HFN Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Highlands Fiber Network (HFN)?
- Who owns HFN?
- How do I sign-up for Service?
- Who is responsible for repairing and maintaining the fiber?
- What is the Covenant?
- How do I learn more about the Covenant?
- Who do I contact to get more involved of offer input on HFN?
- I don't own a computer. Do I have to sign up with the Highlands Fiber Network?
- What is the minimum monthly Periodic Fee?
- What do my Periodic Fees go to?
- When do I start getting billed?
- What speeds are available?
- I have Quantum 10, or Quantum 100, but the Internet doesn't seem any faster. Why is that?
- Why do some plan descriptions use the phrase 'Download Connection of' and others have 'Download Speeds of'?
- Can I change my speed online?
- I've moved into my home and there is no equipment installed. What happened and what do I do?
- Who is GigabitNow?
- What are HFN's hours for installation, technical support and customer service?
- Can I pay my bill online?
- When is my bill due?
- What payment methods are available to me?
- What time period does my bill represent?
- What happens if I have a dispute over my bill?
- What do I do when I am putting my home on the market/moving out of my home?
- What is this electronic looking box in my home?
- Can I put equipment into the media cabinet?
- My media cabinet doesn't have a door but instead has screws that hold the plate in place. How do I get into it?
- My media cabinet has shelves that go across it and/or access is really difficult, what do I do?
- Does the Highlands Fiber Network use laser light?
- The wall jack for the phone, cable or the Internet isn't working. What do I do?
- My house is out of warranty or the builder won't fix it. Who can I call to get my jacks or wiring repaired?
- I missed my scheduled appointment with the installer. Am I subject to a missed appointment fee?
- Who do I call if my service is slow, down, I have problems signing up, or just generally need help?
- Who will answer my technical support questions?
- Who do I go to for Accounting/Billing questions?
- Who is Cannon Construction?
- What is World Wide Packets?
What is the Highlands Fiber Network (HFN)?
HFN is a fiber-to-the-home community network. The Highlands Fiber Network (HFN) utilizes its own private fiber optic network to connect every home in the Issaquah Highlands to the Internet.
HFN fiber optic cables and related equipment within the community provide Internet access, telephone and other services. The HFN fiber optic network services both residential and business buildings, including, single family homes, condos, apartments, retail businesses and general office buildings. Since the inception of HFN the vision has been for it to be owned by the community.
Who owns HFN?
The Highlands Council owns the Highlands Fiber Network making HFN a 100% community owned fiber network. The Highlands Fiber Network Board of Directors and GigabitNow work to shape the network and find the best ways to meet the communication needs of the Issaquah Highlands community.
How do I sign-up for Service?
Residents can access the Internet through different plan packages. See Internet Plans and HFNVoice Plans for more information. Businesses can contact a Sales representative at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 425-427-0999, for solutions available for their business.
Who is responsible for repairing and maintaining the fiber?
It is the responsibility of HFN to maintain and repair the fiber optic cable to the distribution panel in each residence. However, if the damage to the cable is on the portion of the cable that is on the homeowner's property, then the homeowner is responsible for promptly paying for the cost of such repair by HFN unless the damage to the cable on the homeowner's property was due to negligence or willful misconduct of HFN.
What is the Covenant?
The Covenant refers to the Covenants Conditions and Restrictions for the Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA) and the Covenant for Community for The Highlands Council. If you are a resident, or own a home, in the Issaquah Highlands and the dwelling is in a Covenant division you are subject to the Covenants. If you are not in a Covenant division, you may still be part of the Covenant if you have joined the Council voluntarily or purchased a home from someone who converted in the past and subjected your property to the benefits and obligations of the Covenant. The Covenant explains your rights and responsibilities, including those related to HFN.
How do I learn more about the Covenant?
