After months of preparation work behind the scenes, PIE&G has started the building process of our world-class fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. Davey Resource Group continues to work on PIE&G’s pole inventory and have moved on to the Cheboygan area feeders. Kent Power crews began working in late September on Make Ready Construction, or the movement or rearrangement of communications or power assets currently on our utility poles.
We’re pleased to announce that the next big step in the project – the actual construction of the fiber network – has now started. PIE&G has contracted with B&M Ashman, who began building the network this week. The photos show B&M crews digging the underground trenches to lay the fiber down from the substation. B&M started their work where Kent Power left off with Make Ready Construction. As the project moves forward, each of the contract crews will be working on their own part of the project following seven steps for each feeder. (See our timeline on the Fiber tab on this website for more information.) When a crew’s specific work is done on a feeder, they will move on to the next feeder to perform their assigned work there and so on.
Likewise, another crew will begin their own assigned tasks on the feeder where the previous crew just finished. In other words, where one crew wraps up their work in the seven steps of construction, the next crew will follow behind them to start their work as part of the seven steps of building the network. This process of seven steps will be repeated for each feeder in the overall project plan for each of the four construction phases.
Currently, the project is in Phase I and B&M construction crews are working around the City of Onaway, south towards Canada Creek, and in Allis Township. We anticipate that our first members will be connected around March, 2022. The FTTH buildout will be completed in four construction phases with corresponding geographic areas, through the end of 2025.
Stay tuned for more updates as progress continues.