Chelan and Douglas PUDs will share fiber cable used to deliver high-speed internet service to customers.

Douglas PUD commissioners approved the interlocal agreement between the neighboring PUDs at their last meeting.

Spokesperson Meaghan Vibbert says the agreement will provide redundancy to make the lines more reliable.

"We have extra capacity in those wires that we run," said Vibbert. "To provide some redundancy to make those lines more reliable, Chelan would want to use so many miles of line that we already have in place. We might want to use some line in their county."

The agreement is designed to save money on administration, construction, and maintenance costs for both utilities.

Vibbert says the two utilities will settle cost differences periodically.

"Chelan would want to use so many miles of line that we already have in place," said Vibbert. "We might want to use some line in their county. And at the end of the day, the amount of wire used is netted out. Whoever uses more miles of line will pay the difference."

Chelan County has fiber lines that run up to the city of Chelan. If those lines went down, Chelan could use Douglas PUD lines on the other side of the river to provide uninterrupted service, as the two companies fiber lines are interconnected.

Vibbert says Chelan PUD uses 383 miles of Douglas PUD line while Douglas uses 108 miles of Chelan PUD fiber. If both utilities were using the maximum of each other’s lines, Chelan PUD would pay the difference of 275 miles.

"The way the systems are built, electrical and communications, is they try to have a lot of alternate paths," Vibbert said. "So, if something happens with path A, you can jump over to another path and the customers aren't impacted."

A statement from Douglas PUD said, "Cooperative action between the districts will result in savings to the public and will better serve the needs of each District."

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