Former WestStar GM Harry tapped for fiber-optics job | SierraSun.com
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Former WestStar GM Harry tapped for fiber-optics job

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

As the Truckee-Donner Public Utility District prepares for its induction into the world of fiber-optics, it has created a brand new position – director of telecommunications services.

Alan Harry started his first day of work for the district under that title on Tuesday.

“As Truckee-Donner PUD develops a telecommunications business, Alan will be in charge of that,” said Peter Holzmeister, TDPUD general manager. “He will be the department head to that business.”

Harry’s job as director of telecommunications services will help lead the district in implementing the fiber-optic network, for which construction may begin in October.

According to Holzmeister, Harry will help define what the telecommunications business is in Truckee, help find what the Truckee community wants and needs in terms of telecommunications services and help implement the whole business in Truckee.

“It’s exciting in that we get to build this from the bottom up,” Holzmeister said. “We’re basically starting a new business and it’s exciting. In a way, we’re going to be a part of the development of telecommunications in the U.S. We will help the Truckee community be a part of this.”

Harry brings to the job 12 years experience in the telecommunications business. He was the previous manager of WestStar Cable in Truckee and is a Truckee resident.

“He knows the Truckee community very well because he’s been here for years. He will be able to communicate well to the the business community as well as the residential community,” Holzmeister said.

Harry said his initial job will be to get a fiber backbone deployed throughout the district’s service area that will be able to provide numerous telecommunications services.

“The potential is fabulous for the community,” Harry said. “Telecommunications is the future and fiber is the way to deliver it. We’re going to install the fiber in Truckee.”

The utility district is already being contacted on a daily basis by companies throughout the United States that would like to offer a variety of services, including telephone, cable and Internet services, said Harry. The district may also be able to offer classes via fiber lines, he said.

“I am in the dream stage,” Harry said. “My job is to prepare a plan of what we can do, a business plan of how we can do all these different things that are available through fiber and implement the plan in our community.”

The ultimate plan is to provide a range of services that are available in urban areas in Truckee, he said. He plans on surveying the both the business and residential communities to find out what their needs are.

The design of the fiber-optic network will be finalized within a week and poles are currently being mapped by PUD crews.

“If all goes smoothly and the board approves everything, we should be able to provide services by the end of the second quarter or beginning of the third quarter of next year,” Harry said. “We’re on a fast moving train.”

Holzmeister said he selected Harry for the job after talking with several different people about the position, and that Harry brought the most knowledge of the telecommunications business to the TDPUD.

The board of directors approved a salary range of $63,000 to $73,000 and Holzmeister said he hired him on close to the top of that range.

Two weeks ago, the board of directors officially approved the $1.3 million fiber-optic cable network project. Plans for the project have been discussed jointly with USA Media, which will lease a portion of the network from the PUD.

Staff members will present a funding plan to the board at its Sept. 15 meeting at 7 p.m. at the PUD office building.


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