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“We planned out our network so that we could avoid digging up streets or sidewalks, trying to install fiber (lines) on utility poles or through existing conduit instead,” the company said in an email. “We also planned our network to avoid going into people’s yards as much as possible.”

But the company said it often needs to dig in roads or the portion of yards in the public right of way.

“We ask our contractors to follow the Golden Rule and to treat streets, sidewalks and lawns as they’d want their own neighborhood to be treated,” the company said. “If we need to dig in a street, we patch up holes or trenches and repave the area. If we need to dig in a lawn, we replant grass seed. If we need to dig in a nice garden, we repay the homeowner for any plants we disturbed. If we need to trim trees, we work with professional arborists who know what they’re doing.”

Missouri Gas Energy said that it’s seen a 40 percent increase in damage to its lines in the last year. The company does not know how much of that spike stems from Google Fiber construction. Other telecommunications companies are also increasing the amount of fiber optic lines they’re burying in the market.

“As construction projects increase,” said company spokeswoman Jenny Gobble, “it’s logical that damage happens.”


Information from: The Kansas City Star,