Fiber optics installation moving at the speed of light |

Fiber optics installation moving at the speed of light

Installation of fiber optic cable for Glenwood Springs’ wireless broadband system is weeks ahead of schedule, Glenwood Springs Electric System line supervisor John Hines said.

The pulling of fiber through the city’s already-installed conduits began Feb. 19. Although scheduled to be complete near the end of April, the installation could be finished “a few weeks ahead of schedule,” Hines said.

“It’s going really well. Almost all the underground has been pulled and about one-third of all the overhead is in,” he said.

The $1 million installation project began at the city’s new Municipal Operations Center, and will eventually form two rough loops – one around West Glenwood and one around the downtown area, forming a jagged figure-eight.

A tail off the downtown loop will connect customers in the southern reaches of the city to the system.

The city’s new Municipal Operations Center, located off Midland Avenue, already has a fiber connection to the Community Center, and eventually all city government offices will be connected with an intranet system.

“We’re looking at July 1 for lighting it up,” Hines said.

After the fiber is installed, crews must still splice fibers and test the system to be sure it works properly.

The system eventually will be a last-mile provider for residential and business Internet. While the city will provide that service, the plan is for the actual Internet connection to be purchased through local Internet service providers.

No contracts have yet been inked between the city and local ISPs, but city manager Mike Copp said once price structures are established, those contracts will be signed soon thereafter.

Once the system is turned on and deals are made between the city and ISPs, local residents will be able to order wireless Internet.

The physical connection to a home or business would be from the city, while the connection to the Internet would be handled by a local provider.

The bill also would come from the provider, who will pay the city a fee to use the system.

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