Municipal FTTH Networks

map of citywide muni ftth

This is a list of citywide, municipal, Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks across the United States. Our Community Networks Map offers an interactive look at the many ways communities have improved Internet access with smart local investments. These communities have some of the best connectivity you can find in the entire country -- supporting strong local economies and a high quality of life to ensure they can thrive.

This list is ordered by state and includes information on any legal barriers to municipal networks.

Jump to a State With a FTTH Community Network

Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming

 

The criteria for networks to be featured on this page:

  • The network must cover at least 80% of a city.
  • A local government (city, town, or county) owns the infrastructure.
  • It is a Fiber-to-the-Home network.
  • It is in the United States.

The top residential speed listed is the highest residential speed found in advertising/promotional materials. Fiber networks are scalable: these networks may be able to offer higher speeds than what is listed here.

Please contact H. Trostle at htrostle@ilsr.org to suggest additions or corrections to this page.

Map last updated: 1/1/2017

Page last updated: 2/6/2017

 


Alabama

Alabama has a variety of restrictions imposed on municipalities to prevent investment in community broadband networks. Among other barriers, it requires a referendum before offering cable services and requires each communications service (Internet access, voice, and video), to be self-sustaining, in isolation from the others.

See Alabama Code § 11-50B-1 et seq.


Opelika Logo

Opelika Power Services

Communities Served: Opelika, Alabama

More than 100 years ago, the town of Opelika purchased their private electric utility. Today, Opelika Power Services has a citywide FTTH network that serves as a smart grid to the electric system. In 2010, townsfolk approved revenue bonds to fund the $41 million project. The network now offers voice, video, and Internet services to residents. About 3,000 households subscribe to Internet services on the network (as of September 2016). To learn more about the network, check out Community Broadband Bits Episode 40.

  • Year: 2013
  • Population: 26,000 (about 11,000 households)
  • Cost: $41 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: The electric utility, Opelika Power Services
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical 
  • Provider’s Website: OpelikaPower.com
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Opelika

 

logo loma linda

Loma Linda Connected Community Program

Communities Served: Loma Linda, California

Loma Linda has 23,000 residents and is a center of healthcare services. The city is home to five hospitals and a healthcare-focused graduate university with 15,000 students. Up to 100,000 visitors come into the town each day. In the mid-2000s, local officials began to consider how to increase connectivity. They created the Loma Linda Connected Community Program (LLCCP). It is both a growing network and a series of policies mandating fiber optics and wiring in new construction projects. As of 2014, many of the businesses and over 1,600 residences have connected to the network.

  • Year: 2005
  • Population: 23,000 (about 9,000 households)
  • Cost: around $8 million
  • Funding Method: in part, requirements for private developers to include fiber optics and wiring in new construction projects
  • Governance: Information Systems Department, under the City Manager
  • Services: Internet access
  • Top Residential Speed: 15 Mbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: LomaLinda-ca.gov/asp/site/LLCCP
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Loma Linda

 

Vernon California logo

Vernon Gas & Electric Department Fiber Optic Division

Vernon, CA

Vernon is the smallest incorporated city in the state of California. Describing itself as "exclusively industrial," the city is home to over 1,800 businesses that employ 50,000 people from surrounding communities. The residential population is only 112 in 31 existing households. The fiber network offers these few residents an opportunity to connect.

  • Year: 2013
  • Population: 112
  • Cost: Unknown
  • Governance: the electric utility, Vernon Gas & Electric
  • Services: Internet access
  • Top Residential Speed: Unknown
  • Provider's Website: Vernon Gas & Electric
  • MuniNetworks' Coverage: Vernon

 


Colorado

Unless incumbents refuse to provide the requested service, municipalities must have a referendum to offer services. This barrier is often referred to as S.B. 152, and passing a referendum is effectively opting-out of the state law.

See Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 29-27-201 et seq.


nextlight Logo

NextLight

Communities Served: Longmont, Colorado

Home to almost 90,000 people, Longmont took advantage of its previous fiber assets to expand services to residents. In 2009, residents first attempted to pass the referendum to lift the state restrictions on municipally-provided Internet service. Although this first attempt failed, the residents did not give up. In 2011 they passed the referendum, successfully reclaiming their local authority. The city utility department built up a network offering speeds of up to one Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) to residents and businesses. As of September 2016, areas with FTTH have a take rate of 56 percent. Now the network, known as NextLight, supports the local school district’s digital learning initiatives, ensuring that all students and teachers have access to technology. We’ve featured Longmont several times on the Community Broadband Bits Podcast in Episode 106, Episode 161, and Episode 186.

  • Year: 2014
  • Population: 90,000
  • Cost: $45.3 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: The electric utility, Longmont Power & Communications
  • Services: Internet access, voice
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: NextLight Website 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Longmont 

 

rio blanco county seal

Rio Blanco County Network

Communities Served: Rangely, CO; Meeker, CO

In 2014, more than 80 percent of Rio Blanco County residents voted to restore local control in a referendum on SB 152, the state’s restriction on municipal networks. The county built a fiber-to-the-home network throughout the towns of Meeker and Rangley, where most residents live. The county deployed fixed wireless to residents who live in more remote areas. To learn more, listen to an interview with the county IT director, Blake Mobley, in Episode #158 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.

