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EPHRATA - A fast-internet connection during the COVID-19 pandemic has become a highly-coveted commodity. Grant PUD officials say more people are working and learning from home resulting in a record number of subscribers connecting to Grant PUD’s high-speed fiber-optic network.

"We are connecting people at a rate we have never seen before," said Senior Manager of Wholesale Fiber, Russ Brethower as he shared the Wholesale Fiber Group's quarterly update with the commission.

Through June, the year-to-date growth of new subscribers using the network was 2,173 customers. With more than 400 new customers receiving a fiber connection during each month of March, April, and May. The total new subscriber growth through June is just shy of the yearly goal for all of 2020, which is 2,475.

The year-to-date "take rate" – the percentage of users with access to the fiber network connecting via one of the independent service providers – is also ahead of the targeted yearly goal of 60%. Brethower told commissioners that even as new areas are released throughout the remainder of the year, he anticipates eclipsing the annual "take rate" goal. 

The utility says construction on expansion of the fiber network in all five areas that were scheduled for 2020 are expected to be complete by early 2021.

Grant PUD continues to target the end of 2023 for completing construction to all 40 build-out expansion areas.

(5) comments

hydromike

GCPUD Commission, keep up the good work!

baydog1990

A public utility paid in part by us, yet vendors price gouge us for TV and other services; they act like they are a major cable company.

@the real JohnQPublic

Is that because of online learning? Fire the teachers and get rid of the unions.

stinky stew

In my area in ephrata- in the city. not out of town, my copper land line and internet goes out to a 58 year old copper phone & internet system. Its worked on constantly to keep it useable most of the time. The furry rodents have chewed holes in it - clear to the copper wires. -- Eventually, i will go to small dish for phone & internet.

opinionscrossroad

Sounds to me like you should upgrade to a Fiber Optic connection and leave behind that 58 year old Copper.

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