When Connecting to a Fiber Network

Most premise’s will have a standard overhead connection (an “aerial drop” of less than 400 feet) that runs from a utility pole to their house or business. However some may have a conduit (an underground pipe) to carry cables (electric, phone) along the path from the pole to their building.

If you believe you have usable conduit in place, wonderful, ValleyNet will inspect it during the site survey to ensure it is clear of breaks or debris and has a functioning pull string.


If you need conduit or a pull string installed to your home/business, the following contractors have expressed an interest in performing underground work. ValleyNet is providing this list as a convenience to premises owners. It is not a list of “recommended contractors” and so ValleyNet makes no representation about the capability, quality or pricing of these contractors. It is the building owner’s responsibility to ensure all work is performed in accordance with our specifications. You can download the list along with our underground specifications here.

As always, if you or your selected contractor have any questions, please call our office at (802)587-5037.

When Conduit is required to connect fiber to the home:

  • ValleyNet follows the existing utilities to a structure, and if those utilities are underground, conduit must be installed to accommodate the drop fiber from the utility pole to the building. The National Safety Electrical Code provides that existing utilities set the precedent for installations of additional utilities, and ValleyNet’s policy is to follow that practice. We will not install fiber aerially if we are the only utility doing so. The drop fiber is not designed for this exposure, and experience shows us that when we have done so, damage from storms and other issues resulted in frequent repair and replacement such that customers eventually installed conduit instead.
  • Fiber cannot be collocated in a conduit that has power in it.
  • Fiber can be shared in conduit with phone, provided 1) the conduit is big enough to accommodate the addition of fiber (a 2” conduit can usually accommodate 2 lines); 2) a pull string is present that meets our specifications below; and 3) there are no pedestals along the conduit path owned by other utilities.
  • ValleyNet cannot and will not touch other utilities’ cables. We will not use an existing, even abandoned, cable to pull our fiber through an existing conduit. If a homeowner wishes to abandon an existing utility to make room for our fiber, they can use that utility cable to pull a string through, and then we will use that string to pull our cable through the conduit.

For Installation of Conduit where underground installation is required:

  • Whoever is doing the excavation work must first Premark the area and then call DIG SAFE! (811) It is the law.
  • Conduit should go from your utility pole to your house where the utilities boxes are located and follow the route of other underground utilities.
  • Conduit must be a minimum of 1.5″ diameter for distances under 300 feet. Anything longer than 300 feet 2″ diameter conduit should be installed. Conduit must be “schedule 40 electrical” (not water pipe), and use long sweeps (not 90-degree elbows or “L” shaped angles)
    • Fiber cannot be bent at harsh angles as it will cause a poor signal and will break.
    • If you have an extremely long run please call our office for further instructions.
  • Conduit over 400’ will require intermediate pull boxes or pedestals. Please call our office to discuss your specific circumstance before construction commences so we can ensure proper design and installation.
  • Conduit must come up at least 1.5’ – 2′ above grade at both the house and pole as well as secured to the pole and to house or backboard. Also, conduit on the pole side must come up in the same quadrant (same side of the pole) as existing services. Conduit on the house side MUST come up on the outside of the house.
  • Conduit should be trenched 18″-24″ deep. Install tracer wire (14-16 gauge coated on top of the conduit for Dig Safe and future location, as ValleyNet does not use “toneable” cable.
  • Conduit should have a 210-250lb tensile-strength pull string installed.
  • The pull string should extend about 2 feet beyond the ends of the conduit. Tie the pull string around the outside of the conduit and place an unglued cap over the ends of the conduit to prevent water from entering.
  • No weather heads please. There is too high a risk for fiber to break and interrupt service. Installing temporary (unglued) caps or plastic bags on ends is helpful to keep water out prior to installation. After fiber is installed, we will use a specialized putty to plug the conduit.

NOTE: It may be possible to get a pull string through your existing conduit by yourself. If you do so:

  • Shorter, newer, and wider conduits are the best for this.
  • Some people have used a shop vac and/or leaf blower. Here are some guidelines.
  • In shorter underground drops, rigid snakes can be used to install a pull string.


If you are a contractor who would like to be considered for this kind of work, please read through the specifications above and contact Info@Valley.net to express your interest.