Post Content

City Lowers Public Benefit Expectations for Municipal Fiber Plans

Less than a month after the initial announcement of bidding for a new municipal fiber network, the city is saying people may have let their expectations run a little too rampant.

The city is hoping to build a broadband network for its facilities, but Craig Fifer, a spokesman for the City of Alexandria, clarified that the side benefit of increased consumer choice in cable, voice and broadband services is still conditional.

“This is an intended benefit, but only if private providers choose to avail themselves of the opportunity,” Fifer said.

Getting the public on board isn’t always a sure bet. In neighboring Arlington, the county government spent $4.1 million to build a network that went completely unused by private entities.

Fifer also noted that the city’s plans wouldn’t involve leasing fiber capacity, but excess conduit space — meaning private providers would still have to run their own fiber cables but could do so through city-built conduits.

“It’s important to clarify that the plan is to lease excess conduit capacity, not excess fiber capacity,” Fifer said. “Private providers would be able to run their own fiber without having to dig. This is an important distinction for legal reasons.”

Hopes were previously high in 2010 when the city applied to the Google Fiber network and Verizon FiOS, but city officials say those plans have all fallen through.

“With new Verizon FiOS deployment plans shelved around the country and Google Fiber largely dead, the investment in broadband infrastructure must fall to local governments,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in a newsletter.

Still, despite the modulation of expectations, Wilson said in the newsletter that he was hopeful.

“This is an issue that impacts not only residents but also our businesses and the ability of our community to attract new investment,” Wilson said. “Over 6 years ago, I proposed that the City develop a broadband plan to bring true competition to Alexandria’s broadband market. It has taken far too long, but the City is finally moving ahead on an effort to bring new broadband capacity to our community.”

Photo via J.C. Burns/Flickr

Recent Stories

A 17-year-old Arlington resident has been charged with possession of  firearm by a minor, after another 17-year-old was fatally shot in a West End hotel room. The shooting occurred at…

It’s been a busy week in Alexandria. As teachers fought for a pay raise, Alexandria City High School (ACHS) students walked out of the classrooms in protest against Alexandria City…

(Updated 2:30 p.m.) The recently formed Alexandria Minority Business Association (AMBA) shared frustrations about a lawsuit putting a planned grant program on hold. The City of Alexandria approved a grant…

Yesterday, the tourism bureau Visit Alexandria presented a new logo to be used in marketing for the city. Reception online was mixed. The logo features the city’s name in lowercase…

Bespoke women’s clothing designer, A.Oei Studio, is opening a fashion pop-up in Old Town Alexandria.

From Feb 2nd – March 29th, shop contemporary ready-to-wear pieces, view unique textile selections, and schedule a fitting for custom-made dresses, bridal and qipao.

Handcrafted in D.C., A.Oei Studio aims to offer an alternative vision of fashion – one that is centered around sustainability, artistry and personalized services.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Hi, my name is Moneim Z., and I am a blind male with chronic kidney disease, who needs a living kidney donor for a transplant. My blood type is B+, and I can accept a kidney from individuals who have blood types B and O.

To read my story, please see the attached letter.

To contact me directly, please email me at [email protected] or call at 571-428-5065. My living donor coordinator at INOVA Hospital, Amileen Cruz can be reached at (703) 776-8370 , or via email at [email protected]

Thank you!

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list