  • Year: 2016
  • Population: 4,571
  • Cost: About $13 million
  • Funding Method:  small matching grants from Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA),  local Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) contributions, internal county funds
  • Governance: Rio Blanco County
  • Services: Internet access
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: Colorado Fiber Community
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Rio Blanco County

 

dalton Logo

OptiLink

Communities Served: Dalton, Georgia

The city of Dalton is known for its carpet manufacturing and its long-running FTTH network. Starting in the early 2000s, the city created a telecommunications division. By 2003, OptiLink was up and running, delivering voice, video, and Internet access to residents. The great recession, however, hit Dalton hard -- the city had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Now, the “Carpet Capital” is diversifying its industries and reinventing itself for the 21st century.

  • Year: 2003
  • Population: 33,500
  • Cost: $33 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Dalton Utilities
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 100 Mbps/10 Mbps
  • Provider’s Website: dutil.com/OptiLink
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Dalton 

 

logo iVue bellevue ia

iVue

Communities Served: Bellevue, Iowa

While other communities built fiber networks for better Internet access, Bellevue had a different plan. The community wanted to stay in the video business; they had owned an older cable system for a long time previously. Video quality, however, was deteriorating and soon everything was going to be pushed to digital. In the early 1990s, Bellevue began to invest in the future - scalable fiber technology for every home to provide video services. Now the town of 2,000 people has high-quality video and excellent Internet service. For more information, check out the Bellevue Economic and Tourism Association’s video on the history of the fiber optic system.

  • Year: 2009 (FTTH); 1992 (fiber)
  • Population: 2,000
  • Cost: Unknown
  • Funding Method: Unknown
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Bellevue Municipal Utilities
  • Services: Internet access, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 25 Mbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: BellevueIA.gov
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: N/A

 

cedar falls Logo

Cedar Falls Utilities

Communities Served: Cedar Falls, Iowa

One of the more famous networks, Cedar Falls Utilities’ long-standing municipal network earned a presidential visit in early 2015.  Cedar Falls started with a hybrid-fiber coaxial (HFC) network. Launched in 1996, the service brought affordable, reliable, fast Internet service to the town of 34,000 people. In 2011, Cedar Falls overbuilt the network with high-capacity fiber in order to improve the service - and provide gigabit speeds. In 2013, representatives from Cedar Falls Utilities joined us for Episode 75 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast.

  • Year: 2011 (FTTH); 1995 (fiber)
  • Population: 34,000
  • Cost: $19.3 million ($17 million, overbuild; $2.3 million, expansion)
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds and Rural Utilities Service funds
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Cedar Falls Utilities
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps/500 Mbps
  • Provider’s Website: CFU.net/tv-internet/internet-service-info 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Cedar Falls 

 

lenox Logo

Lenox Municipal Utilities

Communities Served: Lenox, Iowa

In the southwest corner of Iowa, the small town of Lenox offers residents and business a fiber network for all their connectivity needs. The network features triple-play of video, voice, and Internet services.

  • Year: 2010
  • Population: 1,400
  • Cost: $1.5 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue Bonds
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video 
  • Top Residential Speed: 50 Mbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: LenoxUtilities.com 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Lenox

 

spencer Logo

Spencer Municipal Utilities

Communities Served: Spencer, Iowa

Spencer, population 11,000, is located in the northwest section of the state. Since 2000, the municipal utilities department has supplied water, electric, video, telephone and Internet services. The addition of telecommunications came when townsfolk realized Internet access would improve their community. At first, they used a coax network, but they built a fiber network in 2013. Local businesses, such as Hansen's Clothing, benefit from the better connectivity.

  • Year: 2013 (FTTH); 2000 (hybrid fiber-coax)
  • Population: 11,000
  • Cost: About $6.5 million
  • Funding Method: Savings
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Spencer Municipal Utilities
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps Symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: SMUnet.net/
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Spencer 

 

Waverly Utilities Logo

Connect Waverly

Communities Served: Waverly, IA

In the early 1990s, Waverly installed fiber to monitor the electric system. Dark Fiber for businesses, schools, and libraries. In 2000, the residents of Waverly, Iowa, voted in a referendum to build a citywide high-speed network. They spent years planning the network before moving forward in 2013 with the creation of a communications division. Now, the Fiber-to-the-Home network is fully operational and more than 1,000 people have signed up for the service. To learn more about the history of the network, check out Community Broadband Bits Podcast Episode 53.

  • Year: 2016
  • Population: 10,000
  • Cost: About $14 million
  • Funding Method:  5 million in revenue bonds, 7 million in bank financing, 2 million interdepartmental loan
  • Governance: The electric utility, Waverly Utilities
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: ConnectWaverly.com
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Waverly

 

logo highland il

Highland Communication Services

Communities Served: Highland, Illinois

Highland is home to 10,000 people and Illinois’ first citywide municipal FTTH network. The idea to invest in advanced connectivity took off with overwhelming popular support. In a series of three referendums, the community began the process to build a fiber network. During the last referendum on the matter, in April of 2009, 75 percent voted to move forward the FTTH project using revenue bonds. 

