New, exciting opportunities are coming to Southside Virginia! Discover what makes fiber optics a better option for internet and telephone services and what it takes to get it to your home or business.

Understanding Fiber

What is fiber and why is it better than what I already have?

Fiber optic cables contain optical fiber, which are hair-thin strands of glass specially designed to trap and transmit light signals. Unlike copper or satellites, optical fiber can carry data for great distances without signal loss or interference, making fiber the fastest internet option on the market. Optical fiber can also transmit signals in both directions simultaneously – upload and download at extremely high speeds.

How will a fiber connection benefit me?

A fiber connection will provide you with access to virtually unlimited bandwidth capacity and internet speed, enabling you to enjoy a better experience with data-intensive applications such as television/video streaming, online gaming, cloud storage, online education, security systems and more. Fiber also increases service reliability and stability. In addition, having a fiber connection may increase the value of your home and increase the amount renters are willing to pay.

How fast can internet speeds be for my home or business on a fiber connection?

A fiber connection can provide virtually unlimited internet speeds. We have fiber offerings up to 1 Gigabit. To put that in context, an internet speed of 1 Gigabit is equal to 1,000 Mbps. So, if you currently have an internet plan with 20 Mbps – about the average for a US household – 1 Gigabit would be 50 times faster. And, it’s unlimited!

Sign Up, Fees, & Timeline

How and when do I sign up?

Please Check Availability for your service address. If service is available, you will be prompted to proceed with the sign-up process. If service is unavailable, we ask that you continue to submit your information so that your interest is logged for future buildout projects.

What is the cost for fiber services?

EMPOWER offers several different data plan options as well as Voice Over IP (VoIP) telephone service. Residential pricing can be found on our Residential Broadband Data Plans page. If you are interested in service for your business, please view pricing on our Business Broadband Data Plans page. Following connection, you will be billed for your package, plus any additional fees, if any, related to your connection. Your first bill will contain the full price of your chosen package (EMPOWER bills one month in advance) + the prorated balance of the current month + installation fees, if applicable + taxes for phone service only.

What are additional fees?

There is a $100 installation fee for fiber internet services. If you would like to keep your current telephone number, there will be an additional $30 porting fee. Both will be included in your first month’s billing.

Service extensions of more than 500 feet are subject to additional costs. A technician will reach out to the customer prior to installation, if additional costs are required. Line footage is measured from the mainline connection point to the premise network interconnection device.

Are these introductory prices? Can I expect a price increase in the future?

No, EMPOWER has been strategic in planning its costs and these prices will not change for the foreseeable future. As you can see, our prices are very competitive and often times less expensive for a much more superior internet service. We believe our customers deserve affordable high-speed internet and we have planned our pricing accordingly. We do not offer introductory pricing.

When will fiber be available to me?

Install dates will be determined by construction activity, your location, and may be subject to weather delay. Due to these possible delays, we cannot provide exact timelines for our entire service territory or any current planned project areas; however, we regularly update our construction schedule with the current stages of construction.  Please view the steps of the Construction Process to better understand the projected time for each phase.


There are flags and people in my yard, what are they doing?

The flags, or markings, in your area were placed by the local utility companies and help our team identify where the lines are underground. When we begin fiber construction, we use these markings to protect against damage to your property or utilities. Please do not remove these markings until construction is complete and your fiber service has been connected.

Please note: The customer is responsible for marking any underground lines that are not the property of the utility such as electric lines to garages or outbuildings that do not have a separate meter. Underground dog fencing or any other lines/piping that the customer has installed should also be marked. EMPOWER is not responsible for any damage to lines that have not been marked by Miss Utility.

I don’t want someone creating a mess in my yard. How do you prevent ruts, ditches, etc.?

We do our best to leave your property in the best condition possible following construction of your fiber service. The majority of cables will be placed with a vibratory plowing machine, which will put a temporary line in the yard. This is usually unnoticeable within a week. We will always work with property owners to ensure that we have restored the property back to its original condition.

What is a fiber drop?

A fiber drop connects a single fiber cable to larger cables in EMPOWER’S network, and then to the side of your home or building.

What is splicing?

Splicing is the process of joining two fiber-optic cables together. Spicing consists of 4 basic steps:

  • Stripping the fiber – Removal of the protective polymer coating around optical fiber. The splicing process starts by preparing both ends and making sure that all protective coating is removed or stripped from the ends of every fiber.
  • Cleaning the fiber – We clean the fibers to ensure we get good fusion between the pieces of glass.
  • Splicing the fiber – We use a fusion splicing machine to align the two fiber ends. The glass ends are fused together using heat. This produces a continuous connection between the fibers.
  • The fiber connection is tested to make sure everything is connected correctly.

Home Installation

Will there be any new equipment installed on my house?

Yes, during the construction phase, we will terminate the fiber in a gray enclosure (Fiber Network Interface Device (NID)) that will be mounted to the side of the home or business. A basic install will have a simple mounting bracket that will connect to the side of the home.

Do I need a modem with fiber internet service?

Yes, your fiber connection will require an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). The ONT contains an internal router, which also provides a wireless connection (Wi-Fi) to your devices. EMPOWER provides the modem (ONT) at no additional fee. Once the NID is installed, a technician will call to schedule your in-home installation and he/she will bring the ONT at that time.