The Port of Ridgefield is planning to build a municipal open access dark fiber-optic network that could provide access to high-speed Internet connectivity for the Washington state community of 4,800.
Town officials held a public informational meeting in late June to update residents and businesses on the fiber project, which is still in the planning stage. Estimated cost of the proposed 42-mile fiber backbone is $2.4 million, Nelson Holmberg, Port of Ridgefield vice-president of innovation, told us.
Currently, the Port has budgeted $500,000 from town funds for this year’s portion of the project, the Vancouver Business Journal recently reported. Holmberg told us:
"We are moving forward with construction design and policy work. The Port will not be the operator, nor will it offer service on the backbone. Retail service will be offered by the [Internet Service] providers who ride on our fiber. We're simply building the infrastructure and making it available to providers."
Holmberg told us that a firm construction timeline has yet to be set. According to the Business Journal, the Port of Ridgefield will make use of existing assets and take advantage of opportunities to reduce costs. The Port hopes to work with Clark Public Utilities and the Clark Regional Wastewater District to plant conduit whenever there is new trenching and pull fiber through conduit that is already in place.
A Mixed Bag
Currently, Internet service in the Port is a "mixed bag," Holmberg told us, with the offerings including Comcast Business, Comcast or CenturyLink to the home, satellite and point-to-point wireless and even dial-up.
The Port's fiber development project is needed to help retain and attract business, Holmberg continued. The availability of high-speed Internet connectivity is especially important to modern industries that depend on being able to transmit and...Read more