The City Council of Upper Arlington, Ohio on Oct. 26 approved several contracts that will enable the community to build a municipal fiber-optic network to key anchor institutions for an estimated $2.5 million.
Upper Arlington’s project will provide high-speed Internet service for the city’s buildings, the Public Library, Upper Arlington city schools, and most city parks according to a news report from the Upper Arlington News. The 30-mile fiber network will serve about 40 locations around the boundaries of the city (population 34,000).
Besides establishing better connectivity between the three public partners’ buildings, the network is expected to provide opportunities for commercial companies to lease telecommunications services. The network would allow the city to lease some of the 288 fiber strands to commercial companies, such as other Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Financing and Break Even
Under the cooperative arrangement, the library will contribute $17,616 annually, the city $68,484 per year and the school district $177,900 each year until the project is paid off. “These costs are derived from the amounts that each entity is currently paying for leased broadband connectivity between their facilities,” Upper Arlington Assistant City Manager Dan Ralley told us.
The period anticipated to pay off the network construction is nine years with the school district and library able to extend the parties’ shared-services agreement for an additional 15 years after. The extensions would occur in three five-year segments.
Cost savings, broader bandwith
Ralley says the primary benefits of the new city fiber-optic network will be significantly lower long-term bandwidth and broadband access costs. For example, the city of Upper Arlington expects to save about $1,280 a month for Internet service by building its own fiber network. Over 10 years, the city’s savings would total about $150,000.
And the municipal network will be a boon for the Upper Arlington public schools. In an Oct. 19, 2015 staff report, Ralley said:
Upper Arlington Schools’ available bandwith capacity is a...