Fiber Buildout is Underway!

After a year-and-a-half of planning and delays, fiber construction has begun! PUD line crews are hanging fiber on power poles across the Bolton Peninsula in July.

We are using the Bolton Peninsula as a pilot project to test processes start-to-finish before extending across the entire Olympic Fiber Corridor. The construction process goes as follows:

  1. Overhead (hung on poles)
  2. Underground (buried in the ground)
  3. Drops (fiber from the street to home–mostly underground)
  4. Splicing (fusing the fibers together so light passes through)
  5. Installation/Activation (installing modems and routers in the home or business )
PUD line crew rigging poles on the Bolton Peninsula outside Quilcene.
PUD line crew rigging poles on the Bolton Peninsula outside Quilcene as they prepare to string main line fiber.

Though we are running the process start to finish on the Bolton Peninsula first, overhead and underground fiber installation will move to other sections of the project area this fall. Our line crew will hang as much overhead fiber as they can until storm season begins. But, as we have over 200 miles of fiber to install in the Olympic Fiber Corridor alone, we’ll be contracting out most of the work, with multiple crews working simultaneously.

Site Visits!

Before we can install the drop fiber to each home, PUD staff will need to come by and map out the best route. If we can follow the electric cable from a pole to the house, the install will be very straightforward. In most cases, it won’t be that easy.

Contract crews will plow fiber cable across yard space, alongside paved drives, or up the center of a gravel drive, through the woods, or some combination of each. Plowing cable involves running a moderately heavy machine over the ground to cut a very narrow trench in the earth. It’s much less invasive than a mini-excavator but will have an impact on landscaping. 

Site visits will move rapidly to the rest of the project area and should wrap up well before the end of the calendar year.  A couple of notes about site visits:

1)     Site visits will not be scheduled. We have around 1000 properties to cover in a short amount of time, making it impossible to do by appointment. If you have registered for no-charge fiber construction to the home, we’ll be coming by sometime in the next few months to map the route. If you have any concerns or special information that can help our process (like the location of a septic field placed right between the house and the street), please send an email to broadband@jeffpud.org.

2)     The fiber will most likely end up a few feet from the meter (if the meter is installed on your home or business). If the meter is not on the home or was placed in a location that has become hard to access, the fiber path will default to the simplest and shortest unobstructed route.

3)     Drop fiber mapping is an estimation process. There will be time to make limited adjustments immediately before and during the installation. Also, unlike the mapping, you will be contacted before plowing begins in your area.

Now is the time to sign up!

If you are on the fence about registering for no-charge fiber construction to the home, please sign up ASAP! Only the first 60% of sign-ups are guaranteed installation at no charge. After the 60% quota is met, it’s likely to cost $750 per home.

If your neighbor signs up late, we will not likely be back to complete their installation until summer of 2024. Encourage them to sign up now. 

Registering takes just a few minutes! Register here: Jefferson PUD Fiber Sign-up

 

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