  • Year: 2010
  • Population: 10,000
  • Cost: $9 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: Three member Telecommunications Advisory Board
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: HighlandCommunicationServices.com 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Highland

 

auburn Logo

Auburn Essential Services

Communities Served: Auburn, Indiana

1985 was the year of the first “Back to the Future”, but for one small town in Indiana it was the year they entered the future - deploying municipal fiber. The network, originally intended to improve the electric system, quickly grew. By 2001, Auburn, Indiana, started exploring ways to provide Internet service. In mid-2006, they crafted a phased approach, each section of the built network would fund the next section. Within the first few months of operation, the network had a take-rate from homes and businesses of around 30%. The network kept jobs in the community as it became a key aspect of maintaining Cooper Standard (an automotive parts manufacturer) in the town. Listen to episode 77 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast to learn more.

  • Year: 2007
  • Population: 12,000
  • Cost: $12 million
  • Funding Method: Savings through incremental approach
  • Governance: The municipal electric utility, Auburn Electric
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 100 Mbps/25Mbps
  • Provider’s Website: AuburnEssentialServices.net 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Auburn

 

 

logo Russellville EPB

Russellville EPB SmartNet

Communities Served: Russellville, Kentucky

The community of 7,000 is the seat of Logan County and centrally located near Nashville and Clarksville. To encourage a versatile economy, Russellville's Electric Plant Board (EPB) invested in telecommunications. In 2005, EPB began to offer wireless Internet service to the community and started to build a fiber network by 2010. Russellville EPB General Manager Robert White describes the community's approach in Episode 82 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.

  • Year: 2010
  • Population: 7,000
  • Cost: $11 million
  • Funding Method: Build America Bonds, backed by electric system revenue
  • Governance: The electric utility, Russellville Electric Plant Board
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps/500 Mbps
  • Provider’s Website: EPBnet.com
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Russellville

Louisiana

Louisiana requires a referendum as well as imputing a variety of costs and renders incumbent franchise obligations void until a variety of benchmarks are satisfied. 

See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 45:884.41 et seq.


LUSfiber Logo

LUSFiber

Communities Served: Lafayette, Louisiana

In June 2005, voters in Lafayette took to the polls to demand better connectivity. Although LUS Fiber has contended with lawsuits, delays, restrictive state laws, and criticisms, the network has made a positive impact. In Fall 2014, three high tech companies committed to bringing approximately 1,300 new jobs to the "Silicon Bayou" thanks to the presence of the network and the University of Louisiana's local top-ranked computer science program. In April 2015, Standard & Poor gave LUS Fiber an A+ bond rating. LUS Director Terry Huval speaks to the success of Lafayette in Community Broadband Bits Episode 144. For more information, check out the 2012 ILSR report Broadband at the Speed of Light and Correcting Community Fiber Fallacies: Attacks on LUS Fiber.

  • Year: 2009
  • Population: 124,000
  • Cost: $160 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Lafayette Utilities System
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 2 Gbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: LUSfiber.com 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Lafayette

 

auburn Logo

Concord Light Broadband

Communities Served: Concord, Massachusetts

In 2003, frustrated with their Internet service providers, the townspeople of Concord voted to pursue other options. Over the years, they built up an Institutional Network, and then they created a pilot project for residential service in 2014. Now, the network is citywide and serving both the needs of the local government and the people. 

  • Year: 2014
  • Population: 20,000
  • Cost: $4 million
  • Funding Method: Bond anticipation notes
  • Governance: The electric utility, the Concord Municipal Light Plant
  • Services: Internet access
  • Top Residential Speed: 200 Mbps symmetrical
  • Concord Light Broadband Website: ConcordNet.org
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Concord

 

leverett Logo

LeverettNet

Communities Served: Leverett, Massachusetts

This small town has some of the fastest speed in the nation. Between 2011 and 2013, they built a municipal fiber network, LeverettNet. Now it serves 650 of the 800 households. Residents approved a bond to construct the network. The bond will be repaid with revenues from the network and a modest tax increase. For more information, check out Episode 113 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast with Peter d'Errico, a member of Leverett’s Select Board.

  • Year: 2015
  • Population: 1,800
  • Cost: $3.6 million
  • Funding Method: General obligation bond
  • Governance: The electric utility, the Leverett Municipal Light Plant
  • Services: Internet access, voice
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: LMLP.LeverettNet.net 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Leverett 

 


Michigan

Michigan requires communities to issue an RFP for a network and only build if they receive fewer than 3 qualified bids. If the community builds it, they must adhere to the terms of the RFP.

See Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 484.2252


sebewaing Logo

Sebewaing Light & Power

Communities Served: Sebewaing, Michigan

Although known for its sugar beet farms, the Village of Sebewaing also has a gigabit fiber network. In the early 2000s, the village installed a fiber loop, connecting public anchor institutions. By the 2010s, the business community clamored for more options and better service. Sebewaing issued a Request For Proposals from current providers in 2013. Receiving few responses, Sebewaing decided to move forward on its own. The village’s utility, Sebewaing Light and Water, deployed 90% of the fiber aerially on utility poles. Thanks to the electric and water utility’s expertise, the city took on no new debt to bring about the network.  For more information, check out the interview with Sebewaing Light and Water’s Superintendent Melanie McCoy on Community Broadband Bits Episode 126.

  • Year: 2014
  • Population: 1,800
  • Cost: about $2 million
  • Funding Method: Capital reserve savings
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Sebewaing Light and Water
  • Services: Internet access, voice
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps/100 Mbps
  • Sebewaing Light & Water’s Website: SLandW.com
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Sebewaing

 


Minnesota

Minnesota requires a super majority (65%) referendum to own or operate a "telephone exchange."