To learn more about HFN and the Covenant for Community, we suggest you start by reading the Covenant. To get a copy, go to the Issaquah Highlands communitywebsite at www.issaquahhighlands.com. Click on Highlands Council link under the "Learn" tab. Scroll down to the Covenants, By-Laws, Budget & FAQ section. Once there you will see a section called "Covenant for Community". Click the download link to download the most recent version in PDF format. The section that refers to HFN is found in Section 6.4 of Covenant for Community.
Who do I contact to get more involved or offer input on HFN?
You can contact the HFN Advisory Group. This committee meets the second Wednesday of every month from 7:00-9:00 pm. You are welcome to attend, as all committee meetings are open. If you are interested in attending or more information about the HFN Advisory Group, please contact the committee chair, Tim Underwood, at email@example.com.
I don't own a computer. Do I have to sign up with the Highlands Fiber Network?
The Highlands Fiber Network works for more than just computers. It is a state of the art network for delivering data, voice, and other advanced communications services. If you are a Covenant customer, then you are required by the Covenant attached to your property to pay a minimum monthly fee to maintain the community's Highlands Fiber Network (HFN). The Covenant is a binding obligation that is part of what you agreed to in the purchase of your home. The Covenant requires you to pay the minimum Periodic Fee for the Highlands Fiber Network whether you use the network or not. This fee pays for the operation and maintenance of the fiber optic network. If your home is not under Covenant then you have the option to purchase HFN's high speed Internet services. If you are under the Covenant and pay your Periodic Fee then you are entitled to the basic Internet connection service at no extra charge—see below.
What is the minimum monthly Periodic Fee?
As of April 1, 2014, the total minimum Periodic Fee is $50 per month, and with that you get a Fiber-optic connection to the Internet with a fast connection speed of 10 megabits per second. The Periodic Fee is subject to change over time per the community Covenant. The Periodic Fee is made up of two parts. The first part is the Network Facilities Fee which, as of April 1, 2014, is $21.95. The second part is the Internet Service Fee. This amount will vary depending on the service plan you choose. There are several plans available for faster connectivity. For additional plan info please see our plan information section.
What do my Periodic Fees go to?
Your fees maintain and provide the fiber optic network in our community as well as pay for its construction.
When do I start getting billed?
Your minimum Periodic Fee begins on the date of the closing of the purchase of your home. Billing for any additional services, such as a faster speed plan, begins the day you sign up for that service. All services are prorated to the 1st of the month.
What speeds are available?
HFN continues to have the fastest Internet speeds available in the Northwest! HFN's Internet speed options are unparalleled in the Northwest for their speed, reliability, and price. Most residents are eligible for 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps Internet speed plans, and some residents are eligible for speeds as high as 1000 Mbps. Please review the HFN Internet Service page for details on each of the available options.
I have Quantum 10, or Quantum 100, but the Internet doesn't seem any faster. Why is that?
Depending upon how you use the Internet (web browsing, reading email, watching movies, downloading music, playing games), you may or may not notice how fast the network is running. You can verify whether your connection is running at its full speed by going to http://hfnet.us/speed in a web browser, and running the speed test.
Here are some typical speed test results for different speed plans:
- Quantum 10 = ~10 Mbps download, ~10 Mbps upload
- Quantum 100 = ~90 Mbps download, ~20 Mbps upload
- Quantum Gig = ~100+ Mbps download, ~100 Mbps upload
If your speed test results show lower than expected network speed, we have a checklist for troubleshooting potential problems (in order of most likely fault):
- Check the computer (Resident)
- Check the home network (Resident)
- Check the home router (Resident)
- Check HFN network equipment (HFN)
- Check HFN fiber (HFN)
- Check HFN router (HFN).
The most common causes for speed issues on high speed networks are #1, #2, and #3. Home networks are often wireless, and home wi-fi routers are vulnerable to lots of radio noise that interferes with the speed of data transmission. Home routers are also a common problem, since most of them are not designed for more than 10 megabits of traffic. HFN technical support will work with you to try to isolate which of these problems may be affecting your internet speeds.
