The Town of Erie Board of Trustees approved a Franchise Agreement with Allo Communications which gives them the right to complete this work. Complete details of this granting of rights is available in the Franchise Agreement in section 2.1.
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All fiber internet service has to begin at a "fiber hut" where the lines begin and where emergency back-up systems are housed to maintain service in the case of outages. The fiber hut for Allo Communications is housed near the Thomas Reservoir on land that Allo is leasing from the Town of Erie. Service will be spread through the Town - and specifically to neighborhoods with few connectivity options - as quickly as possible once service lines are running out from the fiber hut.
Just like battery back-up systems for homes, the fiber huts are locations built and maintained by internet providers to prepare for power failures with extensive back-up systems and emergency generators to ensure that our customers maintain Internet and phone service. A fiber hut is simply a small, cement building (like the one pictured below) that houses back-up systems and the beginning point of a fiber network in that location.
The space where Allo will be building their fiber hut is on leased space that the company has contracted with the Town to utilize. The space is near Thomas Reservoir which is why service for Allo is beginning in neighborhood in this general area.
The Board of Trustees and Town staff believe that facilitating another internet provider option (Allo Communications) for residents and businesses will increase competition among all providers, and that should reduce costs for residents and businesses and improve customer service. With a continually growing residential and business population, extra options for coverage should help supply keep up with demand in our community.
Answer from Allo:
The city owns small but specific portions of your property to access and maintain city utilities. We work with the city to access these areas as we build our fiber network.
A utility easement allows a utility the right to use and access a specific area of your property for constructing, operating and maintaining gas, electric, water, and sewer lines. The easement is often a permanent restriction on the property so that it transfers ownership with the home or property when sold. Having an easement gives the utility the right to use the land, but the utility does not own it.
A “right-of-way” is the surface and space above and below any real property in the city in which the city has an interest as an owner or trustee for the public for public travel including public streets, highways, avenues, roads, alleys, easements, sidewalks, tunnels, viaducts, or bridges.
There are a few ways to determine the easement area of your property.
Answer from Allo: ALLO will reach out to you regarding construction in a variety of ways including direct mail notices, emails, door tags, and in-person visits from our quality assurance construction team.
Answer from Allo: This depends on the layout and design of your neighborhood. Some areas are built with easier access to utilities and easements, others have more complex designs and natural obstructions which can cause delays. Planning, design, and engineering are months in the making before you ever see a sub-contractor or ALLO team member make an appearance. City planning is unique in every area and in our 10+ years building GIG communities we’ve found that no two neighborhoods are alike. For these reasons and the ones that are far outside of our control, like weather and unexpected natural obstacles, we recommend checking our interactive website map for the most up to date information on your neighborhood.
Answer from Allo: We do our best to inform ALLO communities of the entire construction process by mail prior to the arrival of our construction team. However, the town and contractors will access the utility easement area of you property to mark existing utilities and communications lines before our construction can begin and they are not required to provide notice of their flags or markings ahead of time.
The flags or marking in your area were placed by the local utilities companies and help our team identify where the lines are underground. When ALLO begins fiber construction, we use these markings to protect against damage to your property or utilities. Please see the list below for an explanation of utility color associations.
Answer from Allo: Utility locate flags or markings are good for 10-14 business days. If construction has not been completed in that time frame, the area will need to be re-marked.
Answer from Allo: The main line in the easements and right of ways are buried between two and four feet deep and the fiber drop to the house or to the pedestal may vary between 12 to 18 inches in depth.
Answer from Allo: This is a temporary fiber drop. Our team will return soon to establish a permanent and less intrusive location for the cable. Weather can sometimes play a role in this process and if delays occur ALLO will notify you with an updated timeframe for permanent drop construction. If your fiber is installed during winter months when the ground is frozen, you may have a temporary drop until the spring. If your existing utilities are underground, ALLO will follow the same path.
Answer from Allo: The conduit ranges in size from ¾ inch to 2 inch, but our standard is ¾ inch.
Answer from Allo: We are placing pedestals in the easement in your yard. The pedestal, with weather permitting, is installed shortly after the ground is prepared so there is a fence placed around the hole for safety. The pedestal that is eventually placed here houses the equipment to provide service to several homes and businesses in your area. Our intent is to leave your property the way we found it.
During the design phase, the engineering team determines the most efficient way to provide service. They select the least intrusive intersecting rear property point as the general location for a pedestal which is often in the center of four property corners. From that point, the pedestal location is thoughtfully identified based on the following factors:
Answer from Allo: Marking sprinklers in advance of construction is certainly helpful but not mandatory.