See Minn. Stat. Ann. § 237.19


monticello Logo

Monticello Fibernet

Communities Served: Monticello, Minnesota

Located 40 miles outside Minneapolis, Monticello had slow Internet access via DSL and Dial-Up. Now, the community sports two fiber networks: one from the city and one from an incumbent provider. This rare turn of events came about when Monticello’s community took matters into their own hands and began to prepare to build the Fibernet in 2008 even though the city does not have a municipal electric utility. The incumbent Internet service providers were not happy and engaged in a price-war. One even sued the city to delay the municipal network while they built their own fiber network to compete. This put financial stress onto Monticello, but the situation brought about widespread connectivity and affordable prices (the original goals of the Fibernet). We estimated the aggregate savings to the community at about $10 million in our 2014 report, All Hands on Deck.

  • Year: 2010
  • Population: 13,000
  • Cost: $10 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds; settled in court
  • Governance: Fibernet Advisory Board
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Monticello Fibernet Website: FibernetMonticello.com 
  • Muninetworks’ Coverage: Monticello 

 

SMBS Logo

Southwest Minnesota Broadband Systems (SMBS)

Communities Served: Jackson, Lakefield, Round Lake, Bingham Lake, Brewster, Wilder, Heron Lake, Okabena

In 2011, Southwest Minnesota Broadband Systems, a collaboration of several rural communities in Southwest Minnesota, brought Internet service to its first customer. Enabled by broadband stimulus funding that extended the reach of Windom's municipal network, SMBS provides FTTH technology to even the most rural members of the community. By September 2012, the network stretches 181-mile network, and the reliable, affordable connectivity is even better than many Minnesota metro areas. For more information, check out Community Broadband Bits Episode 64 and the 2014 report All Hands on Deck.

  • Year: 2011
  • Population: 3,600 residences
  • Cost: $12.8 million
  • Funding Method: Broadband Initiatives Program funding from Rural Utilities Services
  • Governance: Board with representatives from the municipalities
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 100 Mbps/50 Mbps
  • SMBS Website: mySMBS.com 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services 

 

WindomNet Logo

WindomNet

Communities Served: Windom, Minnesota

The first city in Minnesota with a citywide FTTH network, Windom's journey begins in the 1990s. The community faced poor connectivity and few options. In 1999, they took a vote on whether to pursue a municipal network, but the measure failed. Then, the incumbent Internet service provider skipped over Windom when announcing DSL availability in southwest Minnesota. Frustrated, the townspeople went back to the polls in 2000, deciding to consider a municipal network. They settled on FTTH and began construction in 2004. In 2007, Windom began to collaborate with the eight other communities that would form Southwest Minnesota Broadband Systems. For more information, check out Community Broadband Bits Episode 64 and the 2014 report All Hands on Deck.

  • Year: 2005
  • Population: 4,600
  • Cost: About $10 - $12 million
  • Funding Method: Mainly revenue bonds, refinanced with general obligation bonds
  • Governance: The electric utility, Windom Municipal Utilities
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 60Mbps symmetrical
  • WindomNet Website: WindomNet.com
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Windom 

 


Missouri

Missouri cities and counties are barred from selling telecommunications services to the public though "Internet-type" services are exempted.

See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 392.410(7)


linkcity Logo

liNKCity

Communities Served: North Kansas City, Missouri

The City of North Kansas City, Missouri started liNKCity in 2006. It was the first municipally-owned fiber network in Missouri. The city funded the network construction through a gaming fund that comes from tax revenue paid by the city’s Harrah’s Casino. In 2014, the city agreed to a 10-year lease agreement to create a public private partnership with DataShack to allow the company to perform operations and maintenance of the city’s fiber network. The network provides free gigabit Internet service to the public library and all city government facilities, churches, and public schools. Residents can also get free Internet service with one-time connection fee of $300. For more information, check out Community Broadband Bits Episode 157.

  • Year: 2006
  • Population: 4,500
  • Cost: $10.5 million
  • Funding Method: Tax revenue from gaming fund
  • Governance: DataShack operates the network
  • Services: Internet access
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • liNKCity Website: LinkCity.org
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: North Kansas City

 

logo Marshall Mo

Marshall Municipal Utilities

Communities Served: Marshall, Missouri

The townspeople of Marshall needed better connectivity than what the incumbent provider would invest in, so the town went ahead on their own. In 2002, the Marshall Board of Public Works established the Internet department to provide Internet service as another municipal utility. They began to build their citywide fiber network in 2005. Most of the cables are deployed aerially throughout the town on utility poles, but residents can also request underground builds.

  • Year: 2002
  • Population: 13,000
  • Cost: Unknown
  • Funding Method: Unknown
  • Governance: Board of Public Works
  • Services: Internet access
  • Top Residential Speed: 90 Mbps/45 Mbps
  • Website: MMUmo.net/internet.php 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: N/A

 


North Carolina

With the exception of certain grandfathered networks, cities cannot provide communications services unless they comply with numerous onerous procedural and substantive requirements. For example, public entities must comply with a panoply of legal requirements that do not apply to them, inflate their rates to unattractive levels by adding phantom costs that unspecified private providers might pay if they provided comparable services, forgo use of popular methods of financing public projects, hold a referendum before providing services, and make commercially sensitive information available to inspection by private competitors.