If it is determined that your router may not be optimized to take full advantage of Quantum speeds, here is a link to a review of high-speed internet routers for home and home office use. One of these routers may work better for your network. http://hfnet.us/fastrouters.
Why do some plan descriptions use the phrase 'Download Connection of' and others have 'Download Speeds of'?
Download Connection refers to the maximum speed of the physical connection to the home, whereas Download Speeds refers to a capped data rate. That is lower than the maximum physical connection speed. Most homes in the Highlands currently have a 100 Mbps physical connection to the core HFN network. From there, a home's connection is then limited to the Internet speed that has been selected. For Quantum 10 customers, the maximum download speed is capped at 10 Mbps. For Quantum 100 customers, there is no speed cap, however the physical connection has an inherent maximum of 100 Mbps. However, since 100 Mbps includes diagnostic traffic, and other overhead, the observable download speeds show up slightly lower than 100 Mbps (we have seen speeds in excess of 93 Mbps in field testing). For Quantum Gig customers, special equipment is used to allow a resident to have a 1000 Mbps connection to the network, however there are very few Internet sites or services that will allow more than 100-200 Mbps of throughput.
Can I change my speed online?
You can change your speed at any time at www.highlandsfibernetwork.com/update-plan. Your new service will be prorated to the 1st of the month.
I've moved into my home and there is no equipment installed. What happened and what do I do?
First of all we are sorry for this inconvenience. Builders can sometimes sell their homes before we have had a chance to get the fiber and the equipment installed. Please call the Highlands Fiber Network at 425-427-0999 to schedule an installation.
Who is GigabitNow?
GigabitNow offers Turnkey Solutions for the Planning, Design, Construction, Operation, and Support of Gigabit Fiber to the Home Networks. Offering custom Fiber Internet solutions for small and medium communities nationwide since 2004. With expertise in a variety of Fiber network architectures (FTTX) and Outside Plan (OSP) deployments, GigabitNow are experts in working with customers in determining the best fiber solution for their community. GigabitNow is in the business of planning, building, connecting, operating and supporting fiber networks for communities across the country. GigabitNow is a division of IsoFusion Inc., a Seattle Washington corporation.
What are HFN's hours for installation, technical support and customer service?
Monday - Friday from 7:00am to 4:00pm
Technical Support/Customer Service
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Telephone: (425) 427-0999
Monday - Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Telephone: (425) 427-0999
P. O. Box 58288
Seattle, WA 98138
Can I pay my bill online?
Yes, with your registration number you can pay online. See payment information at www.highlandsfibernetwork.com/pay-bill.
When is my bill due?
Your bill is due upon receipt. Your bill is created on the first day of each month. Monthly statements will be emailed to you or, at your option, you can go to a website to view your statement each month. There is a charge of $2/month if you want a paper statement mailed to you.
What payment methods are available to me?
All customers need to setup automatic payments. You can use a Credit/Debit card or ACH. ACH is an automatic withdrawal from your checking or savings account. To set up ACH payments, we need the routing and account numbers found on the bottom of your check.
If you have not set up one of these methods, please call our support center at 425-427-0999.
What time period does my bill represent?
Your bill is for the next month of service. The bill you receive on the 1st, is for the current month. For example, your statement sent on 1/1/11 covers service from 1/1/11 through 1/31/11.
What happens if I have a dispute over my bill?
First, contact HFN by email firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing about your dispute. Please include all the necessary information and facts as to why you are not paying your bill in full. It is always better to pay the non-disputed portion of your bill and document the other. From the receipt of your dispute, please allow up to two weeks for a written response.
What do I do when I am putting my home on the market/moving out of my home?
