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Wireless not best option for Lake Wenatchee; PUD will rebuild damaged fiber

Chelan County PUD
News Release
1/18/2013

After analyzing costs, considering public input and examining alternatives, Chelan County PUD has decided wireless is not the best option at this time for broadband service at Lake Wenatchee. The PUD will find the most cost-effective option for rebuilding the heavily damaged fiber-optic system serving the south shore area.

After a December winter storm, the PUD had considered replacing the damaged fiber-optic infrastructure on the south shore with a wireless broadband system due to the high cost of rebuilding the fiber. Wireless may still be considered as an option in the future to serve other areas of the county where fiber service is not available, but it has been removed from consideration for serving the Lake Wenatchee area due to technical considerations and the time required for a full evaluation to make sure it would meet customers’ needs.

A community public meeting to explain the next steps in the fiber restoration and ongoing electrical restoration will be held at noon, Saturday, Jan. 26, tentatively scheduled at the Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club near the airstrip. PUD managers will answer questions about the process and the timing of the restoration work.

Approximately 64 customers in the Lake Wenatchee south shore area have been without Internet, telephone and television services since a winter storm the week before Christmas brought down hundreds of trees and caused both extensive electrical and fiber outages throughout the Plain-Lake Wenatchee-Coles Corner region. PUD fiber crews are still restoring other customers out of service on the north shore and other areas. Most of the electrical customers in the area have had service restored, except for a few in the most remote areas of the south shore.

Announcements of the community meeting Jan. 26 will be circulated throughout the community and posted with media outlets as well as being included on the PUD website. Based on public input from the meeting Jan. 26, the fiber restoration plan will be on the PUD board agenda on Feb. 4.

Anyone wishing to make further comment on the restoration plan before then can email the PUD at fiberthoughts@chelanpud.org or call the PUD fiber staff at 509 661-4151.

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Steve Lachowicz
Communications director
509-661-4639, direct line
509-679-0148, cell
steve.lachowicz@chelanpud.org