See NC Statutes Chapter 160A, Article 16A [PDF]


green light Logo

Greenlight

Communities Served: Wilson, North Carolina; Pinetops, North Carolina

The City of Wilson owns and operates the Greenlight municipal fiber network. The city built the network in 2006 after two private Internet Service Providers refused to improve their poor services. Partially because of the success of the Greenlight network, the State of North Carolina passed a law -- at the urging of telecommunications lobbyists -- to restrict local governments from following Wilson's lead. Today the Greenlight network stands out in North Carolina as one of the few networks to offer gigabit speeds (along with voice and video services) to community anchor institutions, businesses, and residential homes. We have featured Wilson in our 2016 North Carolina Connectivity Report, our 2013 The Empire Lobbies Back Report, and our 2012 Carolina's Connected Community report. Our Community Broadband Bits Podcast has discussedsmall businesses on the network and the history of the network.

  • Year: 2008
  • Population: 50,000
  • Cost: $33 million
  • Funding Method: Certificates of Participation from the City of Wilson
  • Governance: Greenlight is its own department
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Greenlight Website: GreenlightNC.com
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Wilson

 

fibrant Logo

Fibrant

Communities Served: Salisbury, North Carolina

The City of Salisbury began to investigate the idea of a municipal fiber network in 2005. After gaining public support for the project, the city issued revenue bonds, built the Fibrant network, and began deploying services in November 2008. The network now provides Internet access to all of the homes, businesses, and government facilities in the city of Salisbury. In 2015, Salisbury announced it would be the first city in the United States to offer 10 gigabit Internet service to all of its customers. Learn more in Episode 168 of our Community Broadband Bits podcast.

  • Year: 2010
  • Population: 33,500
  • Cost: $29 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: Fibrant is its own department
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 10 Gbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: Fibrant.Solutions
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Salisbury

Nevada

Nevada prohibits municipalities with populations greater than 25,000 and counties greater than 50,000 from offering telecommunications services.

See Nevada Statutes § 268.086 and Nevada Statutes § 710.147


seal churchill county nevada

CC Communications

Communities Served: Churchill County, Nevada

“Big enough to deliver, small enough to care” is the motto of this county-owned telecommunications provider in western Nevada. In 1889, CC Communications began as a telegraph company in Churchill County and overtime became the first and only county-owned telephone company in the country. In 2000, the organization became CC Communications to reflect their emerging role as a telecommunications provider. By 2011, CC Communications provided FTTH to 80% of the residents in the 5,000 square mile county. Now, CC Communications offers gigabit connectivity to large, public institutions in the region. Find more information about the network in Community Broadband Bits Episode 204.

  • Year: 2007
  • Population: 24,000
  • Cost: $40 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue fund enterprise
  • Governance: CC Communications Board
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps/100 Mbps 
  • CC Communications’ Website: CCComm.Info
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Churchill Communications

 

logo sallisaw ok

DiamondNet

Communities Served: Sallisaw, Oklahoma

In 2004, the city built a FTTH network, deploying fiber both on utility poles and underground. It is Oklahoma’s first triple-play municipal fiber network offering video, telephone, and Internet services throughout the small town. For more information, check out Community Broadband Bits Episode 144 where Chris interviews Assistant City Manager Keith Skelton.

  • Year: 2005
  • Population: 9,000
  • Cost: $7.5 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: Sallisaw Municipal Authority
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 40 Mbps symmetrical
  • Provider’s Website: DiamondnetOK.com 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Sallisaw 

 

Sandy Seal

SandyNet

Communities Served: Sandy, Oregon

Sandy is the “Gateway to Mount Hood,” 25 miles east of Portland. With incumbent providers not providing for the community’s needs, the city decided to build its own network. Starting from scratch without an electric utility, the people originally built a citywide Wi-Fi network. Now, the city has one of the most advanced, affordable gigabit fiber networks in the nation. For more information, check out the video “Gig City Sandy: Home of the $60 Gig”, the report SandyNet Goes Gig: A Model for Anytown USA, and Community Broadband Bits Podcast Episode 167

  • Year: 2014
  • Population: 10,000
  • Cost: $7.5 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: SandyNet is its own department
  • Services: Internet access, voice
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • SandyNet Website: ci.sandy.or.us/SandyNet
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Sandy

 

logo MiNet OR

MINET

Communities Served: Independence, Oregon; Monmouth, Oregon

Monmouth and Independence are two cities about 15 miles southwest of Salem. Together, they have about 20,000 people. Until 2005, their options for Internet access were limited to mostly dial-up. That changed when the towns came together under Oregon Revised Statute 190 to establish MINET. It’s a FTTH network that is available to every home and business in the two cities. The network offers triple-play: video, phone, and Internet services. MINET doesn’t use tax dollars, just user fees, because the project was funded through revenue bonds.

  • Year: 2006
  • Population: 20,000
  • Cost: About $27 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: Board of Directors
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 100 Mbps/50 Mbps
  • MINET’s Website: MInetFiber.com 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: N/A

 


Pennsylvania

Communities may not provide broadband services unless the local telephone company has refused to provide the requested speed - regardless of the prices charged.

See 66 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3014(h)


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Home Net

Communities Served: Borough of Kutztown, Pennsylvania

Home Net, a division of the municipal utilities Hometown Utilicom, provides FTTH throughout the small town. In 2002 the network had a rocky beginning, but the network had a take rate of 51% by 2012. Thanks to the competition, every consumer in Kutztown has lower rates. Over the course of 10 years, more than $8 million has stayed local because of the competitive environment. The Governor actually gave Kutztown an award, but the next year signed a bill to prevent other communities from building their own networks. 

