Cloquallum Communities Fiberhood

Cloquallum Communities Fiberhood

Providing the best internet available throughout the Cloquallum Road community!

Project Information is up to date as of November 2023

Over 680 customers in the greater Cloquallum Communities area will have access to some of the fastest internet in the world. Going from dial-up like speeds of ~1.5 Mbps to unlimited, symmetrical, 1000/1000 Mbps dedicated fiber connections on PUD 3’s open access network will revolutionize communications and increase opportunities for residents. This project will be completed through the Washington State Broadband Office (WSBO), in partnership with PUD 3’s Fiberhood Program.

PROJECT TIMELINE

In late-2023, PUD 3 was awarded an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant through the Washington State Broadband Office (WSBO) to assist in construction of the Cloquallum Communities fiber optic network. There are many phases to a project this size and we plan to keep you updated as we move along.

Currently, our engineering designers are in the process of putting together the fiber make-ready and construction designs that will prepare the way for and install fiber facilities.

In the months to come, our internal crews will begin make-ready work which includes upgrading several poles and other facilities that will prepare the way for the fiber construction in each of the (8) Fiberhood zones. Following the make-ready work, our in-house line crews and communications technicians will install new fiber mainline distribution cable and distribution terminals throughout each zone prior to contracting out the splicing and testing of the fiber optic cable itself.

It will take a lot of time to complete construction to your area, but the final deadline to full project completion is October of 2026. We are excited to extend our fiber network to the Cloquallum Communities and look forward to connecting you as soon as possible!

Here is a quick overview of the 8 STEPS to a PUD 3 Fiber Connection.

  1. Pre-Construction Engineering – Engineers create designs to upgrade poles where needed to make-ready for the installation of new fiber facilities.
  2. Make Ready Crew – Linemen and PUD 3 crews replace and install poles where needed to provide an overhead path for the new fiber optic cables.
  3. Telecom Engineering – During the Pre-Construction Engineering, a Telecom Designer designs the construction maps and estimates the supplies and equipment needed. This is a very technical process to ensure there is enough fiber for each existing parcel, and room for growth as the neighborhood develops. This step also includes identifying a location and installing a fiber distribution hut and creating a safe pull-off for PUD 3 crews to work at the hut.
  4. Main Line Fiber Crew – An internal fiber crew then installs the main fiber-optic cables and the service terminals in the neighborhood.
  5. Splicing Crew – Splicers must join the newly installed cables together with a high-tech fiber fusion machine. This work will be performed by a contracted group. Sometimes this phase can seem to take a long time because the work occurs in a box van and is less visible than the installation of new infrastructure such as poles or fiber cable.
  6. Service Drop Designer – Once the mainline construction and splicing are complete, we will solicit service applications from those within the Cloquallum Communities Fiberhoods. A PUD 3 designer will work with each property owner to plan the best path to the home and review requirements prior to connection to the network.
  7. Fiber Gateway Install Crew – The PUD 3 installation crew completes the install of the service line and attaches a fiber gateway to the exterior of the home.
  8. Pick a Provider – With PUD 3’s open access fiber network, a number of retail service providers can deliver unlimited, symmetrical, gigabit internet (1000/1000 Mbps), HDTV, and/or phone services to your home over the single fiber optic cable. Shop around to get the best deal! If you’re not happy with one, pick another and utilize the same fiber line installed by PUD 3.

IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

You will likely see PUD 3’s engineers and line crews in your area over the next several years. There may be new paint markings on the ground which identify underground utilities and perhaps small wooden stakes. These aid in the design and safe construction of the fiber optic network. As we transition from design to construction, we appreciate your patience and potential traffic delays while our crews perform their work. Thank you for helping us to make safety a top priority.

MORE ABOUT PUD 3 FIBER

It sounds like a lot, but don’t worry, PUD 3’s teams are experts in this process! Over 3,000 homes and businesses around Mason County, in some of the hardest to reach areas, are now connected to the fiber optic network. When complete, you will be able to select from a handful of local internet providers to get symmetrical, unlimited gigabit (1000/1000 Mbps) internet; HDTV; and phone service over the single fiber optic connection from PUD 3.

 

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What should residents in the area expect when construction begins?

