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City catching the fiber connection

In a presentation to the Port Orchard City Council on Monday, representatives of the Kitsap Public Utilities District (KPUD) outlined the future of a fiber-optic cable Internet connection in the city.

“Several years ago we began setting up a backbone,” said KPUD General Manager Dave Siburg on Thursday.

In previous years, Internet connections were made when modems sent signals over ordinary telephone lines. But telephone lines alone can only achieve so much speed. Thus the birth of broadband cable and DSL connections, however, the availability and physical installation of the technology has been so in coming to most of the country.

According the KPUD Web site, the wholesale utility’s short-term plan was to install a fiber-optic backbone from Belfair through Bremerton and Silverdale to Poulsbo.

Having completed that step, Siburg said the second phase was to continue the backbone from Poulsbo to Kingston and Gorst to Port Orchard.

“We think we will be in the area via either our fiber or others’ by the first of the year,” Siburg said.

The long-term plan has KPUD installing a loop in Jefferson and Clallam County to make the backbone more reliable.

According to Siburg, KPUD is only a fiber wholesaler. It provides service to Internet service providers, cable companies, competitive local exchange carriers, incumbent local exchange carriers and other telecommunication companies.

However, it does not provide retail services. If a resident’s service provider, (Internet, cable or telephone company), is capable of giving them a faster connection, residents can get a faster connection directly from those providers.

As for the cost, Siburg could not even estimate.

“That depends entirely on the service provider,” he said.

KPUD was established as a wholesale telecommunication utility in June of 2000. For more information on the fiber optic backbone project visit www.kpud.org.

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