  • Year: 2007
  • Population: 5,000
  • Cost: $4 million
  • Funding Method: Taxable bonds
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Hometown Utilicom
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 50 Mbps symmetrical
  • Home Net’s Website:  HUHomeNet.com
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Kutztown 

 

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Swiftel

Communities Served: Brookings, South Dakota

In 1903, the City of Brookings purchased a telephone system from the Dakota Central Telephone Company. Fast forward to the 1990s when the telecommunication division of Brookings Municipal Utilities started providing dial-up Internet service. They changed their name in 1997 to Swiftel. In 2002, they upgraded to DSL. By 2006, Swiftel had started construction of a FTTH network. Swiftel began providing voice, video, and Internet services over fiber to businesses and residents in 2010.

  • Year: 2007
  • Population: 23,500
  • Cost: Unknown
  • Funding Method: Unknown
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Brookings Municipal Utilities
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 50 Mbps symmetrical
  • Website: Swiftel.net
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: N/A

 


Tennessee

Tennessee places many administrative requirements in the way of communities that want to build broadband networks via public power utilities. They must complete an explicitly detailed process to meet a bar not set for private providers intending to offer like services.

See Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-52-601 et seq.


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Chattanooga EPB

Communities Served: Chattanooga, Tennessee; East Ridge, Tennessee; Ridgeside, Tennessee; Signal Mountain, Tennessee; Lookout Mountain, Tennessee; Rossville, Georgia; Flintstone, Georgia; Wildwood, Georgia;

In 2005, the City of Chattanooga's Electric Power Board (EPB) released a plan to construct a fiber network that would provide more reliable electrical service as well as faster Internet service. In 2009, a full six years ahead of the originally planned schedule, the network started providing triple-play services to its first customers. Within a few years, the network reached every customer in the EPB’s service area. From 2011 to 2015, the network has added an estimated $865.3 million to $1.3 billion to the local economy while generating at least 2,800 new jobs. Learn more in Community Broadband Bits Podcast Episode 230 (Deep History of Chattanooga's Network), Episode 235 (Marketing and Technology), Episode 110 (Understanding Wilson's and Chattanooga's FCC Petitions), and Episode 59 (Chattanooga's EPB Fiber). Our 2012 report, Broadband at the Speed of Light, also provides an overview of Chattanooga's network.

  • Year: 2009
  • Population: 173,000
  • Cost: $388.4 million
  • Funding Method: $226.8 million in bonds, $111.6 million in federal Department of Energy stimulus,
  • $50 million line of credit from the EPB electric division
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Chattanooga Electric Power Board 
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 10 Gbps symmetrical
  • EPB Website: EPB.com
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Chattanooga

 

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LightTUBe

Communities Served: Tullahoma, Tennessee

The Tullahoma Utilities Board (TUB), an electric, water, and wastewater provider for the city began providing telecommunications services to its first customer in 2009. Now, the network offers triple-play and enables an Advanced Metering Infrastructure supporting the management of the city’s electrical services. The Center for Public Integrity's report, How big telecom smothers city-run broadband, goes in-depth on the impact of Tullahoma's LightTube network. The network's general manager joined us for Episode 54 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.

  • Year: 2009
  • Population: 19,000
  • Cost: About $17 million
  • Funding Method: General obligation bonds 
  • Governance: The municipal utilities board, Tullahoma Utilities Board
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Website: TUB.net/internet
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Tullahoma

 

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Jackson Energy Authority (JEA)/EPlus Broadband

Communities Served: Jackson, Tennessee

Jackson Energy Authority launched its EPlus Broadband network way back in 2004, when DSL was still considered fast and iPods and cellphones were just beginning to find their way into most people’s pockets. The network consists of a 100 mile fiber backbone with and a total of 650 miles of total fiber access infrastructure. The JEA network has twice been recognized as the best in the nation.

  • Year: 2004
  • Population: 67,000
  • Cost: $54 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Jackson Energy Authority
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • EPlus Broadband Website: JAXenergy.com/broadband
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Jackson

 

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Erwin Fiber

Communities Served: Erwin, Tennessee

In the Fall of 2012, the Erwin Electric system completed construction on a fiber backbone to support communications between the existing electric, water, and wastewater facilities while also connecting to six school system locations. In 2014, Erwin Utilities began a pilot project to extend the city’s fiber network to reach customers in Erwin’s downtown homes and businesses with plans to provide Internet access services up to gigabit speeds. The town has used an incremental approach to fund the project; they lease out excess capacity and use those proceeds to pay for the network constructions costs. The city has a long term plan to provide FTTH to the entire Erwin Electric System service area within 5 years of the project’s introduction in 2015.

  • Year: 2014
  • Population: 6,000
  • Cost: About $1 million
  • Funding Method: Incremental approach, revenue from leasing out excess electrical capacity
  • Governance: The electric utility, the Erwin Electric System
  • Services: Internet access, voice
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Website: E-U.cc/fiber
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Erwin

 

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CDE Lightband

Communities Served: Clarksville, Tennessee

The Clarksville Department of Electricity (CDE) began providing Internet services through its CDE Lightband fiber network at the beginning of 2008. The network saves millions of dollars each year for the city government, local businesses, and residents because the CDE can reduce the frequency and duration of power outages by remotely monitoring electrical meters. CDE Lightband’s super fast speeds also attracted several companies to set up new operations in Clarksville, including Google and Netflix, who chose Clarskville as a location for cache servers. With a population over 142,000 as of 2014, Clarksville is the 5th largest city in Tennessee. Learn more in Episode 51 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.

