Douglas County PUD is lowering costs for high-speed internet. 

PUD Commissioners voted at their last meeting to eliminate a new customer fee it charges to internet service providers. 

PUD spokesperson Meaghan Vibbert says their broadband network now reaches most of the county. 

"We've built out to most areas here in Douglas County," said Vibbert. "There's a few little pockets that we still are working on getting." 

The Douglas PUD is a wholesale provider of broadband, and contracts with Internet Service Providers such as Local Tel and iFIBER Communications, which offer connections to the public.  

It's expected the service providers will pass their savings from the PUD on to retail customers after having to pay a fee for every new customer signed up. 

"It had been $150 in the past, but we are eliminating that now to encourage new sign ups," Vibbert said. 

The Douglas County Community Network (DCCN) is designed for Douglas County PUD’s electric system. The network includes hundreds of miles of fiber-optic cables lit by Ethernet equipment.  

The network offers high speed broadband services such as Internet access, Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), and Voice over IP (VoIP). The services are available to residents, businesses, and government agencies throughout Douglas County.  

The PUD says it saves heavy costs associated with wired broadband by bringing fiber to the transformer instead of all the way to the home.  

A category 5 cable (cat5) is installed from the transformer to the homes or businesses served by that transformer.  

The PUD says that process reduces fiber optic cabling by 75% and significantly reduces the amount of equipment necessary to serve each end user without diminishing connection speeds. 

In areas where wired connections aren’t feasible (such as much of the Waterville Plateau), the PUD offers wireless broadband. Wireless broadband offers less bandwidth than hardwired connections but is superior to satellite or dial up connections–the only other available options. 

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