Chelan County, WA expands high-speed data network

[Chelan Country Public Utility District announcement]

Chelan County Public Utility District announced recently that it hit a new milestone with fiber optics now available to over 20,000 homes, businesses, schools and hospitals throughout Chelan County, Washington, a rural community in North Central Washington state.

This advanced fiber-optics network showcases a collaborative effort by public/private entities working together to construct and provide the 3,000-square-mile county with a competitive choice for broadband, telephone and television. So far, more than 5,700 end-users have taken advantage of the chance to connect.

The District is constructing and maintaining the wholesale fiber network, and 15 retail service providers offer various combinations of high-speed Internet, television and telephone service over the network.

"The fiber network provides our community a foundation to compete and grow in a worldwide economy," said John Smith, PUD Networks director. "We're growing quality jobs, and our hospitals and schools are serving our citizens over the most advanced network available in the world."

Construction of the network began in 1999. More than 20,000 premises now have fiber services available, and the plan is to reach 95 percent of the 40,000 premises in the county by 2012. Total capital spending on the network is expected to be $11.2 million for 2007.

Chelan County PUD serves about 43,000 customers with critical utility services including low-cost power, water and sewer. Now, through local service providers, it also offers affordable fiber-optic telecommunications services.

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