Construction is Underway! Olympic Fiber Corridor
After a year-and-a-half of planning and delays, fiber construction is beginning! PUD line crews are gearing up to hang fiber on power poles running down East Quilcene Rd and across the Bolton Peninsula beginning in early-July.
We are using this peninsula as a pilot project to test the process start-to-finish before extending across the entire Olympic Fiber Corridor. The construction process will go as follows:
1. Overhead (hung on poles)
2. Underground (buried in the ground)
3. Drops (this is the fiber from the street to the home, it will mostly go underground)
4. Splicing (fusing the fibers together so light passes through)
5. Installation/Activation (The fun part, when we install modems and routers in your home or business and turn them on, giving you better-than-most-of-Seattle internet even at the basic service level.)
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. We’ll have a more detailed construction schedule later this summer.
One thing I forgot to mention: Site Visits!
Before we can install the drop fiber to each and every one of your homes, 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. Instead, we’ll be contracting with a crew to plow in the cable across your yard, alongside a paved drive, 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 begin on the Bolton Peninsula starting in July. We will move as rapidly as we can to the rest of the project area soon after and should wrap up well before the end of the calendar year. A couple of notes about the 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 are receiving this email, you have signed up for fiber, and 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 email@example.com.
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 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.
One more thing: Make sure to tell any neighbors to sign up ASAP if they are on the fence. 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. Also, for residents of the Bolton Peninsula, we want to connect as many of you as possible in the pilot program as soon as possible.
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.