, phone, and (coming soon!) television to homes and businesses. 

From the time you see boring teams and construction taking place in an area, until service becomes available, is approximately 6 – 9 months. 

If you’re interested in receiving communications about the project, and being emailed directly when construction is going to occur in your area, and later when service becomes available,  please sign up to stay in touch at: LovelandPulse.com/EarlyInterest. If you have any questions, you can contact us by email at: Pulse@LovelandPulse.com, or by phone: 970-962-2111.