Fiber-optic firm nears restart date

In six Greenwood subdivisions, a high-speed Internet company has gone door-to-door to talk to residents, fill holes with dirt and reseed grass.

That work was required by the city after installation of Metronet fiber-optic cables caused damage to properties and workers struck two utility lines.

Nearly two months after work was stopped, the company is about halfway done with the city-ordered restoration work and hopes to soon get the OK to install more fiber-optic lines in neighborhoods across the city.

Metronet’s goal is to start work Oct. 1, but the city isn’t ready to give approval just yet.

In the past 50 days, Metronet has completed restoration in four subdivisions and plans to have two more completed by the beginning of next week, Metronet spokesman Steve Biggerstaff said. After the six subdivisions are finished, Metronet will restore yards in the Clearbrook Lakes and Featherstone subdivisions. Residents from those neighborhoods complained to the city in July when contractors were installing the cable, leaving piles of dirt and holes unfilled.

The restoration has been able to move faster in the past two weeks because Metronet has brought on contractors who are familiar with the work, Biggerstaff said.

“They have some work left to do,” City Engineer Mark Richards said. “They’ll be allowed to continue work when they’re ready and we are satisfied with their work. I think it’s a little too soon to tell.”

In August, the city of Greenwood pulled Metronet’s construction permits, halting the installation of fiber-optic cables throughout subdivisions on the city’s south side due to repeated utility strikes and complaints from homeowners. The high-speed Internet and television company already has installed fiber-optic lines throughout Franklin and in subdivisions in Whiteland.

In order for the company to have its permits reinstated in Greenwood, the city wanted to see complete restoration of yards that had piles of dirt or holes and grass reseeded where contractors dug.

Since then, completing those restorations and working with homeowners and the city have been his only priorities, Biggerstaff said.

Metronet officials fired contractors who hit utility lines, went door-to-door to hear concerns and complaints and vowed to correct their mistakes at recent city meetings.

“It’s been 24-7 restoration, and I’m very pleased with where we are,” Biggerstaff said. “We’ve made more progress in the last seven to 10 working days than we did in the last two months.”

The company has progressed more in the past two weeks because Metronet has a better idea of what the city wants to see, Biggerstaff said. He said restoration was going more smoothly because the newly hired crews were familiar with the project because they had done the same work in Whiteland and Franklin.

This week, the city board of works gave Richards the power to reinstate the company’s permits when he chooses to. Traditionally, Metronet would have had to come back in front of the board of works to request reinstatement.

Biggerstaff said he and Richards have been in contact almost every day.

“I think we have a better idea of what the city’s expectations are,” he said. “We’ll need to finish the restoration, but I have all the confidence in the world, absolutely, without a doubt.”

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Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.