SAN ANGELO, Texas — In January 2022 San Angelo was informed that fiber-optic technology had made its way to town. Since then, residents may have noticed several areas of construction, breaks in water pipes, and holes throughout the city.

Currently, three companies are installing fiber in San Angelo — Frontier Communications, Vexus Fiber and Conterra Networks— however, other companies and subcontractors will also install it.

The City of San Angelo said in January they are not involved in the installation of fiber and can not address damages to private property because of fiber installation since the area being worked on is defined as a public right of way — (the area on, below or above a public roadway, highway, street, public sidewalk, alley, waterway or utility easement in which the municipality has an interest.) These companies have a franchise from the state of Texas which permits them to install in those areas. In the case of damages to private property, each company has a dedicated contact to address it which is listed below.

What about damages to city property?

On November 10, 2022, a water main was damaged on Palo Duro Dr. It was observed by CVHP staff that the break caused the roadway to crack in the middle, causing the road to buckle with the water flowing underneath it. Maintenance on the scene said that damages such as this could happen once to twice every week.

The City Director of Operations, Patrick Frerich, told CVHP staff that damages done to city water lines are repaired by the city’s Water Distribution Department. The city’s Street and Bridge Department then makes any repairs to the roadway, curbing, and other above-ground infrastructure. All costs associated with the repairs are recovered from the fiber company. This includes the city employees’ time, materials, equipment, loss of water, or any additional expense such as paving.

The fiber company isn’t always the one financially responsible for the damages, according to Stacy Elms, Vice President of the Housley Group — one of the companies installing the fiber. In the event a line was not marked accurately or not marked at all, Elms says the city would absorb those costs.

“I want to defend the City of San Angelo by saying they have a lot of old water infrastructure and no maps exist that show them where the lines are,” said Elms, “Sometimes because of the material used, the lines can’t be located even though there may be a map.”

Both the city and Housley work closely together to address any damages made to city facilities and each month the city generates an invoice for damages they believe the fiber company was responsible for and it is reviewed until a mutual agreement is made.

For questions about damage done to private property:

Frontier: Steve Cortese at steve.cortese@FTR.com or 325-249-5458 or Andy Crenshaw at andy.g.crenshaw@ftr.com or 214-425-9008.

Vexus Fiber: Barry Rackler at 806-789-2999 or barry.rackler@vexusfiber.com.

Conterra Networks: Nathan Chessher at 325-430-3739 or nchessher@conterra.com.