Changes in technology over the years means different ways of making sure our system operates at peak performance. “Smart Grid”, the ability to tie our communications and other grid assets together is where we are headed. And to do that we need a fast and reliable communication path. That’s why we’re moving forward with FASTnet Fiber. As we run fiber along our electric system, it also allows us to offer the fastest, most reliable internet speeds to our members at affordable prices.
Obviously, our goal is to install our broadband infrastructure in your neighborhood with the least inconvenience to you and your neighbors. In most cases contractors will be working in the utility easement that already exists. We also have construction plans for each neighborhood and our goal is always to stick as closely to them as possible, but as on any project, things can be very fluid and change quickly.
Prior to construction beginning, we contact 811 and have utility locates done. That means the various other utility companies such as natural gas, water and phone, mark where their lines run. They’ll mark those lines with spray paint, small flags, or both. As we’ve discovered, sometimes those marks are incorrect, or water or sewage lines that were installed by a homeowner or builder are not marked. That means we could cut into an existing line. Main lines are usually the responsibility of the utility that owns them to repair if the locate was incorrect. If it is our fault, we will repair the damage.
We will be installing conduit (the orange plastic piping that protects the fiber optic cable). Sometimes we will be doing trenching (where we open a small ditch) to install the conduit and fiber, sometimes we’ll be doing boring (where a drill like instrument is used to make an underground tunnel for the conduit).
We will also be installing boxes called vaults. These vaults are used to protect and provide access to fiber for splicing and other maintenance. Most of these vaults will be flush with the ground when complete.
No matter if we’re working overhead or underground and what equipment is installed, the work will impact some greenspaces in the neighborhood and individual yards. Mostly that will involve some sort of dirt work that will result in excess material being mounded near the work zone. Although it may take some time, rest assured that we will do as much as we can to return the work zone to its previous state.
We want to work with homeowners and HOA’s as much as we can to ensure that our work causes the least disruption possible. If you have questions or concerns, please contact our Manager of Outside Fiber Planning Howie Critcher a call at 662-245-0759 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org .