Call 811 Before you Dig

  • Date: September 10, 2018
  • Author: Kent Schimke - Operations Manager

In previous blogs I have written about fiber optics, Bob Johnson has written about fiber optics. I am going to write about fiber optics but not about how it works or what advantages fiber optics brings to DRNs members, but how to protect the fiber optics that are in fact the largest asset to DRN and its members.

The fall season is upon us and most have wrapped up or are getting close to wrapping up projects that require excavation. But for those that haven’t or may want a jump start for spring work, please make sure to call 811 and request the underground utilities to be located before you dig.

Calling 811 before you dig, drive a post, or even deep till a new garden spot will not only help protect the cooperatives’ fiber but also helps to keep everyone safe. Even though cutting a fiber optic cable won’t typically harm anyone physically, it still takes time to repair and costs a substantial amount of money to do so. Many of the fiber cuts impact several subscribers including cellular subscribers because DRNs fiber optics are the cables that feed the cellular tower. There are many different utilities buried near each other and if 811 isn’t called, the cables, waterlines, or gas pipelines that are not located could cause physical harm if hit during digging. As I stated before, cutting a fiber optic cable won’t harm anyone physically but cutting an underground power or gas pipeline could prove to be fatal.

Please remember that as cooperative members you have ownership in the fiber optics and it is our/your greatest asset relative to the cooperative, your help protecting that asset by calling 811 before you dig is very much appreciated. Remember to call 811 or visit to request a locate before you dig, it is FREE and it is the law. Please be safe and enjoy the beautiful North Dakota fall season!