FAQ

Welcome to Whip City Fiber

Whip City Fiber customers are saving hundreds of dollars a year by "cutting the cord" or transitioning from pay TV to streaming video. Streaming your entertainment simply means watching TV shows, sports, and movies over the internet. Streaming requires either a smart TV or a streaming device like a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire Stick and a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Sling, or Playstation Vue.

Visit our Cut the Cord page for additional information.

Not feeling tech savvy? The Whip City Tech Team can help you get set up in a jiffy. To learn more you can call them at 413-485-1204.

Cutting the Cord: How to Stream Video with Whip City Fiber

In many cases, you won't have to do anything. If you have Gmail or another "forever" email you'll continue to receive your email. If your email is through your previous ISP you may be able to keep that too. Comcast, for example, has a policy in place that allows you to keep your email accounts even if you do not purchase their service.

From their website:

As a former XFINITY customer, you can still use your Comcast.net email address if you logged into your account in the 90 days prior to disconnecting your service. Your email account will remain active as long as you access it at least once every nine months.

For additional information:

Using Comcast Email if You've Disconnected Your Service

Setting Up a "Forever Email"

We are committed to providing the best service for your new high-speed internet service. If you have any questions you can contact us any time at Customer Service: customerservice@whipcityfiber.com or 413-572-0100 or Tech Support: techsupport@whipcityfiber.com or 413-485-1204.

General

Whip City Fiber is high-speed internet service delivered across a fiber optic network directly to your home or business. Our fiber optic technology provides upload and download speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second—that's ten times faster than the best residential service currently available. We are currently mid-way through a 2-year build for the city of Westfield which will provide service to over 70% of the community. Whip City Fiber is powered by Westfield Gas + Electric.

Whip City Fiber is a data network which is constructed of optical fibers instead of the traditional copper wire or coaxial cable. Optical fiber is a hair-thin piece of glass that is specially designed to transmit light impulses. One small fiber can carry multiple signals at once and the signal does not degrade over long distances. Unlike coaxial cable, performance is not affected by interference or shared bandwidth. The fiber optic network provides high-speed access that runs at the speed of light.

Each year the use of the internet for applications and services is increasing. As high-definition video, telemedicine, distance learning, telecommuting, and other applications continue to evolve, only fiber technology provides the bandwidth to carry the heavy data load we expect to see. As your local utility, we're excited to bring Westfield the cutting-edge access which can support our community in the future.

Starting over 20 years ago, WG+E built and expanded a fiber network in Westfield for our internal communication needs. Up until now, it has been used to offer communication services to Westfield businesses and municipal departments. In the fall of 2015 we ran a successful pilot of Whip City Fiber to bring service to our residential and commercial customers. With the support of a $1.5M bond from the city we are building the network for the next 2 years. You can check your address at whipcityfiber.com to see if Whip City Fiber is currently available in your area.

Have you seen the internet? It has many amazing and wonderful resources and has created an ever-increasing demand for quality high-speed access. Fiber optic service can provide the bandwidth that growing business and personal internet use will require. With most of the infrastructure already in place, it makes sense to use our resources to bring Whip City Fiber to additional customers in Westfield.

We are a community-owned company with a commitment to provide premium services to our customers and neighbors. Our Gigabit service is the fastest in town and our local customer service is always on call. The revenues generated by Whip City Fiber are reinvested locally to benefit the entire community .

It’s easy! If service is offered in your area, you can complete an application online. Or call 413-572-0100 and one of our customer service representatives can answer any questions you have and complete your application over the phone. If you are not in an area which is currently accepting applications, please let us know you're interested by submitting your information through our website. When service is available in your area we'll let you know!

We’ve removed the "show interest" step from the website because frankly, we don’t need it any more. The response to Whip City Fiber has been amazing– a lot of Westfield wants high-speed internet from a local provider!

Moving forward, we will focus on constructing service to the fiberhoods and connecting everyone who wants Whip City Fiber.

Check your address and complete the online application today, then we’ll be in touch when installation is available in your area.

Speed

We are offering service at 1 Gigabit per second which is up to 1,000 Mbps upload and download speed. It's the fastest internet you can get in Westfield and offers plenty of bandwidth to support a house-full of teens or a busy business. Actual speeds may vary due to a number of outside factors including the speed of your equipment and the website you visit and the software you're using. You will always get the best speeds when your computer or other device is using a hardwired connection.

Many customers are taking advantage of resources which require higher speeds and bandwidth, including streaming services (Netflix, Playstation Vue, etc.) and Ultra High-definition television (UHD). With streaming service and the Whip City Fiber Premier Phone option, many customers find they can "cut the cord" from their cable company and save $100/month or more. Whip City Fiber provides the speed for customers to use these services and other internet resources with out glitches or buffering.

