No matter where we’re building a fiber network, certain questions get asked more often than others. On the top of the list, particularly in the winter and spring, is: when will you bury the TDS Fiber cable in my yard? The answer isn’t as simple as it may seem.

Mother Nature can be fickle

They say rain, snow nor the gloom of night won’t stop the mail—but these are all great reasons to not dig in yards. In fact, seasonal weather plays a key role in determining when we’re able to bury the cable that connects (or will connect) your home or business to the TDS network. This is because of two key facts:

  1. We can’t bury cable if the ground is frozen. Even if the snow has melted, the ground must be thawed a foot below the surface. Once it is, we can tuck the cable deep enough to be safe.
  2. We don’t want to bury cable if the ground is too wet. Our contractors will wait until they feel it’s sufficiently dry before doing work, minimizing the disturbance to green spaces.

Two facts, multiple scenarios

With those pesky weather facts under our belts, let’s explore some specific cable burying scenarios:

I registered for TDS Fiber service and the ground isn’t frozen, when will you come?
Construction of the network itself has to reach a certain point before cables can be placed. We may pre-bury your cable connection even before your service installation. You agreed to let us do this under the terms of your registration. That said, we email you before any work is done and you have the option to opt out if you wish. If you choose to not let us pre-bury a line, know it could take longer for your services to be installed when you’re ready and/or we will be unable to bury the cable during the winter months.

My TDS Fiber will be installed over the winter and the cable wasn’t pre-buried—now what?
In these situations, we will leave the cable on top of the frozen ground or snow if it’s safe to do so. Once the ground is thawed 12″ and dry enough, our contractor will determine when to bury the cable and call to inform you of the date and time. Then the contractor will come to your location to bury the cable for you. We target burying any cables left over from the winter by May 31.

It’s winter and TDS Fiber service is available in my neighborhood, but I was told I’d have to wait until spring to be installed—how come?
Occasionally, a customer’s location doesn’t allow us to leave a temporary cable until spring. For example, cables pose hazards on sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, or other frequently traveled areas. In these cases, we may need to push out your installation until conditions allow us to bury the cable immediately.

The snow has melted, when are you coming back?
Beyond the snow melting, the ground must be thawed a foot below the surface before our contractors can do their job. When the ground is thawed (12″) and sufficiently dry, our contractor will schedule a time and call to let you know when they’ll be burying the cable. Our goal is bury any cables left over from the winter by May 31.

I just got installed and it’s warm out so when are you coming back?
Our contractors who bury the cables create a schedule based on installation date and ground conditions. They’ll notify you when they’ll be returning, but generally it’s within a 10-14 days of your installation. (And of course, if it’s not warm out? See above—if the ground is still frozen, the cable will be left on the ground if it’s safe to do so until the ground thaws 12”.)

Be safe!

Until our contractors return to get that cable out of the way, please be careful. The cables are sturdy but not indestructible. Fiber-optic cable is made of glass and information is transmitted through beams of light which means there’s no risk of electrical shock—but you could lose service if it gets damaged by a lawn mower, shovel, or other yard equipment or tools. We want you to stay safe, your service to not be interrupted, and we appreciate your patience while we work to finish up your installation.

For more information about the TDS install process, please visit our FAQ site. We also have blogs about how we build fiber in your neighborhood as well as more FAQ.



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