The Beginning of the Last Mile
The “last mile” (in fiber internet speak) refers to the final leg of PUD fiber network connection to homes and businesses.
PUD crews are now running last mile fiber lines within the East Quilcene Fiber Pilot Project on the Bolton peninsula. More than 100 residents on the Bolton peninsula have registered to receive PUD fiber. Drop surveys charting the fiber pathway from pole-to-home were conducted in preparation for buildout this fall. The East Quilcene Pilot Project (part of the larger Olympic Fiber Corridor) is a best practices primer for PUD fiber construction and contractor standards that will apply throughout other fiber zones county wide.
The large trailered spool (shown here) contains more than 22,000 feet (4.1 miles) of 144-count fiber. Fiber count indicates the number of fiber strands (each approx 1/10th the thickness of a human hair) inside, with commonly used counts being 24, 48, 72, 96, and 144. Fiber is pulled from the spool through block & tackle rigging mounted to each pole in approximately 1-mile sections. The spool, which is positioned on the uphill side of the fiber run, features a braking system to keep tension. PUD staff and fiber engineering contractors design for future growth when running large capacity fiber to an area.
At the bottom end of the new fiber run, a spool of heavy-duty, single-piece blue rope (measuring a full mile-long) is used to pull the fiber through the pulleys. A truck-mounted winch smoothly pulls the line from pole to pole until it reaches the end. Line crew positioned on each end ensure additional fiber is available by looping extra material, and also creating fiber loops at several points along the mile-long run. These loops are used for maintenance.
Buildout on the Bolton peninsula will continue for several months, with PUD and contract crews working on or around the roadways. Please pay close attention to flaggers in the area and drive carefully!
Fiber-to-the-home surveys by PUD staff will continue throughout the Olympic Fiber Corridor into the fall.
Construction of the Quilcene fiber hut is also underway at the Quilcene substation.
Want to learn more about PUD fiber?
Log on to fiber.jeffpud.org to search your service address, read the FAQ’s, and to register today! Registering takes just minutes and secures your spot for no-charge fiber construction for those with a home or business within a grant funded fiber zone.