TDS Metrocom has begun construction on an all-fiber, fiber-to-the home cable television and high-speed internet system within the City of Spokane. The TDS system will allow for additional competition for these services in our City, resulting in choice and improved price for citizens.
Citizens are beginning to see work in their neighborhoods as part of this construction project. The construction has been permitted for the public right of way and the additional utility easement that exists in front of many homes in the City.
The easement is designed to accommodate communications and similar infrastructure without having to dig up the street or sidewalk for repairs or new installations.
Quanta is the contractor installing the TDS system. The contractor is working to minimize impacts to homeowners. The fiber is installed by creating entry points and then pulling the fiber underground between those points.
The City requires Quanta to contact property owners as they proceed with construction. They are going door-to-door to talk to citizens and providing written information to property owners.
The work is proceeding in Northeast Spokane and then will move south, but most of the City eventually will see this kind of work. A map of the construction plan is attached.
TDS's goal is to eventually serve the entire City with their competitive services; their build-out schedule calls for reaching 70 percent of the City's residential units within 5 years. The company is actively designing and installing about 1,100 miles of aerial and underground fiber cable within the City.
Public right-of-way easement widths vary in size and location. Additionally, for more than 20 years, the City of Spokane has required an additional 10 feet of property outside of the right-of-way to be dedicated as dry utility easements when new neighborhoods are platted/established. See the below example.
TDS has been designing their buildout to be mostly within the right-of-way and utility easements. Often property owners aren't aware of location of the actual property line. In many cases, property owners take care of a portion of the right-of-way or utility easement as part of their yard.
In February 2020, the City Council approved a Cable Television Franchise with TDS that allows the company to use the public right of way and provide services within the City of Spokane.
The City traditionally has had only one cable television provider. The City's leaders had been interested in attracting competition for these services to provide citizens with choice and potentially better pricing for cable television and related high-speed internet services.
The City is working to ensure that we have modern systems capable of serving the future needs and interests of our citizens and businesses. The City wants to ensure the availability of community programming, maintain our public right of way and provide broad access to services.