KPUD is asking the community to be active participants in expanding a Fiber-to-the-Home network throughout the county.
Long before the FCC recognized broadband as a public utility, citizens and communities were finding it absolutely necessary to their well-being and future success. Broadband telecommunications, increasingly, is how people communicate, conduct business and access government services. It is, also, paramount to a community's economic viability.
Kitsap PUD has been operating a high-speed open-access fiber optic broadband network in Kitsap County for over 15 years (click to see map). Almost all of the county's schools, libraries, government offices, first responder buildings and major medical facilities have been connected to this fiber optic network. This has allowed these agencies to keep pace with the modern world; hospitals transmit data and imagery, schools stream content and instruction, first responders coordinate emergency response plans.
This is a community owned network and due to citizens' requests we are evaluating expanding this high-speed open-access fiber optic broadband network to residences in Kitsap County.
We need to know! KPUD is asking the community to be active participants in expanding a "fiber to the home" network throughout the county.
Surveying the County
The survey phase is now open! If you are a Kitsap County Resident please visit kpud.servicezones.net and help KPUD identify areas of interest.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Fiber to the Home (FTTH)?
Broadband access can be provided to residents over a variety of infrastructures. When the infrastructure used is fiber optics it is called Fiber to the home (FTTH). In this delivery model, Kitsap PUD extends its broadband network, using fiber from it's nodes all the way to the home. Fiber to the home is the fastest growing method of providing vastly higher bandwidth to consumers and businesses, and thereby enabling more robust video, Internet and voice services.
What is Internet?
The Internet is the largest computer network in the world, connecting millions of computers. A network is a group of two or more computer systems linked together. Access to this network is what is being sold as a "Internet Service". That speed of that access determines how fast information is uploaded and downloaded to your computer.
Why is KPUD evaluating FTTH network expansion?
Residents of Kitsap County have requested KPUD to expand the high-speed open access fiber optic network to their neighborhoods. KPUD is using the COS Service Zones system to identify the level of interest and need for broadband access from a community owned network.
What is an Open Access?
Open Access is the term used to describe a network where any Internet Service Provider (ISP) may provide service to the end-user over that network. KPUD believes the open access model serves society by 1) eliminating the costs of duplicative infrastructure and 2) allowing the customer to have a choice of ISPs. Competition among ISPs has been shown to improve quality of services and control costs for the end user.
Will Fiber to the Home affect my Home Value?
A 2009 RVA, LLC Home Owner and Developer survey and research commissioned by the Fiber to the Home Council shows homes increased in value by as much as $5000.
Is there an obligation to purchase service if I express interest through the survey?
No. The survey is for informational use only to identify areas that are interested in FTTH in the county and prioritize building into those areas.
How is the Fiber to the Home network funded?
Since 2000, KPUD has used a small property tax and federal funds to construct its broadband fiber-optic system. The backbone of over 200 miles of world-class, high-speed fiber optic cable is used by and connected to most public agencies in the county, and used as the trunk system for some of the area's telecommunications companies, who in turn, retail services to end users. No KPUD water utility funds are used in the PUD's telecommunications operations.
Why doesn't Kitsap PUD provide retail telecommunications to county citizens?
A 1990's state law restricts PUDs from selling full retail telecommunications services to county citizens, agencies and businesses. Although new laws, intervening court rulings and generations of soft and hardware advancement have eclipsed Washington's last-century law, Washington PUDs are only allowed to provide non-retail services, including wholesale networks, community networks, and certain other telecommunications services. Please let us know in the survey if you would like to see Kitsap PUD providing retail service.
What is Optical Fiber?
Optical fiber is a hair-thin strand of glass, specially designed to trap and transmit light pulses. The fiber uses light instead of electricity to carry a signal. It is unique because it can carry high bandwidth signals over long distances without signal degradation, and it can provide those signals simultaneously in both directions - upload and download. Copper media can also carry high bandwidth, but only for a few hundred yards - after which the signal begins to degrade and bandwidth narrows. Optical fiber has been used in communications networks for more than 35 years, mostly to carry core telecom traffic from city to city or country to country.
Why is fiber optic cable now being connected directly to homes?
Connecting homes directly to fiber optic cable enables enormous improvements in the bandwidth that can be provided to consumers, both now and for many more decades of accelerating bandwidth demand. While cable modems generally provide transmission speeds of anywhere between five and 50 megabits per second on the download (and are generally much slower when uploading), current fiber optic technology can provide two-way transmission speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, with 10 - 100 Gbps systems now on the market and even higher bandwidth fiber networks being developed. Further, while cable and DSL providers are struggling to squeeze small increments of higher bandwidth out of their technologies, ongoing improvements in fiber optic equipment are constantly increasing available bandwidth without having to change the fiber. That's why fiber networks are said to be "future proof."
How many homes are connected to FTTH networks?
Fiber to the home networks are now available to nearly one-fifth of North American households, with more than seven million of them connected and receiving Internet, voice and/or television service via FTTH.
Are fiber to the home services more expensive than those that are available over cable modem and DSL?
Surveys have shown that FTTH subscribers pay approximately the same for their Internet, voice and video services as do customers of DSL and cable providers, and that FTTH subscribers actually pay less per megabit of bandwidth that they receive. In addition, surveys of broadband consumers conducted by Consumer Reports magazine and by the FTTH Council have shown that subscribers of FTTH services show considerably higher satisfaction rates than subscribers of other broadband services.
Board Meetings are held every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 9:30am. The meetings are held at our offices and are open to the public. For Minutes and Agendas from previous Board Meetings, visit our Archives
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