Updated: Sep 16, 2019
THE HUT sounds like a secret hideout for nefarious criminals or simply a backyard shed with the overflow of tools. But in reality, The Hut is GTel’s state-of-the-art junction for fiber connection to all of the towns it will serve. The Hut provides the most critical component for us to receive high speed Internet.
We wanted to see it.
On August 14th, GTel’s Central Station Engineer Jim Maruniak welcomed the Taghkanic Broadband Committee into the East Gallatin Hut for a tour of this complex engineering masterpiece. The company started with a prefabricated cell tower building, set it on a strong basement foundation on land that had been graded to avoid ground water damage. There are seven aluminum rods embedded to ground the equipment and protect against lightning. The building has its own HVAC system, electric generator capability, a complex alarm system and a state-of-the-art fire suppression system.
Fiber lines are brought into The Hut to a complex series of junction boxes. Within weeks some of that fiber will be connected to another junction box in front of the Taghkanic Firehouse. Fiber will then be connected to homes in that area, beginning with County Route 15 as well as Reesa and Brothers Roads. Other strands will go directly from The Hut to homes in Northeast Gallatin and Southeast Taghkanic. All lines are carefully labeled to show their destination.
Of course, these labels are not GTel’s only means of tracking its customers. Complex systems in the head office will be able to troubleshoot customer broadband and WiFi issues, including identifying specific home computers and other devices that may be using excess service to the detriment of the home’s WiFi speed.
While visiting with Jim Maruniak at The Hut, we were able to learn more about GTel’s progress in and toward our town:
— Since July 1st, it has constructed 9.9 miles of fiber in Taghkanic and passed 107 homes. Four residents have been converted to fiber with one more underway. All of these are in the original GTel service area along Taghkanic Road.
— With the connection of the junction box by the Taghkanic Firehouse, the company will be able to connect its first residents in Phase 2, perhaps within four weeks.
— All pole licenses with NYSG have now been obtained, allowing faster construction in Phase 2 areas.
— Two crews are working on the second and third borings under the Taconic State Parkway at Post Hill Road and Lake Taghkanic Road. If the weather cooperates, both should be finished within a week.
— GTel has received expressions of interest from 174 Taghkanic residents. As the system becomes available in more areas, we expect more connections.
The Broadband Committee was impressed with GTel’s progress and the visit bolstered the members’ opinion that the company is working both hard and smart to bring broadband to our town. With the success of GTel’s infrastructure and both Mid-Hudson Cable and Consolidated Communications, broadband is moving closer to our residents who so very badly need it.