PUD commissioners this week approved a new Line Extension Policy for fiber-optic connections that will let homeowners consider whether they want to pick up additional costs themselves after the PUD makes an initial investment of $1,500 per connection.
Previously property owners had to pay the entire bill if the PUD determined connection costs were too high to justify making a fiber connection to a home or business. The policy applies to areas other than those scheduled to receive service in the next few years as part of a federal Rural Utilities Service (RUS) grant project.
Potential end-users of fiber services can also reduce costs by doing trenching or conduit work themselves, subject to PUD inspection before the final connection gets made. The procedures are now spelled out in the Line Extension Policy, matching options that have long been available for water, sewer and electrical connections.
The big difference with the fiber Line Extension Policy is that the arrangements have to be made through a service provider - one of the retail firms that actually provide telephone, Internet or television service to the end-user over the fiber line. The PUD is only authorized to provide wholesale fiber services.
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