First, contact HFN and let us know that you will be making a change. Your Periodic Fee will be part of your escrow closing; please be sure to let your escrow agent know so they can contact us for the amount to be prorated at closing. If you are moving within the Highlands then you just need to contact our customer service department to transfer service to your new address. Contact customer service by emailing email@example.com, or by phone at (425) 427-0999.
What is this electronic looking box in my home?
This is the media cabinet that is used for your telephone equipment, cable company, and HFN for the installation of the necessary electronics.
Can I put equipment into the media cabinet?
The media cabinet is not to be used by alarm companies or any other vendor. The box is divided into 4 sections: the upper left is designated for the phone patch down panel and the upper right is designated for the cable company. The lower half of the box is designated for HFN equipment. The power plug is also designated for use by HFN. Any unauthorized equipment found in these areas will be removed if necessary to make room for the appropriate equipment.
My media cabinet doesn't have a door but instead has screws that hold the plate in place. How do I get into it?
On occasion, at the direction of HFN support personnel, you may need access to the media interface box. The builder of your home decided to install a media cabinet that was not supplied with a hinged door. You can contact your builder and see if he will supply a hinged door for you. If not, a hinged door may be available at the local home center. You will need to supply them the manufacturer, model and dimension of your box. If requested to do so by HFN personnel, you can use a screw-driver to remove the screws that keep the panel closed. Be sure not to lose the screws for the door.
Brands of Media Cabinet
My media cabinet has shelves that go across it and/or access is really difficult, what do I do?
On occasion, at the direction of HFN support personnel, you may need access to the media interface box. You will want to make it accessible. If you do not wish to do this yourself, HFN can provide you with a service call to access the media cabinet. HFN's service call will be billed to you at a time and materials rate.
Does the Highlands Fiber Network use laser light?
Yes, the Highland Fiber Network uses Laser light to transmit data. If you are required to get into the media interface box, please be aware of the presence of Laser light. If you look directly into Laser light it can cause serious eye damage. If you see that the fiber is not connected and you observe the presence of Laser light, close the door and contact HFN immediately.
The wall jack for the phone, cable or the Internet isn't working. What do I do?
The jacks and the wiring within your home are the homeowner's responsibility, unless covered by a warranty by the homebuilder. First you need to find out if the jack that is not functioning is connected to the appropriate patch panel or electronic device. In the media interface box you will see various cables plugged into the various patch panels. Your builder should have labeled the appropriate cable with the appropriate location within your home (Kitchen, Bedroom 1, Master). Check to see if that cable is plugged into the patch panel or the electronic device. If it isn't plugged in, connect it, this should solve your problem. If you feel that you are capable of appropriately connecting it, then do so. Make sure that you are working with the correct cable. Coax, a black cable, is for the TV; CAT5 can be used for both the telephone and the network within your house. If after doing this, the plug still doesn't work then you need to call your builder. The builder should contact his subcontractor who installed the plug to come out to fix it.
My house is out of warranty or the builder won't fix it. Who can I call to get my jacks or wiring repaired?
There are many qualified low voltage contractors in the yellow pages. HFN can recommend a local contractor to you.
I missed my scheduled appointment with the installer. Am I subject to a missed appointment fee?
Yes. There can be a charge up to $150 and will be billed by HFN directly to you.
Who do I call if my service is slow, down, I have problems signing up, or just generally need help?
HFN Technical Support Staff.
Phone: (425) 427-0999
Who will answer my technical support questions?
HFN Technical Support staff.
Phone: (425) 427-0999
Who do I go to for Accounting/Billing questions?
The HFN Billing Department.
Phone: (425) 427-0999
Who is Cannon Construction?
Cannon Construction is the contractor responsible for placing the fiber optic cable into the ground and terminating it within your home. You need to contact HFN, not Cannon Construction, if you have any problems or issues with the fiber to your home.
What is World Wide Packets?
World Wide Packets is the brand of hardware used in the Highlands Fiber Network. Each home has a WWP switch that connects your internal cables to the Fiber Optic Network to activate the jacks in your home.