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Telecom FAQs

What is the KPUD fiber program?

After passage of a new state law in 1999 permitting Public Utility Districts (PUDs) to provide wholesale telecommunications services to its citizens, KPUD initiated a county-wide fiber optic network building plan, and in 2000 formally began deploying a robust, redundant, world class, high capacity fiber optic network throughout the county. The network is called KPUD Fiber. The long term goal is to build to all public buildings in the county to provide an emergency communications platform in case of natural disaster or county regional emergency.

KPUD and its partners presently have 150 miles of fiber optic cable deployed throughout the county, and with federal stimulus funds, we are building an addition 100 miles of fiber network to be completed by 2015.

What is the functional use of the KPUD Fiber Network?

KPUD Fiber Network includes deployed fiber optic cable and the associated electronics. The Network is a technology, communications, and information based platform focused on providing access to government and essential information; encouraging and supporting economic and community empowerment; supporting and enhancing education; and providing a primary and redundant communication network in emergency, disaster and catastrophic situations. The Network connects schools and public agencies with a robust technology solution even in the absence of electrical power, and allows first responders, emergency workers and citizens access to communications at key locations throughout the county.

What is NOANET?

NoaNet is Washington State‘s nonprofit broadband provider. It currently operates a reliable, open-access broadband network totaling more than 1,800 fiber miles across Washington providing high-speed connectivity to nearly 260,000 people in rural and underserved areas through its partner retail service providers that deliver finished services to end users. NoaNet service makes life more livable, businesses more productive, jobs more plentiful, and the Internet more accessible for thousands of residents and organizations.

Services include:

  • Carrier Ethernet Services: Scalable, secure, easy-to-configure over a resilient Ethernet Network; from 100Mbps to 100 Gigabit
  • Wavelength Transport: From 2.5 Gigabit to 100 Gigabit Ethernet Transport; OC-48 to OC-192 Transport; OTU-2
  • Dedicated Internet Access: Path-protected, multi-homed, unaggregated transport across the NoaNet backbone to the customer
  • TDM Transport Circuits: Complex multi-point Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) rings over SONET, as well as point to point circuits

What is Optical Fiber?

Fiber optics is thin filaments of glass that transmit light and carry information from one point to another at the speed of light. Light rays travel through glass threads, and the light patterns carry information. A single 4.5 pound spool of optical fiber can carry the same amount of messages as 200 reels of copper, weighing 1,600 pounds. A single optical fiber, combined with fiber amplifiers, can carry 20,000,000 phone conversations and 20,000 TV channels simultaneously. Fiber is operated by lasers. Lasers have been used for decades in medical applications, facsimile systems, phototypesetting, and computer graphics. Now, lasers send light ray information along pure glass and the possibilities are endless!

How Will KPUD Fiber Benefit Me As a Businessperson?

Kitsap PUD's fiber based network is open access. Open Access allows all retailers to provide services over the network, thus allowing competition to occur for the services being asked for by the business. In some cases fiber will be extended to a business or may even include connecting all buildings within a business park. The customer will have the choice of many different providers and services.

When will fiber optics be available at my house?

Kitsap PUD's initial role as a wholesale telecommunications provider is to sell our services to retail providers. The retail providers will provide the services that each home and business is requesting. Some of these services may require a fiber optic connection, which can be handled many different ways. Some of the possible Kitsap PUD solutions would be through line extensions, through Local Utility Districts, or collaborative connections through local co-ops or non-profit groups. The retail providers may have other viable solutions.

What services are available over the KPUD Open Access Network?

The Network provides access to Internet Protocol (IP) telephone, digital video and high-speed Internet. The network will also carry TDM (Time Division Multiplexing ) or traditional telephone circuits. In addition, the network will be used to carry monitoring information for Kitsap PUD water systems.

What is an IP telephone?

An IP, or Internet Protocol phone, is a telephone that runs over the Internet rather than through traditional telephone lines. Potential features of IP phones may include expanded local calling areas and competitive long-distance pricing schedules. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a common term for this Internet phone service.

What is digital video?

Digital video is the latest in home-viewing entertainment technology offering more choices, clarity and control than ever before. Digital video gives you a variety of channel offerings and unlike having a satellite dish, you receive all of you favorite local programming from Seattle or Spokane to Portland. Additional features may include Internet access.

Why is the Kitsap County Public Utility District building this Open Access Network?

  1. To monitor water resource activities, improve services, and bring additional exciting opportunities to Kitsap County.
  2. The KPUD Network will help keep data flowing about water resource activities in and around Kitsap County.
  3. The KPUD Network means access to high quality services such as IP (Internet Protocol) telephone, digital video and high-speed Internet connectivity.
  4. The KPUD Network's speed and access to the world marketplace is necessary and attractive to companies looking to relocate or expand in Kitsap County.

What is Kitsap PUD's wireless broadband technology pilot?

The KPUD wireless technology pilot is just that. It is a testing pilot program of hardware, software and broadband fiber in certain Kitsap County areas. The KPUD will be testing applicability, use, and coverage of wireless technology in the county's less-than-flat terrain, and heavy vegetation environment.

How does it work?

KPUD's wireless pilot program is the current, state-of-the-art extension of the KPUD Fiber Network and an exploration of potential additional wholesale broadband services and other opportunities. KPUD will be testing contemporary limits of connection, placement, range and use, including co-production or creation of network(s) and applications with county citizens and businesses.

Where is the wireless pilot program operating and where will it be deployed?

The KPUD is starting with its main office area in Poulsbo. Depending on accumulative results, cooperation with local structure owners for antenna attachment, and budgets, all areas of the county are candidates for a program. We have plans and are building in Kingston, Bainbridge, Port Orchard and soon, Silverdale communities.

How are the KPUD Network and wireless technology pilot programs funded?

No KPUD water utility funds are used in the PUD's telecommunications operations. Since 2000, KPUD has used a small property tax and federal funds to construct its broadband fiber-optic system. The backbone of 150 miles of world-class, high-speed 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.

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.


Board Meeting: May 9, 2017, 9:30am

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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