Who is Midwest Energy & Communications (MEC)?
We started as a small electric cooperative in the 1930s, and now we provide electric, propane and internet service to over 50,000 customers in 15 counties across southern Michigan and northern Indiana and Ohio. We are your local provider with our headquarters in Cassopolis, MI and solutions centers in Paw Paw and Adrian, MI. Many of our employees live in the areas we serve, so we have a deep understanding of the area and unique needs of rural Michigan.
What makes MEC internet better?
- All our plans are unlimited. We don’t have data caps or throttle service.
- We deliver internet exclusively over fiber optic lines, which provides the fastest and most reliable internet of ANY service available. Satellite, even the most advanced, simply can’t touch fiber speed.
- We provide fiber to the home (FTTH). Some other providers have fiber as part of their internet infrastructure, but they might not bring the fiber line directly to your property. That means you could end up sharing your connection with your neighbors and experience slower speeds. With FTTH, however, you don’t compete with your neighbors for bandwidth, and you get the speed you pay for.
- Fiber internet can increase your home’s value by about 3%. Think about it: If when buying a home, you had the choice of a house with a reliable, high-speed connection vs. one that only had access to satellite, which would you choose?
What is RDOF?
The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) is an FCC initiative designed to inject billions of dollars into the construction and operation of rural broadband networks.
How long will it take for you to build internet in my area?
That depends on your address. We will build over 3,000 miles of additional fiber line through 2026. Where you fall in that time depends on your address. Enter your address in the “Search For Address” fields above, and then watch your email for updates on your area.
My neighbor is eligible for your internet service, but not me. Why?
Due to the nature of the grant, RDOF funds may only be used to build fiber to addresses approved by the FCC.
Why do I have to pay a fiber connection fee?
New construction is a significant investment, and the fiber connection fee represents your small stake in the overall process. It also ensures that we don’t waste effort by bringing a fiber line to someone’s house who decides not to take our service.
I've paid my connection fee. When will I have service?
Your installation date depends on construction in your area. After you sign up, you’ll be added to our monthly construction email updates. Click here to view them.
Here’s a breakdown of our general construction process:
- Mapping and Engineering: Long before fiber lines get hung, engineers and map specialists spend months designing the layout and route of the fiber line.
- Mainline Construction: This line ultimately connects our service to the greater internet backbone that makes the internet possible. Some mainline gets bored underground, while other mainline travels along utility poles. Sometimes this requires us to work with other companies to lease space on their poles. While standard practice in the industry, it can take months to get everything processed.
- Service Drop: The engineering team designs the map to bring the fiber line to your property. At that time, we notify you that the construction crew is ready to build the service drop and install a network interface device (NID) box on the side of your property. You do not need to be home for this. Important Note: If the construction involves placing fiber cables underground, we call Miss Dig to send a representative to your property to mark underground public utilities. As soon as you see those flags appear, please mark your underground sprinklers, pet fences, secondary electric and any other private underground facilities so we can avoid them.
- Splicing: A splicing crew visits your property to make the final splice to the mainline fiber and activate the line.
- Installation: Solutions Agent calls to schedule your in-home installation.
Like all construction, weather can impact progress. Additionally, if the electric on your property runs underground, then your fiber likely will too. We can’t do underground service when the ground is frozen, but we may try to place a temporary line above ground until we can return to bury it properly.
In some zones, we’ve run into delays in Step 2 due to special permits. Rest assured, we are working as fast as we can to get everything complete. Please keep an eye on your email for our monthly construction updates.
Key terms of the fiber construction process:
- Walkout Work: Surveying the area to decide how to lay fiber lines.
- Mainline Construction: The backbone of our fiber infrastructure. The mainline carries fiber out into our communities.
- Mainline Splicing: Connecting fiber cables together along this backbone.
- Drop Construction (or Service Drop): Bringing the fiber from the mainline to your home. We also install a network interface device (NID) on your property near the electric meter.
- Network Interface Device (NID): A box containing fiber cables. This device completes the connection from the mainline to your home.
- Drop Splice: Connecting the mainline fiber cables to the service drop and the fiber cables inside the NID. This is the last step before home installation.
Do you require a contract?
Yes, a 12-month service contract is required.
Can I change my package?
Yes, you can change your package at any time.
Can I add telephone service later?
Yes, you can add telephone service at any time.
Can I keep my existing telephone number if I add phone service?
In most cases, yes. If we can’t use your existing number, we will let you know.
Do you offer email addresses?
No, you can choose any email service you’d like, including free ones like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail.
Can I use my own wireless router?
Yes, but our optional Wi-Fi service ensures you get advanced equipment built for today’s demands. We also update our system regularly, so you don’t have to do a thing. Plus, you get 24/7 tech support. If you run into issues, we can, with your permission, look at your MEC equipment and connected devices to help identify and resolve issues. If you have your own router, we can only verify that service is being successfully delivered to the NID box on your home.