Customers should be prepared for construction activity, increased road traffic, possible lane closures, and noise. PUD 3 will be replacing and installing some new poles to extend the fiber optic network to the area. The PUD will also be using a contractor for a portion of the project, so residents may notice work vehicles that do not have the familiar PUD logo on them. However, rest assured, PUD employees will be on-site overseeing the activities at each step of the way. We do ask residents to practice safe driving and social distancing around construction zones for worker safety. During construction, there may be a need to take short outages to ensure the line workers’ safety. If that is necessary, affected customers will be notified in advance.

How long will the project take?

PUD 3 was given the green light to begin engineering designs in Spring 2023, and the grant-award contract was signed in Q4 2023. We anticipate the total project to take up to three years (due October 2026), but we plan to be able to connect homes in stages as we work through the area.

When will I be connected to fiber internet?

Honestly, probably not as soon as you would like. This very large project will take time to design and construct, with many phases in several different neighborhoods throughout your area. Once we have the designs completed, we will begin upgrading facilities where needed and install the fiber mainline at the road; then splice all the cables together; then test each strand throughout the whole network; then install the service drop and fiber network terminal at your home. Describing it is the easy part. As you’ll see over the next few years, it will take many skilled craftsmen many dedicated, hardworking hours to get this lasting, future-proof network built. We must have the project completed in full by October 30, 2026, but we will go neighborhood-by-neighborhood while we work towards that goal.

How much will internet cost and how fast will it be?

We see Fiberhood customers getting unlimited, symmetrical, uncapped internet at 1000/1000 Mbps for about $85/month. HDTV and phone services are additional. However, PUD 3’s fiber network is unique. It is an “open access” network, which means that you, as the end user, can select from a number of different retail internet service providers and their packages. These providers deliver the service over the single PUD 3 fiber optic cable, and they bill you directly. If you want to switch, it’s easy- and you don’t need a new connection to your home.

Why do I still have to pay the Fiberhood Application Fee and Construction Adder if you got a grant to build the network?

The WSBO grant covered a significant portion of the network construction and allowed us to consider the Cloquallum Communities area for fiber expansion, but it does not cover all of the expenses. The Fiberhood costs cover the remainder as well as a portion of the operating costs of the network into the future.

Will there be any additional costs to me other than the Fiberhood Application Fee and the Construction Adder on my internet bill?

The Fiberhood program, in partnership with the WSBO grant, cover most scenarios. However, each property may have unique challenges that we may not be able to accommodate. A customer may need to provide a conduit pathway under a landscaped area, driveway, or sidewalk; or perhaps may need to permit the use of an aerial installation. Our engineering team are well versed in identifying great solutions to get homes connected to fiber and to help customers find a path that works for them.

What’s a Fiberhood?

Fiberhoods are the bedrock of PUD 3’s fiber expansion program. You can learn more about Fiberhoods here: www.pud3.org/fiberhoods. The Cloquallum Communities area does not need to sign up to reach the 75% goal: you’re already under construction!

Who is eligible to get connected? Where will the fiber network be built?

Homes and businesses within the project area are broken into three geographic areas.

Area 1 which is primarily along Cloquallum Road West of Bear Trap Blvd and East of Rock Creek Rd, and connecting roads including Loertscher Rd, Elson Road, and Wivell Road.

Area 2 runs West of 8771 W Cloquallum Road to 12689 W Cloquallum Road and connecting roads including Lost Lake Road, Lake Forest Lane, Frosty Lane, Lakeside Drive, Lost Lake Park Drive, and Bulb Farm Road.

Area 3 runs West of 14071 W Cloquallum Road South to 18637 W Cloquallum Road. West along Satsop Cloquallum Road to Arrowhead Drive including the Lake Arrowhead community with its connecting roads, and out to 3100 Satsop Cloquallum Road. This area also includes the Star Lake community - Star Lake Drive, Fairway Drive, Blakely Drive, Prairie Loop Road, Kamilche Drive, Satsop Drive, Cloquallum Drive, and Star Point Way.

We have created the following Fiberhoods within these three areas:

  • Cloquallum Fiberhood
  • Loertscher Road Fiberhood
  • Wivell Road Fiberhood
  • Lost Lake Fiberhood
  • Bulb Farm Fiberhood
  • Lake Arrowhead Fiberhood
  • Star Lake Fiberhood
  • Cloquallum near Arrowhead Fiberhood

The geographical boundaries for each Fiberhood can be found on our website at: www.pud3.org/isfiberhere

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