Calling it a “game changer” for Springfield, City Utilities today announced a $120 million expansion of its SpringNet fiber optic network for businesses and residential customers.
The first phase of customer access to fast broadband service will be live in the spring or summer of 2020, with a build-out taking place in zones, with new high-speed cable beginning in the north part of town, according to CU General Manager Scott Miller.
CU will lease part of its SpringNet fiber optic network to CenturyLink LLC over 15 years, an arrangement that will cover much of the cost of the expansion and not require a rate increase for CU customers, according to Miller.
CU expects to complete the network expansion within three years, and the high-speed service will extend beyond Springfield city limits, to metro areas CU also serves.
“I’m so excited for our community,” Miller said. “I think this is a game-changer.”
Miller said the system will have extra capacity that could be leased to other internet providers or businesses needing high-speed internet access that fiber optic cable provides.
“If they want to talk to us, we’re open and available,” Miller said. “We needed an anchor tenant (CenturyLink) to allow us to say we could cover the cost of building this.”
How much will internet service through CenturyLink cost?
Chris Denzin, vice president of sales and marketing with CenturyLink, encouraged potential customers to check out the company’s website
According to the website, residential customers in other states can sign on with an introductory rate of $65 a month.
“Our current offering is price for life, so if you buy it you don’t have to worry about rate increases,” Denzin said. “Anticipating in the future, it will probably be very similar. The rates will be very similar when published.”
Denzin said CenturyLink is a global fiber optic internet provider and doesn’t typically change its rates based on the size of a metropolitan area it serves.
Denzin said there is no monthly data usage cap for residential customers.
“Use as much data as you want,” he said.
Even while the project is being built, Denzin said customers will be able to sign up in areas where fiber optic cable has been newly installed.
“We’ll be going zone by zone, neighborhood by neighborhood, in collaboration with City Utilities and SpringNet,” Denzin said. “You will find neighborhoods, probably every few weeks, getting access to fiber. We will certainly alert people. We’ll be providing notices. There shouldn’t be a single person in the entire city who does not know fiber is coming to their street.”
CU and CenturyLink believe new high-speed fiber optic internet access will benefit local businesses, people who want to work from home or do home-schooling with their children and online gaming communities.
SpringNet will extend about 1,000 miles of fiber optic cable through Springfield and CU’s metro service area, according to Miller. He described the SpringNet expansion as a major project in his career. Miller will be retiring this year, and a search for his replacement is ongoing.
“If you’re lucky you get to touch a couple of key projects that make a difference in your company,” he said. “But if you’re really lucky you get a chance to make a difference in your community. I think this is a difference maker. We are going to be connecting our citizens and our businesses to the world, and the world will be connected to our businesses and our citizens in the opposite direction.”
SpringNet, a division of City Utilities, was established in 1987 to provide internal communications to the utility and local municipal government facilities via fiber optic circuits. In 1997, SpringNet began delivering fiber optic broadband services to area businesses and today provides up to 40 Gbps Ethernet interface to over 600 local and nationwide customers.
“Access to reliable high-speed broadband services drives economic development and is essential to every community,” said Dean Thompson, City Utilities Associate General Manager for Economic Development and SpringNet.
“Working with private industry to make the best use of public infrastructure minimizes work in the rights-of-way and helps to ensure all areas of our community have access to affordable broadband choices.”
Currently, CU has 700 route miles of fiber optics deployed throughout the system with construction of the new network expected to begin this fall with work done by City Utilities contractors.
Read or Share this story: https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/2019/08/13/cus-springnet-high-speed-internet-coming-residential-customers/1995870001/
- [LLODO] Michigan state Dem pepper-sprayed, charged with DUI, resisting arrest, weapons possession: report
- [LLODO] Head of NYC’s posh Dalton School leaving at the end of 2021
- [LLODO] Chilling video captures moment a love triangle erupts in murder, revenge in NYC
- [LLODO] NYPD officers hit with Molotov cocktail and liquid chemical in face, police say
- [LLODO] California group files federal civil rights complaint over San Diego school district’s ‘racist’ teachings
- [LLODO] Podcast helped in hunt for 1996 killer of California student
- [LLODO] National weather forecast: Parts of Northeast could see more than a foot of snow
- [LLODO] Cuomo boasts he ‘invented’ NYS-scented hand sanitizer, faces no questions over scandals
- [LLODO] Teacher who decried NYC school’s ‘indoctrination’ put on remote work: ‘Feels like punishment’