  • Year: 2009
  • Population: 142,000
  • Cost: $75 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: The electric utility, the Clarksville Department of Electricity
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • CDE Lightband Website: ClarksvilleDE.com/Internet
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Clarksville

 

Morristown FiberNET

FiberNet

Communities Served: Morristown, Tennessee

FiberNet, the fiber network in Morristown, began providing local businesses with Internet service in 2006. Then in 2012, the network began providing gigabit speeds to the homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions in the city. By 2013, the fiber network had brought in major cost savings and job growth. Numerous companies have relocated to Morristown in recent years, with many citing the city’s fiber network -- including its fast speeds and lower prices for Internet service than most private ISPs around the country -- as a major reason for moving to the city. Learn more in Episode 203 and Episode 35 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.

  • Year: 2006
  • Population: 30,000
  • Cost: About $18 million
  • Funding Method: General obligation bonds
  • Governance: The municipal utilities department, Morristown Utility Systems
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • FiberNet Website: MUSfiber.net 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Morristown

 

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PES Energize

Communities Served: Pulaski, Tennessee

The Pulaski Electric System (PES), the public power utility in Pulaski, began building its FTTH network in 2006. PES first tried providing municipal dial-up Internet access in 1993, eventually serving 1,500 homes by the late 1990s. The city eventually switched to offering Wi-Fi, but sold off that business years before they again began exploring the creation of the city’s current fiber network beginning in 2002. Founded in 1891, PES is the oldest electric utility in the state.

  • Year: 2009
  • Population: 7,600
  • Cost: $8.5 million
  • Funding Method: General obligation bonds
  • Governance: The electric utility, Pulaski Electric System
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 100 Mbps/10 Mbps
  • Website: Energize.net
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Pulaski

 

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Bristol Tennessee Essential Services 

Communities Served: Bristol, Tennessee

The Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) is the municipally-owned electric utility provider. The city built the network a few years after a major 1998 snowstorm that cut off electrical services to every BTES customer. Beginning in 2005, the utility began providing Internet and video services over a newly constructed fiber network. Customers who subscribe to the fiber service now can also get automatic meter reading, theft detection, and automatic power outage detection. Learn more about the history of the network in Episode 24 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.

  • Year: 2005
  • Population: 27,000
  • Cost: $15 million
  • Funding Method: Unknown
  • Governance: The electric utility, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Website: BTES.net
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Bristol

 


Utah

Utah places many administrative requirements in the way of communities that want to build broadband networks. They must conduct feasibility studies to show the network will cash flow in the first year and that separate services will each cash flow separately. Wholesale-only networks are exempted from some of the above requirements.

See Utah Code Ann. § 10-18-201 et seq.


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UTOPIA

Communities Served: Brigham City, Centerville, Layton, Lindon, Midvale, Murray, Orem, Payson, Perry, Tremonton, West Valley City

The Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure (UTOPIA) is an all fiber network owned by a consortium of rural Utah towns across a sparsely populated region north of Salt Lake City. Plans for the network started to emerge in 2003 with 16 towns. As of 2016, 11 official member towns have committed funds to the network. The network now has around 11,000 subscribers. A major roadblock has been the Utah state law: private providers wanted a quick return on investment that the network could not support. Despite its economic challenges, the network has gradually become more successful over time, and they continue to explore ways of expanding the network. 

  • Year: 2003
  • Population: about 453,000 (about 158,000 households) total
  • Cost: $500 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds and a Rural Utilities Service loan
  • Governance: Owned by 11 member towns; private ISPs provide retail services
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Website: UTOPIAnet.org
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: UTOPIA
  • Open Access Network

 


Washington

Public Utility Districts may not provide telecommunications services directly to customers.

See Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 54.16.330


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Benton PUD

Communities Served: Benton County, WA

Now people in south-central Washington have the opportunity to access gigabit speeds thanks to their public utility district (PUD). The Benton PUD built the fiber network in the mid-2000s, and now it generates a revenue of around $2 million a year. The PUD became a member of the Northwest Open Access Network (NOANet) and hosts several retail service providers who bring FTTH and wireless to local residents and businesses. For more information about NOANet and Benton PUD, check out the Community Broadband Bits Podcast Episode 159 and Episode 164.

  • Year: 2002
  • Population: 184,000
  • Cost: $17 million (over twelve years)
  • Funding Method: Federal grants
  • Governance: PUD board and NOANet, private ISPs provide retail services
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Benton PUD Website: BentonPUD.org/Broadband 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Benton PUD
  • Open Access Network 

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Chelan PUD

Communities Served: Chelan County, WA

This rural county in Central Washington may not have many people, but it does have an extensive fiber network to connect isolated residents and businesses with the rest of the world. Chelan Public Utility District (PUD) had completed most of the open access, wholesale, fiber network in 2010. Now, the Chelan Public Utility District covers about 70% of residents in the county. For more information about Northwest Open Access Network (NOANet) and Chelan PUD, check out the Community Broadband Bits Podcast Episode 159 and Episode 164.

