Chelan County fiber network takes off

August 2, 2005 Wenatchee, WA -- In Chelan County, a rural area spanning approximately 3,000 square miles in north central Washington state, the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) has connected more than 10,000 residences, businesses, schools, hospitals, and government offices with fiber-optic drops.

Aug 2nd, 2005

August 2, 2005 Wenatchee, WA -- In Chelan County, a rural area spanning approximately 3,000 square miles in north central Washington state, the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) has connected more than 10,000 residences, businesses, schools, hospitals, and government offices with fiber-optic drops.

The PUD says its wholesale fiber network exemplifies public and private entities working together to construct and provide advanced broadband services to an underserved rural community. In the partnership, the PUD is constructing and maintaining the open-access fiber network, while private retail service providers are offering affordable fiber-optic services to users over the network.

The PUD began construction of the fiber network in 1999, with the major portion of the backbone being completed by 2002. According to the PUD, more than 10,000 fiber drops are now built, with 500 new fiber drops being completed every month. Plans call for the network reach 75% of the county by 2008. For 2004, total capital spending on the network was $8.8 million, with total operating revenues of $1.6 million. Through the network, more than 2,300 end-users are receiving telephone and high-speed Internet services from 14 private providers. Television service will be available over the network later this year.

"The fiber network provides our community the tools it needs to educate and train the work force of the future, grow industry, support advances in health care, improve the ability of local businesses to succeed, and create opportunities to generate quality jobs for the future," comments John Smith, PUD networks director.

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