City Utilities announced today a $120 million investment over the next 2-3 years they that will provide gigabit speed fiber internet to all of Springfield and some areas outside of the city covered by CU.
CU division SpringNet will be adding 1,000 route miles of fiber and leasing that capacity to private partners that would allow them to sell internet to residential customers for the first time in the SpringNet network’s history.
CenturyLink was announced as the first private partner with CU in the gigabit internet operation.
“Access to reliable high-speed broadband services drives economic development and is essential to every community,” Dean Thompson, City Utilities Associate General Manager for Economic Development and SpringNet, said in a statement. “Working with private industry to make the best use of public infrastructure minimizes work in the rights-of-way and helps to ensure all areas of our community have access to affordable broadband choices.”
City Utilities made the announcement at a press conference inside The Old Glass Place in downtown Springfield with a number of local dignitaries in attendance. In addition to Mayor McClure, who spoke at the press conference, several members of Springfield City Council, members of the state legislature and the entire Greene County Commission were in attendance.
Councilmember Matt Simpson told OI the difference between this and other gigabit offerings in the area is that it will be available to every citizen.
“Right now the fiber network is limited,” Simpson said. “They’re building out a fiber network that connects every Springfieldian and providing leasing opportunity for private providers on that network. It gives everyone access and it gives everyone choice as to their provider.”
CenturyLink officials declined to give OI a specific price point for the service, however references on CenturyLink’s website list the price for gigabit internet service at around $65 a month for a service with paperless billing with $85 listed as a “non-promotional rate.”
“We’re pleased to be the first provider to contract with City Utilities in this fiber network expansion, bringing Fiber Gigabit with symmetrical upload and download speeds up to 940 megabits per second to Springfield,” Chris Denzin, CenturyLink Vice President of Consumer Sales said in a statement. “Springfield residents and businesses need fiber to efficiently support numerous internet connections for cloud-based applications, smart home devices, education, healthcare, video streaming and gaming. CenturyLink fiber internet service can provide the capacity subscribers need, now and into the future.”
CU currently has approximately 700 route miles of fiber throughout their system. The new fiber will be installed by CU contractors and will have “no customer rate increases paying for the network expansion.”
Service is anticipated to be in parts of the community by spring 2020. City Utilities General Manager Scott Miller said that the install process will likely begin in the northern part of Springfield where most power lines are above ground.