A Wi-Fi router is included with residential service to provide Whip City Fiber to tablets, phones, gaming systems, and other devices in your home. We also offer WiFi service to our commercial customers who are interested.

We are building a system that supports Gigabit bandwidth. Depending on many factors we expect you will receive up to 1,000 Mbps for upload and download. Your actual speed may be affected by the capability and age of your devices, the software you are using, the server of the site you are visiting, and the overall volume of internet traffic at any given moment.

When you are on the Whip City Fiber network you will be able to check your speed with the speed test located in the very top menu. The Whip City Tech Team is available at 413-485-1204 if you have concerns about the speeds you are getting.

Services

Some customers will choose to keep their cable or satellite TV and phone provider while others may decide to try cutting the cord. For many, cutting the cord can save a lot of money.

Whip City Fiber offers Premier Phone service for $12.95/mo. (plus taxes and fees). HD broadcasts of local networks are available with the use of an HD antenna. Additional TV programming and movies are readily available from streaming services including Playstation Vue, Hulu, and Netflix. With these options, many customers find that cutting the cord is a great option which saves them money every month.

The Whip City Tech Team is available to help with setting up your devices, antennas, and streaming services at 413-485-1204.

Whip City Fiber is pleased to be offering Premier Phone service to our residential customers. For $12.95/month you will have unlimited local and long distance calling in the US as well as Canada and Mexico. We will help you switch over the phone number you have today. Service includes voice mail, call blocking, a second number (if you like), caller ID, three-way conferencing, and more. There are also affordable international plans which you can review here.

Phone service for commercial customers will be available soon.

Whip City Fiber provides internet service. We do not provide television programming but we offer amazing access to all streaming service providers. Many customers access local TV with a HD antenna and then subscribe to one or more streaming services (Netflix, AmazonPrime, SlingTV) for additional entertainment content. And what if you want to watch the Red Sox and Bruins? New England rejoiced when NESN became available on Playstation Vue in the fall of 2016.

If you need help with an HD antenna or getting set up to watch TV and movies over the internet with Whip City Fiber, give the Whip City Tech Team a call at 413-485-1204.

If you decide to "cut the cord," you can get local television channels over the air with an HD digital antenna. Signal strength may vary depending on your home location. You can check your potential signal strength and channels at www.antennaweb.org by inputting your address information. Antennas range in price from $10 to $150, depending upon what channels you hope to get and how far away the stations are. Antennas are available for purchase directly from Whip City Fiber, at department stores, or online. For a limited time we are offering free installation by the Whip City Tech Team.

Many customers find that if they use a streaming service, like Netflix or Hulu, there’s no need to DVR; you watch your shows whenever you choose. Some streaming services including Playstation Vue and Sling offer DVR services as part of their package. If you want to DVR over-the-air broadcasts, you will need to purchase a digital video recorder that can be used with over-the-air television antennas.

In many cases, you won't have to do anything. If you have Gmail or another "forever" email you'll continue to receive your email. If your email is through your previous ISP you may be able to keep that too. Comcast, for example, has a policy in place that allows you to keep your email accounts even if you do not purchase their service.

From their website:

As a former XFINITY customer, you can still use your Comcast.net email address if you logged into your account in the 90 days prior to disconnecting your service. Your email account will remain active as long as you access it at least once every nine months.

For additional information: Using Comcast Email if You've Disconnected Your Service

You may review the document below for additional information about switching or transferring email addresses. As part of your Whip City Fiber service, you may request five free email accounts (your address@wcfmail.com) from techsupport@whipcityfiber.com.

https://prismic-io.s3.amazonaws.com/whipcityfiber%2F4fb9f870-9dda-4364-928e-c10cb950f9ba_emailtransferart.pdf
Cost

We are pleased to offer community-minded pricing with exceptional speed and reliable service. Whip City Fiber 1 Gigabit service–up to 1,000 Mbps upload and download–is available at $69.95/month for residential service which includes Wi-Fi, equipment, and free standard installation.

Business service is available at two levels. A 3-year contract is $84.95/month or $89.95/month with Wi-Fi. A 2-year contract is $99.95/month or $104.95/month with Wi-Fi. Standard installation is free with both contracts. Custom Installation: $79.95/hr + materials Commercial and Industrial Installation: Please contact us for an estimate at 413-572-0100.

Westfield Gas + Electric is Westfield's locally-owned utility and we are powering Whip City Fiber. While investor-owned companies have to make a profit to return to investors, we reinvest our revenues in the community and infrastructure which helps us keep our prices low.

Standard service from Whip City Fiber includes your internet modem and wireless router at no additional cost.

