Not too long ago, telecommunications was quite different than what it is today. In the late 1990’s, KPUD was evaluating how to connect our multiple facilities with a unified telephone system and computer network. During this time, we identified that local business were struggling to do the same. Since multiple phone and cable companies existed that severed different areas, there were significant cost barriers to communicating from one end of the county to the other.
As a county-wide agency with right-of-way access, the KPUD Board of Commissioners authorized the construction of a fiber optic network to meet the community needs first and allow the excess capacity to be used by KPUD second. KPUD initiated a county-wide fiber optic network building plan and was established as a wholesale telecommunications utility in June 2000. In 2015, communities throughout Kitsap County began to ask KPUD to expand their fiber network (also referred to as broadband) and build infrastructure so that more residential areas could access fast fiber internet services. Today, we have over 700 miles of fiber infrastructure and we continue to work towards expanding our network to better serve the community.
We are focused on areas within the community that are without, or have limited access to, residential broadband. Through the use of public surveys distributed by KPUD, current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) underserved regulations, and existing ISP providers, we have been mapping how we can expand to close the digital divide.
KPUD is a not-for-profit, community-owned utility and we provide wholesale broadband services (fiber internet) on an open-access community-owned network. We are dedicated to an open-access network since it provides and supports a competitive marketplace that offers residents and businesses a choice in internet providers and service.