High-speed fiber provides super-fast internet connection speeds. Its name comes from the use of thin glass cables, which allow for faster data transfer compared to the standard copper wires used in traditional connections. Providing publicly owned, open-access fiber connections in the downtown creates a competitive landscape for telecommunications, which has been shown to expand service options and lower prices for consumers. This project will provide telecommunications infrastructure to support the needs of our growing technology sector and other businesses in the downtown. In addition, the fiber project expands regional telecommunications infrastructure that will reduce costs and increase telecommunications speeds for Lane Community College, Lane County Government, the Lane Council of Governments, and the 4J and Bethel school districts. The fiber project would also lower the cost of telecommunications service for residential buildings in the service area, including three existing affordable housing projects. The initial service area is shown on the map below.
The total cost estimate is $4 million. The 2016 Downtown Urban Renewal Plan amendment makes fiber installation within the Downtown District an eligible project for urban renewal funds up to $3 million. Design engineering is underway to identify the final cost. Prior to authorizing urban renewal funds for the project, City Council, acting as the Agency Board will need to approve the spending through the budget process, which will include a public hearing. The city is pursuing federal grants and private party contributions.
The project will start during the fall of 2016 and is estimated to be completed within 18 months.
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