DeRidder mayor says conversations with fiber company ‘productive’

Internet at the expense of the Deridder’s water system
Internet at the expense of the Deridder’s water system
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 6:03 PM CDT
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DeRidder, LA (KPLC) - After several water main breaks by contractors laying fiber cable in DeRidder, officials with the city and Fastwyre Broadband met Tuesday.

Mayor Misty Clanton, who pulled permits for the project on Monday, said the discussions “were productive and will be beneficial for everyone.”

A broken water main on Friday caused a citywide water outage. On Monday, two more lines were hit.

Clanton said she appreciates the commitment Fastwyre, formerly Cameron Communications, is making in laying a fiber network, but, thus far, “the rollout has not met our expectations.”

“(Tuesday) resulted in a complete reset of this project and all contractors associated,” Clanton said. “A list of past deficiencies in construction practices have been outlined and an action plan moving forward has been presented.”

Fastwyre Chief Operating Officer George Mack said the company took responsibility for the “unexpected water main breaks caused by V1 Fiber, a professional contracting firm we have aligned with to support the project.”

“Fastwyre Broadband and V1 Fiber have set forth a plan of action with revised processes to ensure this does not happen again,” he said.

Clanton said she believed that the situation can be turned around.

“I can report to you that better drilling practices, more quality control, more supervision, better communication and weekly pre-construction meetings and reporting to city officials were requested by the city and those requests were met without objection,” she said.

“Without a doubt, I am hopeful that Fastwyre Broadband will become a key player in our community and in your homes for many years to come. I look forward to the continued partnership with them to bring positive results to you all.”