There are no contracts for Whip City Fiber residential service because we are providing a great service you'll want to keep. Business contracts are available for either two or three years.

There is no charge for standard installation which includes a first floor or basement connection at your home. Business service will be run into the central communication location (in most cases). Custom installations will incur additional charges at the rate of $79.95/hour + materials.

We are committed to keeping your service up and running! If you are having problems with your Whip City Fiber service, please call the Whip City Tech Team at 413-485-1204. They provide free support solving most problems and can help with setting up video streaming or transferring email. More complex issues may result in charges of $49.95/hour during business hours and $59.95/hour after hours.

Whip City Fiber equipment is provided at no cost. Customers receive one Optical Network Terminal (ONT) [like a cable modem] at no charge with each account. Authorized account users that are living in the same residence and their guests will be able to connect multiple devices to the service.

We certainly hope you'll encourage your neighbors to sign up for their own service but sharing WiFi outside of your household a violation of the acceptable terms of use.

You can cancel your service (but we hope you won't!) with a simple phone call to 413-572-0100.

Technical

We’re here 24/7! The Whip City Tech Team at 413-485-1204 is our front line whether you need support or service. Our local team is available from 7 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday and additional phone support is always available at the same number. We can always dispatch a technician anytime we cannot fix a problem remotely. The Whip City Tech Team is a great free resource for support on tech issues including setting up devices, transferring email, and streaming video.

This fiber optic network is designed with reliability in mind. Whip City Fiber employs a “passive optical network” or PON which means there are a very limited number of components that could break in the path which provides your service.

As with any outdoor facility in New England, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Fiber optic cabling is similar to any wire that’s run on a utility pole, and subject some risks. If there is a problem, Whip City Fiber has dedicated teams to work on repairs. Our goal is 99.99% uptime.

We will run fiber to the location that’s closest to your existing internet modem. Generally this is a basement or first floor location. Before installation, we will schedule a consultation visit to make sure you know what to expect. Please let our schedulers know if you prefer a different location or if you would like additional wires run within your residence or business. A custom install will require an additional charge.

Many customers plan to use Whip City Fiber to set up streaming video on their television. There are a number of devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon FireStick that can allow you to watch TV and movies over the internet. Our installers can help you get set up when they are at your appointment. You can also call the Whip City Tech Team at 413-485-1204 for additional free support with setting up your devices.

Construction

We know you're anxious to get started with Westfield's fastest internet. We do our best to make installation quick and painless. If there is already Whip City Fiber in your area you can expect installation in two weeks from the time we receive your application. If your service is underground, we have to wait until DigSafe clears (about a week), then schedule a crew to run the line. Once the service is at your house, a standard installation averages about 3 hours.

For installation in new areas there are a number of factors which affect installation times. We will be in contact to schedule your installation in a timely fashion.

Our customer service clerks will be happy to schedule installation of the fiber modem and check the connections at your convenience. Depending upon the current workload, we can usually do this within a week of your application.

If your electric service is already overhead, we have no need to touch your lawn. If your service is underground, we’ll use a minimally invasive process to bring the fiber from the street to the house. Our crews are professionals and will restore your lawn as is necessary. We want happy customers and we stand behind our restoration work.

Yes, we will need to have access to the inside of your home to install fiber. We will offer various times for appointments to accommodate the time that works best for you.

Yes, you will able to paint the cable. If the cable is damaged after our install is complete, the customer will be responsible for charges that may occur. In the event the cable comes loose or damaged, please contact us.

Most likely. These holes are typically ½” or less. We will work with you to minimize the need for drilling, and coordinate an agreed upon route prior to beginning our work.

Yes. The cable will remain. In the event that you discontinue service with Whip City Fiber, those facilities will be deactivated but remain intact. If you wish to resume service, the cable will be tested and reactivated.

Equipment

Whip City Fiber provides the all equipment you will need for service. You will receive an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) device which is a fiber optic modem and a router which will provide connection and WiFi for your home and devices.

Your installation includes an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) which is a fiber optic modem and a WiFi router. Both devices are provided at no charge and are supported and managed by Whip City Fiber.

Yes, the ONT is compatible with exisiting routers. The Whip City Fiber router is provided at no charge so using your own router will not decrease your monthly bill.

An ONT is a piece of equipment which converts fiber optic light signals for use in your home. It connects your home and devices to the Whip City Fiber network and out to the internet.

Security

These days so many parts of our lives are linked to the digital world that it’s especially important to connect to the internet safely. We suggest you install an antivirus software on your computers, laptops, and tablets. One such reputable option available for free download is available at www.avast.com.

Questions? Email us at techsupport@whipcityfiber.com or give us a call at (413) 485-1204.