CHELAN COUNTY - The Chelan Public Utility District approved their budget for 2018 Monday morning, which means a larger expansion in fiber for the county.

With expansion of fiber, consumers can benefit from finding internet service providers who run on fiber-optics, such as iFiber. Fiber-optic internet sends data faster than basic cable, meaning consumers can receive information on the internet much faster.

“There’s been a long and continuing demand for broadband services,” said PUD Fiber and Telecom marketing director Mike Coleman.

In the last five years, the Chelan PUD has made leaps and bounds in their fiber expansion. In 2012, fiber reached about 12,000 connections with an average of 31 days for installation. Nearing the end of 2017, installment takes about 11 days and they are just shy of 15,000 connections.

“When I look at the overall 2017 accomplishment, those were tremendously good for the people involved,” said Coleman. There is a total of 31 people working on fiber expansion. “When you look at the results for 2017, all the credit has to go to the employees that are out there delivering every day.”

In 2018, the PUD plans to expand in Chumstick and Merry Canyon and complete the expansion of Brender Canyon and Manson Blvd. They also plan to infill areas such as Cashmere, Chelan and Plain. The public utility district is hoping to gain a total of 1059 premises passed.

It was brought to the PUD’s attention that many consumers did not know that fiber was available for their home after a customer survey in 2017.

In an effort to reach more Chelan County members with information about fiber internet, the PUD has a marketing campaign that will launch in 2018 that includes this promo ad and a free iPad to the 15,000th person to sign up for connectivity.

“We’ve come so far in the last five years,” says Coleman. “Our goal is to be a world-class fiber transport provider and to facilitate the retail service providers in providing the best possible customer service they can.”