About four years ago, city commissioners in the community of Chanute, Kansas, stepped back from plans to finance a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) project. At the time, newly elected city leaders decided not to pursue the project, but Chanute once again has fiber on their list of priorities. Late in June, the current city commission voted 3 - 1 to deploy FTTH in two neighborhoods.
Requested by Residents
Residents from the Hillside/Sunset subdivisions and the neighborhood between 7th and 14th streets approached the city and asked to be connected. The pilot areas will include approximately 344 premises; city staff estimate connecting them will cost approximately $550,000. The vote in June authorized the city to spend idle funds from the electric utility with an expected payback within three year years.
Subscribers will pay $75 per month for gigabit connectivity, authorized by vote at the same meeting. The city will offer month-to-month service and will charge $135 to reconnect if a subscriber cancels but wants to sign up again later.
AT&T offers DSL in most of the city and CableOne has offered cable Internet access in Chanute for years, but residents are increasingly looking for the speed and reliability of fiber connectivity.
Fiber in Chanute
We wrote about Chanute’s investment in fiber connectivity and complementary fixed wireless for local businesses, schools, and municipal facilities back in 2013 in our report, "Chanute's Gig: One Rural Kansas Community's Tradition of Innovation Led to a Gigabit and Ubiquitous Wireless Coverage." The community was able to develop their gigabit network, which began with as a way to improve utility operations, with no bonding or borrowing.
After their network helped bring jobs and community savings to the mostly rural community, they began to consider investing in fiber for every premise. The city commission approved the project and the state granted permission to bond for deployment, but after the election, city leaders who had run on stopping the project it on hold.
Learn more about their project by listening to Christopher interview John Lester, who now works in Clarksville, Arkansas, and the late Larry Gates, who were instrumental in bringing the network to Chanute. They joined him for episode 16 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast: