PUD 3 offices will remain closed for the foreseeable future. However, we can still be reached by phone at 360-426-8255. Mason PUD 3 is committed to keeping our customers connected to essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. If you are experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for support, including long-term payment arrangements or bill assistance. Learn more about PUD 3's response to COVID-19 and available customer support programs here.

Underground Fiber Service

Underground Fiber Service

Getting Underground Fiber Optic Service to your home – A Mole's-Eye View

Underground fiber installation infographic

OK, you’re excited about getting the super-fast fiber optic cable to your house. Things are easy when your electrical service is overhead and you want to use that route for your “big broadband pipe.” It’s much less exciting if you have to dig a trench to get it there, but we’re sure you’ll be happy with the results once the work is completed. 

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Here’s where we need to work closely together.

  • If fiber service is available at your home, we will provide conduit and fiber if you agree to dig the trench.
  • PUD 3 operates a vibratory plow, which may be a cost-effective way to bring underground fiber to your home. Unfortunately, a vibratory plow does not work for all cases.
  • A PUD 3 engineer can also evaluate the possibility of an overhead fiber optic service drop, even when your power is running underground to your home. This can be a cost effective solution to extend service to your home if certain criteria are met. 

DON’T FORGET TO HAVE UNDERGROUND LOCATES FIRST: CALL 811 BEFORE YOU DIG.

Things may be easier if you already have overhead lines for phone and cable. That way you can follow their path.

YOU

  • Give the PUD a construction application and pay the application fee.
  • Work with our engineers to figure out the best path for a trench. Give the PUD the rights of ways and easements for construction, operation and maintenance of the fiber optic service drop.
  • Pay any applicable costs of trenching, labor, and installation of underground conduit.
  • Sometimes the customer will need to provide an exterior outlet with a while-in-use cover ("bubble cover"), if power from the electric meter is not feasible.

PUD 3

  • We’ll give you a written cost estimate for getting the fiber optic service to your house.
  • We’ll take on the responsibility for maintaining the line up to the fiber optic equipment we install at your house for wholesale telecommunications service.

 

Once you and the PUD 3 engineer have designated the route, you can dig the ditch yourself, you can hire a qualified contractor, or even ask one of our Retail Service Providers to see if they do that sort of work. Keep in mind, PUD 3 needs to inspect the construction and placement of the conduit before everything is covered up. 

PUD 3 also operates a vibratory plow to assist in fiber-to-the-home underground construction.

PUD 3’s engineering staff is specially trained to design a safe, legal, and cost-effective plan to connect your new home or business to PUD 3’s fiber optic network. Because there are so many variables, we do not give “rough estimates” for specific jobs.

All customers must submit an application for fiber service in order to receive a cost estimate.

This handout may offer a better explanation.

For information about available services, how to apply and be connected, contact any of the fiber retailers.

PUD 3 will install a fiber optic network box, most likely near your power meter. Once we’ve done our job, you and your retailer service provider will do the rest. That includes wiring into the house, installation of wireless routers, TV boxes, phone lines, or anything else you want to hook up to the network. 

Contact your retailer. Do not contact PUD 3, as this will delay the restoration of your service.

We can’t sell directly to a customer. Only one of the retail service providers who use the extra space on our system can do that.

And Hey! That creates jobs for local internet, cable and phone companies – being able to give people really fast internet service, great telephone, and even TV

 

Keeping an eye on nearly 2,000 miles of power lines, eleven substations, tons of equipment in the field and keeping in touch with customers takes a lot of communications technology.

Doing things the old way just wasn’t working out. It was really expensive and not as secure as a state-of-the-art system needs to be. A patchwork of phone lines and copper data circuits really doesn’t do the job when you need to keep an eye on a modern electricity distribution system. 

For security and system reliability, we built a high capacity, fast and reliable fiber optics communications network to monitor substations, power lines and other equipment. We estimate that we’re saving about a million dollars each year by managing our own system.

 

Think about when people first got electricity. All they really wanted was to have lights, and maybe a pump for water. Then they got an electric cook stove, a refrigerator, clothes washer, and wham! Their electrical service was overwhelmed. 

Just like bringing electricity to new customers, the demand for fast broadband service is going through the roof. The PUD’s fiber optic network is designed so that it can be quickly upgraded to meet the needs of the voracious bandwidth hog: our homes.

 

If you have any questions about the installation process, DON’T guess. Call our telecommunications department and ask. We want to make sure your connection to the information autobahn goes smoothly, without any braking. We want you to have the fastest internet experience you can get anywhere in the world, right here in Mason County. 

Telecommunications: (360) 432-1550

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