The City of Bellevue has been receiving a few comments and questions regarding the installation of the infrastructure for Fastwyre Broadband in many neighborhoods throughout the Bellevue Community. Fastwyre has received permission from a vote of the Bellevue City Council and a permit from the Public Works Department to place a fiber optic network throughout the community. This project is being supervised and managed by eX2 Technology which has been hired as a subcontractor for Fastwyre. As with any construction project there will be some inconveniences as work progresses through your area and neighborhoods. Fastwyre has pledged to make every effort to install this fiber optic infrastructure with as little disruption as possible and to replace any damage to yards, sidewalks or sprinklers systems that have been created by this process.
After construction is completed, Bellevue residents will have multiple choices for high speed internet in their homes and businesses. The City of Bellevue has and will continue to work with residents and the representatives from Fastwyre to ensure that all of the requirements of the permit are being met. Fastwyre has agreed to increase their communication to Bellevue residents by ensuring that letters and door hangers are distributed to all affected neighborhoods. The City of Bellevue has agreed to help by prominently displaying these documents on our website and social media pages so more residents can have easy access to these documents and to Fastwyre representatives. We have also provided an interactive map of a timeline of when Fastwyre is expected to be conducting installation construction in your area which can be accessed here.
Additionally, the City Attorney’s Office has received a number of questions regarding the Right -of-Way and who is responsible for the cleanup after construction is completed. In an effort to provide as much information as possible here is a recap of the information regarding these Right-of-Way Questions from the Bellevue City Attorney’s Office:
Public right-of-way is property controlled by the City, which remains available for public travel and passage at all times. Examples of this are sidewalks, alleys, roadways, etc. Obstructions and encroachments on the public right-of-way are not permitted, unless licensed and permitted by the City in specific circumstances.
It will vary depending on the neighborhood, but typically within a residential neighborhood, the public right-of-way is a 12-13 feet wide strip of land from the homeowner’s property line to the back of curb.
In this situation, Fastwyre has a nonexclusive Franchise Agreement with the City, which authorizes them to erect, construct, operate, and maintain in, upon, along, across, above, over, and under the public rights-of-way in the City, any poles, wires, cable, underground conduits, manholes, and other conductors and fixtures necessary for the maintenance and operation of a Cable System.
This would be a specific circumstance in which a franchised telecommunication company is licensed to work and operate within the public right-of-way. Citizens should not be obstructing or halting any licensed and permitted utility/telecommunications company doing work in the right-of-way.
With this being said, Fastwyre has agreed to certain construction standards and restoration standards following their work in the right-of-way. Specifically from the Franchise Agreement (in relevant part):
System Construction: All transmission lines equipment and structures shall be so installed and located to cause minimum interference with the rights and reasonable convenience of property owners and at all times shall be kept and maintained in a safe adequate, and substantial condition, and in good order and repair.
Restoration of Public Ways: Fastwyre shall, at its own expense, restore any damage or disturbance caused to the public right of way as a result of its operation, construction, or maintenance of the Fiber System to at least the condition immediately prior to such damage or disturbance.
When it comes to restoration of the right-of-way, one thing that is important for residents to keep in mind is that Fastwyre must restore the right-of-way to its beginning state and fix any damage caused. Fastwyre will return and see to it that the grassed/landscaped areas are returned to their beginning state. Any potential damage to sprinkler systems, sidewalks, etc. will be inspected and fixed accordingly.
Fastwyre has provided a telephone number and contact information for citizens to report any damages or restoration issues. This information is included in the attached letter and door hanger. Citizens should contact Fastwyre first regarding these types of concerns, before contacting the City, as these issues would be Fastwyre’s responsibility.
At all stages, the City will hold Fastwyre to the agreed upon terms in the Franchise Agreement and will continue to work with both Fastwyre and the citizens to make this installation progress as smooth as possible.