  • Year: 2002
  • Population: 74,000
  • Cost: $110 million
  • Funding Method: grants and utility district revenues
  • Governance: owned by Chelan PUD; private ISPS provide retail services
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 100 Mbps symmetrical
  • Website: ChelanPUD.org/my-PUD-services/residential-services/Fiber-Optics 
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Chelan
  • Open Access Network

 

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Grant PUD #2

Communities Served: Grant County, WA

The Public Utility District #2 (PUD #2) in Grant County, Washington owns an open access fiber network. Residents and businesses can choose to get services over the county-owned network from a variety of private companies. The county constructed the network out of frustration with the paltry options for video and Internet services. In 2001, Grant County PUD began pilot testing the fiber network. Some county residents didn’t even have phone service prior to PUD’s construction of this fiber unless they were willing to pay a phone line extension charge in the range of $20,000 to $50,000. 

  • Year: 2000
  • Population: 93,000
  • Cost: $20 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue from selling unused power
  • Governance: Owned by Grant PUD; private ISPs provide retail services
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 100 Mbps symmetrical
  • Website: GrantPUD.org/Customer-Service/High-Speed-Network
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Public Utility Districts
  • Open Access Network

 

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Mason County PUD #3

Communities Served: Mason County, Washington

Beginning in 1939, the residents in Mason County in Western Washington began getting their electrical services through the newly formed Public Utility District 3. In the years that followed, the county eventually began offering water, sewer and, in 1999, the began installing its fiber optic network with the original plan to use the network for utilities purposes. Soon after completing construction on the network, the county also began providing wholesale services. Several private ISPs provide video, voice, and Internet service over the network. Mason County PUD 3 is also a member of the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet).

 

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Okanogan PUD

Communities Served: Okanogan County, WA

Okanogan County is the largest county in the state of Washington at 5,315 square miles. In 2001, the Public Utility District in Okanogan County began connecting county government facilities to a new fiber optic network. In 2002, the county started providing wholesale services, and several private ISPs that use wireless technology to deliver video, phone, and Internet service to businesses and residents.

  • Year: 2013
  • Population: 41,000
  • Cost: $9.2 million
  • Funding Method: $5.5 million grant and $3.7 million loan from federal stimulus
  • Governance: Owned by Okanogan PUD; private ISPs provide retail services
  • Services: Internet access
  • Top Residential Speed: 100 Mbps symmetrical
  • Website: OkanoganPUD.org/content/rsp
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Okanogan Public Utility District
  • Open Access Network

 

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Community Network System

Communities Served: City of Newport and surrounding area in Pend Oreille County, Washington

Pend Oreille County, situated in the Northeastern corner of Washington State, finished work in 2013 on a plan to install a 573 mile fiber optic cable network. The Pend Oreille County Public Utility District (PUD) owns the Community Network System (CNS) that provides wholesale fiber optic broadband services to this previously underserved mostly wilderness region of the state. The original plans for the network say it will be comprised of 588 miles of buried and overhead cable when all construction is completed. 

  • Year: 2013
  • Population: 13,000
  • Cost: $27.3 million
  • Funding Method: Grant American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 
  • Governance: Owned and managed by Pend Oreille County Public Utility District
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 100 Mbps symmetrical
  • Community Network System Website: CNSfiber.net/Home
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Pend Orielle
  • Open Access Network

 

 


Wisconsin

Communities wishing to provide broadband services must meet a variety of administrative hurdles.

See Wis. Stat. Ann. § 66.0422


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Reedsburg Utilities Commission

Communities Served: Reedsburg, WI

Reedsburg first got into the telecommunications business in 1998 when it constructed a small fiber ring to monitor the city's water and electric systems, as well as to connect some of the school buildings. Initially, the city went to Verizon and Charter but they refused. The Reedsburg Utilities Commission (RUC) went ahead on their own to install the fiber. During the buildout process, companies along the line requested to be connected to the network. Soon, RUC was planning to create a FTTH network. The city completed the FTTH construction in 2006 and had a take-rate of over 70% by 2009. For more information, check out Community Broadband Bits Podcast Episode 147.

  • Year: 2002
  • Population: 10,000
  • Cost: $13.5 million
  • Funding Method: $5 million loan from local bank and $8.5 million in bonds
  • Governance: The municipal utility department, Reedsburg Utilities Commission
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Website: ReedsburgUtility.com
  • MuniNetworks' Coverage: Reedsburg

 

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PowellLink

Communities Served: Powell, WY

Powell, Wyoming, began constructing PowellLink in 2007. By 2010, PowellLink had a 40% take rate. The city then bought back their initial $6.5 million bond at a lower interest rate from the private investors. This was 18 years ahead of schedule for the network. After buying back the bond, the city renegotiated with their partner Tri County Telephone West and established PowellLink as an open access network. The city expects a financial return of more than $22 million over the next thirty years.

  • Year: 2008
  • Population: 6,500
  • Cost: $6.5 million
  • Funding Method: Revenue bonds
  • Governance: PowellLink is operated as one of the city’s enterprise funds
  • Services: Internet access, voice, video
  • Top Residential Speed: 1 Gbps symmetrical
  • Website: TCTwest.net/Powell-Inside-City/Residential
  • MuniNetworks’ Coverage: Powell